Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Gotham Story

Sunday morning we were hanging around Gotham city, enjoying the autumnal, nay, springlike weather. It’s good enough to fake out the cherry blossoms (not a good thing), as trees, given to consider so many days of fair weather, are wondering if they missed a winter nap, and should just go ahead and shoot their little leaves out there. Though you feel like there must be a little suspicion. You know, they can’t really IMAGINE it’s been six months already. It just feels warm enough to be. Coming to the city Saturday morning from DC, we stopped in the usual spot: Danny’s Cheese steak stand at Cow Town, the quaint-ish little county fair grounds in south Jersey which turns twice a week (Tues & Sat.) into a giant flea market. So if you need, say, paper goods, warm roasted peanuts, a samurai style fighting sword, the world's greatest roasted chicken wings, Reggae cds, or little sox with animals on them, this is your place. Plus, it’s a great place to take a driving break, and better yet, the gas at the service station is always a dime cheaper than even the turnpike gas prices (they are already a quarter better than New York!). Anyway… we went onwards to Boonton, thence to the city, and once there made plans to meet CM, a good pal, for dinner Sunday night. The plan was to meet him and his wife at an apartment where they are staying, order in Chinese, and watch the New York football teams get creamed in the playoffs. Well, the creaming was only a supposition which eventually happened, but when it’s the Jets and Giants, geez, what do you expect? Over paid, moody, annoying, somewhat talented but less talented than indulged: hmmm did I just describe 85% of the pro football players. Sorry bout that.

Well, as the ax was falling on the Giants, I got a call from CM to confirm our meeting. Seven PM, and be there, I said. A few minutes later, I was on the phone and my cell rang: CM calling again? Well I let the voice mail take it, and kept yapping on my other fone. Then two minutes later he was calling again, and this time I took the call:
“Hello, I think your friend left this fone in a taxi….” the voice said. I realized that it must be CM’s fone, and quickly said “yea, my friend must have left it in the car. Where are you?” Then the line went dead. I tried calling back. Nothing but voice mail. And of course that didn’t mean anything since a stranger had the fone. I kept calling, then the stranger called me again, and I heard a lot of talking and walking but wasn’t sure they could actually hear me. No one answered. I hung up again. Tried again. Nothing. Tried a few more times, and finally got a voice. “Hello”, she said, “Im showing an apartment in Chelsea..”
Before she could hang up, I wanted to find out how to catch up with her. “I’m coming to the East side..” and of course was happy about that since that’s where I am. “I’ll meet you at the apartment you’re visiting… east 69th st.. in half an hour!”
I grabbed a cab, made it to the apartment, and ten minutes later they all arrived: young couple from Houston, looking for a NY pad; and Cybil Ho, a wonderful real estate agent, who smilingly handed over the fone as the cab pulled up. While waiting for them, I was thinking about how you say Thanks for such good citizenship in New York these days. I thought about tables turned, what would I do? Well, I thought, giving it back is the right thing. That is certainly what I would do. And I wouldn’t want to be paid or ‘tipped’ for it. Because once you start accepting money for doing the Right thing, how big a leap is it to taking money for doing the Wrong thing? Still, I thought, the world is full of stories of rewards for good conduct. So, I tucked two $20s into my pocket, into a handy place where I could get at them easily, and not be fumbling with a lot of extra paper. As the cab pulled out, Cybil handed me the blackberry. I reached for the bills, and handed them, or tried to, to Cybil, saying “Buy a round of drinks for your friends tonight…”

the Blackberry in question...

She smiled, said, ‘it’s ok…’ and rather than be a jerk about it, I smiled too, recognizing that it’s what I hope I would have said. Then I added, “Well, at the very least, give me your card and when someone I know is looking for an apartment, we’ll send them your way…”

Looking for an apartment? Can't recommend anyone better than Cybil!

You see, New York. It’s not always about money, no matter what they say in the tabloids. There is such a heart in this city, it’s difficult to measure. But moments like that one with Cybil convince you that New York is still a pretty damn cool place. And add to that the fact that not only can you buy Megamillion tickets here, but there are actually a half dozen good barbeque places in the city. Heaven, I contend! Sure, it might be tough to find a Samurai sword, but I know where you can get one. CM of course got his phone back. Hopefully the young couple from Houston (where there is TONS of great barbeque) found a place to live. And from now on, when your friends want to move to the city, you’ll give Cybil a call. We’re just sayin. David

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Honest people are a rare commodity these days. I had the situation recently of losing my cell in a town 60 miles away..not knowing until homebound..I called my cell,whereupon I find an honest person in Leesville,LA.,who said he'd take it to a Dairy Queen. I hopped in the car,flew there in a thunderstorm..and..the phone was THERE!! The best part of all is no one would accept any of my money for the good deed. Good People DO exist with us..