The Innocent Side of the Guilty City

New York City is cut throat, annoyingly busy and loud, sometimes rude, and after dark — in certain places — dangerous. But I will say this, there is good here and sometimes it’s not that hard to spot.
In no particular order:
  1. People giving up subway seats for pregnant women, or men giving up seats for women and children in general.
  2. An aproned butcher sweeping his shop’s entryway lifts a wave and says, “Good day!”
  3. A man seeing my lost face at Port Authority Bus Terminal gave me directions BEFORE he asked for money to get to Cleveland, Ohio. After I declined, he nodded politely and wished me luck.
  4. I pass a million New Yorkers who smoke cigarettes every day. I was walking home late one night in Brooklyn and a woman was on her cell phone standing against a building with a white stick plugged in her mouth. As I began to pass her silently, I held my breath. As I passed, I glanced over at her judgmentally only to find her pulling a Dum-Dum sucker out of her mouth – looked like pineapple flavor.
  5. A monarch butterfly fluttering about in Manhattan at the intersection of 71st Street and Central Park West — A little bit of nature in a big city.
  6. The tune of the Mr. Softy ice cream trucks driving through Astoria.
  7. A man was fumbling with his photography textbook and backpack while trying to balance a coffee in his other hand. A woman seated next to him on the train offered to hold his coffee while he put his textbook into his backpack.
  8. An Asian man who runs a bodega on 23rd Avenue in Astoria rang up my 2X Tide laundry detergent. He pointed to the bottle and advised that this jug was two times the normal amount of detergent and to only use a little bit to wash my clothes. Nice to know someone is looking out for me, even if it’s someone I don’t know.
  9. Granted some taxi drivers are unpleasant to say the least, but once in a great while you get a driver who greets you like the one I had from LaGuardia Airport early January 2011. He pulls up and right away is out of the car, loading my suitcase that weighs 49 pounds carefully into the truck. He meets eyes with me and with a genuine smile asks me, “How are you tonight, Miss?” I respond with “I’m doing well, thank you! How were your holidays?” We continue to chat and he wishes me well after he nicely unloads my lead-filled suitcase in front of my apartment.
  10. My roommate’s friend was having a hard, emotional time and was crying at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. Their waitress noticed and quietly and stealth-like set a box of tissues on the table.

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2 responses to “The Innocent Side of the Guilty City

  1. Dee Ludwig

    Hey Jennifer…. I enjoyed reading about New York is such a positive light. It is good to know that caring people exist even in a huge city. Thanks for sharing your observations. Take care of yourself!
    Smiles comin’ at ya,

  2. Lindsay

    NYC is more good than bad… I’ve lived here my entire life and I have seen it 🙂 it is easy to over-look the good when you’re being shoved along (most of the time, by tourists) and just like it is anywhere, sometimes it is impossible to find, but the good is all around you if you are watching for it.

    The night I sat in the restaurant with my friend was one of the most amazing nights I’ve had here… aside from the waitress with the tissues, a woman saved the flowers that I bought my friend to congratulate for an AWESOME interview from falling off the seat on the 7 train while I was wrestling with my (massive) purse with two hands, a man held back a swarm of people when I was switching trains in GC so that I could get on the downtown 6 without being smushed and destroying said flowers, AND my cabbie talked to me the whole way home from the city after a long day about how proud he was of his daughters, among other things 🙂 Welcome to heaven… I love it here!

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