Friday, January 31, 2014

Seen and Overheard in New York

Seen in Chelsea: Photo by Sarah Velk

I was reading David Sedaris's Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls in an insomniac hour this morning.  He is a diarist, among other things, and his piece on his diary was the bit I read at 4:30 AM.  It reminded me that I wanted to get down a few bits about last weekend in NYC before I forget.  I don't have a diary, this is as close as I come, so here ya go.

Sarah and I had a rushed little dinner at the Red Flame Diner on West 44th Street on Saturday, just before we headed back to Rockefeller Center to see about those standby tickets to SNL (see the previous post).  It was early, just after six.  We got a booth by the far wall and Sarah got the seat with the view of the street.  I noticed a big family group sitting by the window, six people or so, including three little kids as I took my seat with my back to them.

My hearing, as you know if you've been following along, is more than half shot. My right ear can now pick up a jet engine firing and not much more. The left one is only so-so.  I  have had bad luck with hearing aids so I persist in au naturel quasi deafness.  Anyway, just after we'd put in our orders (cheeseburger for me, chicken wings for her), the waitress started ferrying plates passed us to the family by the window.  I heard, or thought I heard, one of the kids, about four years old, call out: "My food is here! I'm so excited! I'm so thankful that this food exists!"

"Did that kid just say, "I'm so thankful that this food exists?" I asked Sarah, quietly.  She confirmed.  I'm telling you, the enthusiasm in that voice...  Words fail. Another minute or two went by and the same voice, cutting through the background noise and my bad ears said, "Will you take a picture of these wonderful chicken nuggets?"

I couldn't hear the answer. I hope it was "yes."  

Earlier in the day Sarah and I had gone down to Chelsea where a high school friend of mine, who is now a bona fide New York painter, had a reception for a gallery show.  We people of northern Vermont do not have a lot of opportunities to ride freight elevators to gallery openings and I wasn't about to miss this one. Plus my friend is really super nice and not intimidating at all like "New York painter" might suggest.  Chelsea also obliged us in providing some echt New York downtown scenery.  Sarah has been interested in photography (read, we bought her a good camera and sent her to photo camp last summer) and she took the pictures in this post.  I love them.  Budding New York artist anyone?  I'm so thankful!

Men of Chelsea: by Sarah Velk