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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Why I love New York....

So, each and every one of us has lost (or thought they lost) a wallet or a purse before or at least something of equal or greater value.  So I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to this story on some level.   The initial panic that ultimately swells to a tidal wave of realization of the importance of every piece of plastic that was in that thing on top of how much cash there was is not a great feeling at all.

I had left my department at work for my break complaining to my co worker about how I've almost lost my wallet before wearing the shorts I have on today, as I picked up my wallet out of the chair I was sitting in.  Then, I went to sit in the conference room for a few to bask in the wifi that I can reach with my laptop there.  Knowing I needed to get cash out to pay the musician for tomorrow morning's pickup recording session, I started to gather my things while I still had about a half hour to squeeze in a bank trip. 

I made it all the way down to the bank on 8th Avenue and 16th street before I had any reason to reach for the contents of my back pocket and realize that my wallet was in fact not a part of those contents.  I was certain I knew exactly where the damn thing had fallen out: the last place I was sitting.  So I hurried back to the conference room, one avenue block away and 6 stories up, casually ignoring the person trying to talk to me on the corner.  After 3 and a half years in New York you always just assume it's a crazy person and keep moving.  Remember this guy though he comes into the story later on. 

I get back to the chair I was sitting in and realize it's empty and begin frantically tracing my steps back through the break room, past all the desks in the bull pen, down the back hallway and into the tiny control room me and my colleagues have been stuffed into while they renovate our department.  Nothing.  Anywhere.  All the while, I keep checking every pocket in these damned shorts that I now thoroughly hate and will never wear again.  Two weeks ago on the 4th of July, as I partied with friends on a rooftop wearing these shorts, someone located my wallet distinctly not in my back pocket.  So, I knew that this was a possibility but I was still pretty pissed because then it started to occur to me what would happen if I didn't find it.  Nothing major, just that I had to cancel all my cards, get a new ID and a library card and oh, no metro card and no cash to buy one with and no way to get cash to buy one and no way to pay for a cab, hence no way home. 

Right about the time this dawned on me, I ran into one of my co workers who was touring her family around the station on her day off and who works in the empty offices near my beloved secret wifi conference room.  She was nice enough to loan me a $20 bill so I could at least get home and wouldn't have to walk or spend the night in the station.  Reason #1 the title of this blog is Why I love New York.  People are nicer than you'd think here.

The other reason ties closely into that one.  Since it was almost 6pm, I talked to my co worker who had to leave at 6pm and made sure she was okay with me running down the block to the bank to retrace my steps.  I talked to both my security guard and the ones downstairs in the Chelsea market to see if they'd seen anything for good measure and then set off down the block all the while considering how futile this endeavor was.   A place like New York, what are the chances someone's going to pick up a wallet and not steal it and everything in it?  Well, about halfway between 8th and 9th avenues, the memory of that man shouting at me that I witnessed only out of the corner of my eye, drifted back in across my train of thought and I said to myself, "you idiot!  That guy was probably trying to give you your wallet back." 

One string of obscenities and half a city block later I get to the corner and start wondering if that dude is still around.  It doesn't take too long before he appears from across the street holding out my wallet but he is not pleased.  Apparently he was a transit worker and was sitting in a parked MTA vehicle right by the subway entrance the whole time so it's not like he was going anywhere.  But he then proceeded to yell at me for ignoring him when he was trying to give me my wallet back.  "Acting like you don't want it back," "You lucky, I was about to just throw it out" and "You got all this shit in your ears and you can't hear" (referring to my headphones) were a few of the lines he spat at me as I thanked him profusely.  He didn't care though, he was more pissed that his random act of kindness almost went unthanked. 

This is why I love New York though.  Maybe it's just sheer luck that he was the one that found it instead of someone who might have kept it but the point is people like that do exist here despite what people might think.  And not only does the kind of person exist who will show that kind of kindness, they come with their own unique New York flavor.  I didn't even care that I was getting fussed out by this guy for having headphones in and not listening when he tried to hand me back my wallet.  That's just how you know this story happened in New York F%^&$ City.

Now, nevermind the fact that these cursed shorts also somehow managed to lose the $20 that my co worker let me borrow.  But I focus on the positive.  At least I have a way to get home now. 

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