Friday, August 17, 2007

A Quintessential New York Moment

Yesterday's evening commute started out quite ordinary. I narrowly missed the Astoria-bound N train at 34th Street. A few minutes later, the W arrived in the station which I boarded and got a seat. At Times Square a tall, slender man in paint splotched clothes boarded and sat perpendicular to me. Two stops later at 57th Street, a tall thin woman in a striped shirt got on and sat next to me. Nothing at all unusual. I took notice the man only because he had a small Band-Aid box that he kept clicking open and shut. The woman caught my attention because the volume on her iPod was turned up high. But no matter, I was absorbed in a book.

Somewhere around Lexington Avenue, the woman asks the man whether he was a painter. He responded no, he just left the operating room--brain surgeon. She seemed to enjoy his smart ass answer, and the conversation continued. He is a house painter. She is a packaging designer for cosmetic companies. He owns his own business with his dad, has a wide and varied clientèle and "is very good at" what he does. She is bored with her job. He is Queens born and raised, she moved to Astoria a year or so ago, and loves it.

"Do you want to go and have a drink?" he asks the woman.

"You buyin'?"

"Sure," he shrugs.

They formally introduce themselves: His name is John, her's is Maria. A short conversation about where to go leads to this exchange:

"Do you know Sparrow?"


"It's on 29th Ave. and Astoria Blvd.," she says.

At this point I reveal that I have been eaves dropping on the conversation the entire time by saying, "Sparrow is on 29th Street and 24th Avenue, across from the Beer Garden."

"Oh, oh, right, right. I always get the Avenues and Streets confused! Thanks."

They agreed they'd meet at 6:30 that evening. Both got off at the 30th Avenue stop. We all bid each other a good night, and I smiled the rest of the way home.



SOUL: said...

interesting. do people really have that much trust remaining in NY, to meet, and date... on a subway??? (or whatever)
i am way too paranoid for that stuff. someone even tries to look at me in public, and i go the other direction!

i do love the brain surgeon comment though. i live for sarcasm.

c ya round
hope you have a good weekend

Uncle Phatato said...

I LIKE that. Very good can definitely use that and add a touch of fiction to it :)

Bridget said...

How fun to listen into a conversation like that. I love spying on the first daters when my husband and I are out to eat.

JYankee said...

That is cool... New Yorkers are very different than their rep... that's neat....

eastcoastdweller said...

I think jyankee probably has it right.

I'm an eavesdropper, too -- I think it's part of the package of being a writer.