Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Close encounters of the New York kind - part 1

I met him on the subway.
Well not really on the subway, on the platform to be precise. He was walking along with some friends and I asked them where the interchange was. They pointed me towards the end of the platform and that was that.
In typical New York style, the change between subway lines proved less easy than it looked. After exiting the station, I walked three blocks (get me, with my Noo Yoik lingo) to the interchange station, only to be told that I didn’t have the right type of ticket to change lines (?) and that I needed to buy a new one. “That’s the spirit”, I thought to myself, “Fuck over the tourists who are spending money in your city.” This was the brown-icing on the shit-cake of a day I was having. As I headed to the ticket machine, I saw him again with his friends, entering the station. We smiled as we passed each other.
After much faffing on my part, I finally got myself to the Guggenheim, joining the snaking queue of canny people who know the times different museums offer ‘pay what you wish’ deals. (I had hit up MOMA the night before.) As I drifted along in my line, I saw him again. “You made it!” he called across. His friends looked puzzled, wondering who the hell he was talking to. “It’s the girl from the subway.” I waved and carried on.
From the top floor of the spiraled gallery, I looked down to survey the building design and the weaving crowds of ant-like people making their way around the space. And then, I saw him again, just one floor down. And with that, he looked up and saw me too.
I waved.
He waved.
This was now incredibly embarrassing and a tad corny. But it was also kind of cool, because it was the kind of thing that happens in a really predictable rom-com yet never happens in real life. Until now. (It’s best to not read those last two lines in a cheesy movie trailer voice-over style. Thanks.)
I strolled down to meet him. We started talking. I gave him my sob-story (the friend I was staying with had been struck down with flu-like symptoms and was confined to bed, so I could either stay in her flat weeping or roam the city alone. I chose loner option no.2). He replied with “Well we’re just hanging if you want to hang out with us” (or another Americanism to that effect), and I said “Sure, if that’s ok with you”, and then he introduced me to his friends.
So then we hung out in Brooklyn. And drank...quite a lot actually but more on that later...and then, and then, and then...at the end of the evening he walked me to a cab and offered to meet at the Frick Museum the following day at midday, so I wouldn’t have to spend Sunday in New York on my lonesome. And with that, I sped back to Manhattan.
To be continued...

1 comment: