Wednesday, 22 February 2012
A day in New York
A male florist was stroking my foot, which I found perturbing because my wife was sitting alongside. I counted to four – out of courtesy - and then moved my leg out of reach. We were sitting in Central Park at the greatest open air picnic I’ve ever attended with music to boot. It was a Leonard Bernstein concert at the Park and we were the guests of Bob and Tom.
The day was magnificent and confirmed my love of New York. I thought Bob and Tom were pushing the boat out with the large expensive rug, picnic baskets and amazing food, but they knew what they were doing and only barely avoided being upstaged by those surrounding us. Imagine Napoleon’s Grand Armée with picnic baskets and Candelabra. Candelabra, I kid you not. And with every fresh extravagance people applauded.
And then the florist came with the biggest flower arrangement I have ever seen in my life. He weaved his way through the crowd – no small feat – to a growing ripple of applause and placed them on our fine tartan rug. It was one-upmanship at it’s most playful and a far cry from my own austerity-provincial upbringing, where the most likely response would have been a muttered ‘Flash bastard’.
Going to the toilet posed its own problems. Finding one was difficult. Finding your way back almost impossible. The day ended with a twilight walk through Manhattan and the subway home to Jackson Heights. We stopped at sallow-lit Bagel shops that opened all night, my wife holding the flowers.
A short and sweet post, and a reminder that life is to be enjoyed and nothing taken too seriously. In the words of Julian of Norwich “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” Until they’re not.