When we came to New York, I expected the mood and energy to be kind of hard-edged and cold, something like this:
But in fact, New York has turned out to be a lot more like this:
Really and truly, it’s the friendliest city I’ve ever been in. It might just be Spring weather and nice vibes that brings, but we’ve had such friendly, unguarded interactions with people on the street, in kiosks, guards in shops – actually, just about everyone in these six weeks has been so friendly, it’s ridiculous!
If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know about some of the people I’ve met online, and now in reality, including superstars like Michelle and Helen and Carolyn, and the other online friends and colleagues I’ve hooked up with too, like Jen, Margaret and Anna. But these gals were heading towards being friends already, so their kindness wasn’t too unexpected (although massively appreciated). It was the random intense generosity that astonished hardbitten old me. To wit:
Steven, who we met when I was buying my folding bike at Bfold. He’s emailed us so many ideas of where to go and what to see while we’re here, and is even now is helping me to get access to the Quaker Cemetery to visit my g-g-g-Grandfather’s 19th century bones. Thank you, Steven, you’re an inspiration. (check out Steven’s Brommie Yummie website for small-wheel bike excitement)
And how about the quite random conversation we had with David in a Soho bar one evening, which turned quickly into a great friendship. He’s been unbelievable, helping us access some truly unforgettable musical experiences (Jim Campilongo , Andy Friedman and Natalia Zukerman ), and he’s also assisted with Paul’s Grateful Dead inclinations. We like his wife a whole lot as well 🙂
Pam and Paul, friends of our friend (and one-time New Yorker) Kelly, have taken us in as well, showing me around Brooklyn Designs and ICFF, and introducing us to their lovely bunch of DUMBO pals. Thanks, Sundays!
And how about Tom, who took Paul out to lunch and told him about raccoons sleeping in the trees, amongst other fascinating things, all on the strength of the fact that he’s a friend of a friend… of a friend!
Then there’s just the random, no-agenda friendliness that amazes me each time, like the lady in Central Park from Colorado, who told us a whole lot about North American birds, the guy who told me my hairdresser did a great job while passing me on a subway station… too many to go on about. If I was a songwriter I’d write ’em a jaunty ‘thank you’ ode, but I’m not, so all I can offer is my sincere intention to practise a similar unguarded friendliness upon my return to the big bad city of Cape Town. You guys have taught me a lot – thanks for that too. xx