If you read my last post, about the “sidewalk hit-and-run,” I need to counter that experience with a couple more, showing that in New York you never know who you'll meet and what will happen.
After a big snowfall, I alighted from the bus in front of a three-foot crusted snow bank. Along the edge of the snow hill was a river of melted ice. Wearing pricey "waterproof" boots, my feet were already sopping. I hesitated, trying to decide which path to negotiate. A tap on my shoulder made me turn to see a burly 50-ish man who had emerged from the bus behind me. "Shall I lift you from the back?" he asked, and to my nod, gracefully bore me over the snow bank. I thanked him, he winked, then we both disappeared into the crowd and anonymity on Madison Avenue.
Then there was the time that I was staring at a Degas in the Met when a woman near me wearing a shapeless housedress-y garment looked down at me. I thought she was going to ask about the bulky knee brace I have been wearing since I tore ligaments in a lurching New Jersey Transit train But no. "You're wearing the wrong shoes," she said. I looked down at my comfortable red flats. "What's wrong with them?" I asked. They're the wrong color — everything else is dark red." "Everything else" was the purple Guatemalan poncho I was wearing. She looked appraisingly: "You could have worn black shoes."
"Don't they match my hair?" I asked with an amused smile, referring to the red highlights in my gray hair. "That's darker too," she pronounced. "But they do match your lipstick." My color lesson over, I stepped out onto busy Fifth Avenue where I was free from the fashion police.