Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Great New York Thaw


THANK HEAVENS it's starting to thaw and the wind is subsiding here. It has truly been like being in the Arctic for the past five days. Had thought I would spend much of this winter in warmer weather but Life has a way of changing one's best laid plans---for which I am eternally grateful, if not layered to the hilt with warm clothes and pockets stuffed with Kleenex.

I can remember years ago coming to this city and staying in great and expensive hotels, doing the town with museums, galleries, restaurants, shopping and night life. Today, after zillions of trips here, a growing family and a shrinking pocketbook, my routine is vastly different. All I want is a little safe and inexpensive haven to nest and the ability to make a semblance of a routine of eating healthy and exercising while on the road. And I do like having my own space and letting others have theirs.

Sometimes it takes a while to find one's place in the pandamonium of such a large city like New York. I come here on guard in most every way, the least of which is in the realm of politics. I'm a blood red woman wandering around in a blue mega-city and the irony isn't lost on me. I gingerly walk several blocks from where I stay to a news stand and shyly ask for an IBD and Wall Street Journal early in the morning. So far I haven't been arrested though I do keep them tucked quietly under my arm as I walk back to my new favorite breakfast joint.

(And I don't talk politics with my children. I figure they'll come to their senses soon enough and frankly sooner now that our federal fiscal situation is so dire and they're about to be taxed to the hilt on every level just for breathing.)

Anyway, the photo above is where I like to hang out at the crack-of -dawn and read newspapers and drink a little coffee. I keep to myself and nobody gets hurt. I try not to make a lot of eye contact since that seems to be the way people up here live and let live.

So imagine my surprise several days ago when a man whose name turned out to be Larry sat down at a little table beside mine and pulled out the Wall Street Journal. Frankly, he looked like an escapee from Che's army. I would have pegged him as the most liberal of liberals in a city full of 'em.

But no. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Evidently he heard me ask the waitress for more coffee and was taken with my southern accent. It wasn't long before he turned to me and asked where I'm from. Then followed up by telling me I had Bette Davis eyes. Had I ever been told that before?

I said I couldn't remember. (Never did like her, but never mind.) And then the fun began....

Who are my U S Senators? was the next salvo from his table over to mine.

I looked back at him in silence. If looks were any indication, I could probably expect him to pull a gun on me if I answered.

So I acted for a moment as if I had to actually think about who my Senators are. I certainly didn't want him to know I had just had breakfast with one of them last week! Yikes!

Well, let's see, I think one of them is Bob Corker, I said and let it go at that, kind of like I'd been coached to answer truthfully on the witness stand but with as little info as possible.

And what about that guy Al Gore? Isn't he from your state? What do you think of him?

I must have involutarily grimmaced against my will. All I know is that Larry, took it as good news. Very good news indeed.

The facial expression that spoke a thousand words had just slipped off my face. He had my number, so to speak.

You're a conservative like I am, he said with glee. Say no more. I don't like him one bit either.

And so it was on that fateful freezing March morning on the upper East side of New York that Larry and I met at the little cafe-around-the-corner and became politically bonded. He was suddenly my new best conservative friend here. My only conservative friend.

From there, we actually conversed and I felt at ease enough to engage with him on a number of issues. We covered the waterfront and discovered we truly are conservative birds of a feather.

This yarn has gone on long enough except for one last thing: Larry then proceeded to introduce me to several other conservatives who were having breakfast there that day. So now I know several conservative acquaintances here and feel as if I have a little support group here in the city at my favorite breakfast cafe.

The moral of the story is don't always judge a book by it's cover. Who knows, we may even instigate a Tea Party up here at York and 81st later this spring, Larry and me and my other new best friends.

And now you know....the rest of the story, a story of political warming in New York City. And not a moment too soon for my little chilled red political heart.


gcotharn said...

This is going to be like that Disney movie where the two dogs eat the same spaghetti noodle. Hopefully, anyway. That Disney dog had Bette Davis eyes, btw.

Webutante said...


vanderleun said...

Hey, I was walking past Gracie's corner on my way to a friend up on York only a bit more than a week ago.

Webutante said...

.... ever heard the expression, "ships passing in the night....?"

gcotharn said...

Still trying to remember the name of that movie:

The Webutante and the Tramp?
The Bette Davis eyes and the Che disguise?
The Lady and the nosy conservative?

Just can't think of it.

Webutante said...

Think you're getting close, Greg!