We went to New York City yesterday to see the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit. It was outstanding!
But this post is about the city itself and what I hope it maintains at the end of the pandemic.
Here is what we saw:
Masks: Better than 95 percent of the people we saw in trains and subways, on sidewalks, or at art exhibits were wearing masks. Without fuss. Maybe 10 percent of those were at “half face,” covering the mouth but not the schnoz.
Subways: Remarkably, the stations were clean. They did not stink — they did not even smell. At summer’s end, there was no odor at all.
The subway cars are all completely reconditioned: new seats, new windows, new window frames. All the ads were in place, not torn, not scribbled on. Clean as if Felix Unger had just inspected it.
The only place to see graffiti was on the unlit tunnel walls. It was like riding in brand new subway cars. The abrupt screeching, stopping and starting that could catapult an unsuspecting visitor down the length of the car is gone, too, perhaps due to better braking systems.
Etiquette: I saved the best for last. On three occasions, we were both offered seats. “Would you like to sit in my seat?” My first thought was to refuse — am I that old? But I remembered the lessons of parenting: If you see good behavior, positively reinforce it — immediately! And so we both graciously accepted. And thanked our newfound ambassador of New York City when we left.
We were also offered a seat cushion at the art exhibit. You have to rent them. Again, I accepted but returned it after five minutes. Good thing — when you return the cushion to the exhibit people, they give you a free poster!
When I thanked each of the people who offered their seats, what did they say in return? “You’re welcome, sir.”
I love New York (still).
One fine body…