It was the most beautiful Sunday since sometime last year or maybe the year before. In New York when the weather’s amazing, people run into the parks.
Lucia and I were going to a photography opening at Rafe’s salon. All the photos are of flowers. None look like flowers.
I have always used Central Park as a crossway. It is I admit the most breathtakingly beautiful crossway, and my backyard
Riverside Park is my front yard, and I love the water. Not that I have a river view apartment, and the building’s entrance is on a side street, because my street is not lovingly referred to as “wind chamber.”
If you’re going to the East 60’s from the Upper West Side, the fastest way, is to walk down the 72nd Street cross walk, proceed the east park pedestrian way through the zoo and then to my old street. There are more beautiful be one with nature ways, but I like this one when in a hurry.
I especially love it because the exit from the zoo leads directly to my youth on East 63rd Street off Fifth.
We could hear people clapping at the Greek parade on Fifth Avenue. Lucia told me that she arranged the people and applause for me, for my birthday.
My birthday is in July. The same day as Central Park’s birthday. One year over a million people sang “Happy Birthday” just to me about four times. Lucia arranged it, you know.
It was impossible to be in a hurry today but for some reason the crowds didn’t bother me. We ran into my good in the hood friend Joey and Lucia practically threw herself at him.
Then she remembered he’s single, straight, rich, intelligent, nice, and not boyfriend material. I can’t and won’t say why. He isn’t funny is as far as I will go with that one.
We arrived at the opening where Anastasia, Rafe’s wife was by herself, in a corner of the salon. Rafe is one of my two best friends and I love him with all my heart, but he is a one-man TV show. He will spend money on anything but parking. It’s sad really. Rafe will do anything to help anybody. He has a generous heart and cheap veneer.
He used to spend his one free day in traffic court fighting the tickets. Fortunately the city cracked down on meters and made the tickets too expensive.
Unfortunately for Anastasia he made her sit in the car in various locations for two to three hours. I tend to believe Anastasia’s three hour version. He went to the salon to do last minute prep work. Just explaining the car situation.
By the time Lucia and I arrived it was going on five and Anastasia had been sitting in cars or in the salon the whole day. Nobody should have to on a day like today. Rafe was chatting up prospective clients.
We walked back to the park and sat near the fountain. It was about as crowded as I have ever seen it. We
made fun of, talked about old friends,some other things and Rafe and Anastasia’s daughter who is finishing law school next month. She has guardianship of the family dog which makes Anastasia a grandmother.
A man on a bike said something. We ignored him. Anastasia is a size two-four and looks like a Russian stacking doll that isn’t cloyingly cute. She’s always been hot and gets hotter with age. She met Rafe when they were teenagers in hairstyling school and have been together ever since.
We met when we were young and events like this happened all day every day. Even to Rafe, actually. T He looks like a Latin Elvis without the bloat and with much class.
One of the big reasons I’m so close to Rafe is that he loves Anastasia passionately and it shows, even when he makes her sit in a car for three hours. I’m kind of an expert on friendship with Hispanic men, and while he plays the macho stud bit, he is a hair stylist and feels he has to overcompensate through speech not action. he’s a wuss, really
This incident was a bit or a lot weirder than most. You decide.
The guy said all the standard pick up lines. He just wouldn’t go away.
He said to Anastasia:
“Don’t listen to your girlfriends. Think for yourself. Don’t you like me? I like you.”
We were trying even harder to ignore him as he repeated this about seven times. Each time he swooped around us on his bike. Finally he said to Anastasia:
“Are you a virgin? Tell me if you’re a virgin. You’re a virgin right. I really like you. You’re a virgin right? You are a virgin. I know that you’re a virgin.”
Then he fell off his bike.
We made our escape but we could hear in the background:
“You’re a virgin. I know you’re a virgin. You’re a virgin….”
There are nine million stories in the naked city and this is a bit more creepy than most. There are boundaries normal people don’t cross. Even normal semi-perverts.
The park was crowded. There was no real possibility of danger but we didn’t want to respond, You just never know who is dangerous or not.
This wasn’t really a voyeur story, but
I wasn’t the only person who wrote a virgin story this week. I do have a subscription but wrote this story yesterday and didn’t see a copy until i got my mail at four PM
The opening was lovely though only about a hundred people came. Something to do with a beautiful day and a Greek parade.
Here’s a link to Bill Moyers
examining the free passes the media gave to Bush & Company. There will be a Moyer’s special on PBS. When Moyers was editor of Newsday it was the first daily paper to come out against Viet Nam.
That was a big risk as Long Island was thought to be redneck country. I grew up on the Island. The sole adult I knew who was for the war was my father who didn’t believe that people should actually serve in the war. Hence his love of “Alice’s Restaurant.” This does go far in understanding me.