Monday, August 23, 2010

Fairway, Redux

To quote the old cliché, more or less, no, we're not in Kansas. But the Sunflower State has nothing on this display in front of the famous and infamous Fairway supermarket on Broadway, an emporium with which New Yorkers have had a love/hate affair for many years. I've already written about the pluses and minuses of this venerable institution. To refresh the memory:

But I couldn't resist taking this camera phone shot this morning because the flowers were particularly fresh-looking and massed so invitingly. There are as many stories of Fairway as there are of the entire Naked City. A while back, when, as a tall person, I was reaching for some oranges at the top of a pile, a friendly woman warned amusingly, "Don't cause an avalanche!" We then got into conversation about our Fairway experiences. I mentioned that I was frequently asked to get things down from high places for little old ladies, who always seem to think that they're the only ones who've ever asked me that. My shopping companion told me that once she had offered to do the same for a woman, who snarled at her, "What makes you think I need help?" Takes all kinds. As previously noted, Fairway doesn't always bring out the best in people. But it can be O.K. if you get in early enough, before the Thundering Herds are up and about.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

When in Doubt, Wear BLACK!

Yesterday saw the off-Broadway show Love, Loss, and What I Wore, written by the ever-observant and satirical sisters, Nora and Delia Ephron and based on a book by Ilene Beckerman. One of their segments dealt with the continuing popularity—and fashion safety net—of wearing Good Old Black, at least in New York City. All five of the excellent actresses were wearing different versions of the fabled Little Black Dress.

This put me in mind of a tour I took to Sicily a few years back. In Palermo, in April, it was unusually cool for that part of the world at that time of year, and a couple of my fellow tourists felt that they needed something warmer to wear. The palermitane, or women of Palermo, were tastefully attired in British-style tweed or leather jackets and well-fitting trousers. One of our group eventually purchased an attractive, low-key black quilted jacket in one of the well-stocked clothing stores. But she said that she might not feel quite comfortable wearing black in her Kansas hometown, where the women didn't wear much black. Ah, cultural differences!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Se non è vero...."*

Last week, when crossing an ever-bustling Second Avenue with my niece, grandniece, and grandnephew, I asked the seven-year-old boy to hold my hand for safety reasons. Not only did he willingly take my hand, but, looking angelic as usual, he kissed it! I absolutely died, metaphorically speaking.

Then, I said that he was a gallant young gentleman and called him my little "Sir Walter Raleigh," referring to the legend about spreading a cloak over a puddle so that the Queen could keep her feet dry. Ever literal-minded, my grandnephew was quick to point out that there were no puddles. I agreed, adding that not only that, but he didn't have a cloak with him and that it wasn't even raining. Furthermore, I mentioned, the story may not even be true, but it's a good tale to tell.

*Well-known Italian proverb: "Se non è vero, è ben trovato." Freely translated: "Even if it isn't true, it's a good story."