I walked a few blocks from the Hilton to a familiar place for breakfast--the McDonalds at the corner of 39th Street and 2nd Avenue here in Midtown Manhattan. I detoured a bit to take a photo of Tutor Time where our grandson Jasper spent four good years in daycare. I passed the bodega on the corner with its display of flowers and newspapers.
I was tempted to walk to The Corinthian and greet the doormen there--very familiar faces for several years when Laura and Michael lived on the 38th and 43rd floors in units with priceless views of the East River and Brooklyn.
Memories came floating back. After Jasper was born, I went to the Duane Reade on the corner to buy diapers and was asked if I needed adult or children's diapers!
Next door was the Japanese restaurant from which I got take out when I stayed for several days in Laura's apartment. I didn't know the power of wasabi and thought I would die alone when I swallowed too much of it at once.
Across the street was the Baskin-Robbins where I treated myself to ice cream one night, sat at a table outside and noted that every woman walking by was wearing black or white.
People watching in New York is always interesting and sometimes sad. This morning I saw a very well-dressed woman about my age pushing a shopping cart with the usual suitcase and blankets and detritus piled up high. Her hair looked styled; her long skirt looked like a designer skirt with tucks and pleats. Where had she spent the night?
The lovely young lady who waited on me looked so beaten down as she rested her head on the cash register. After she brought me my sausage biscuit (what a treat!) and coffee, I asked if she were tired and she said she was. I asked what time she started and she said 6 am but she had to leave home at 4:30 am to get there. I commented on her long commute and she gave me a big, beautiful smile. I wanted to go back and tell her to hang in there, stick with this job for a while and make it look good, and try to be cheerful--it would make the time go faster. But I said no more and was content with the one smile she produced.
Somewhere recently I read that one can try to treat those who wait on you as people and I have learned that the response has been good. I hope no one thinks I am a garrulous old lady.