Monday, March 17, 2008

The New Rage Times

One of the things that I most looked forward to, when moving to the US, was being able to read the New York Times every day. My weekends, back in Canada, would always culminate in a trip to the local newstand (which was actually a shop) where I would get my full week of NY Times (they would come in two days late, except for the Sunday edition, which arrived that morning) as well as The Sunday Buffalo News and the weekend edition of the Globe & Mail. I would get a decaf latte and spend three hours curled up in my club chair. It was heaven.

Once home, I would go for the previous Monday's Times first, it having my absolute favorite column - "Metropolitan Diary", where New Yorkers and visitors alike share stories about the city. There's something so refreshing about the stories, which often encapsulate the elusive... je ne sais quoi, that makes NYC (and more specifically Manhattan) my very favorite place to be. Here's an example from today's paper:

Dear Diary:

Weekends at Fairway can be tense.

As I was waiting in line for fish on a recent Saturday, a young man two places ahead of me began to call out his order. The man behind the counter had not seen him waiting and told him to get in the back of the line.

The young man refused impolitely. A middle-aged man between the young man and me sided with the counterman and reiterated the instruction to get in the back of the line. The younger man took offense and called the middle-aged man a name not to be repeated.

This resulted in the older man’s pushing the younger man, the younger man’s spitting in the face of the older man, and the older man’s lunging at the younger man and receiving a solid punch below the eye.

A large Fairway employee soon appeared to separate the combatants. The younger man disappeared into the recesses of Fairway.

The middle-aged man, holding his already red and swollen left cheek, reclaimed his place in line ahead of me.

Before I could ask if he was O.K., he turned and called to the counterman, “I’ll have a half-pound of halibut.”

Michael Bernstein

I know it's incredibly cliche, but I have to say it... only in New York! Perfection!

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