Archive for the ‘Coincidence’ Category

Service of a Small World

Monday, February 6th, 2017

228 East 45th Street lobby

228 East 45th Street lobby

Manhattan had 450 million square feet of office space according to a September 2015 article in crainsny.com. Who needs a statistic: Look around and you see plenty of offices. So was I surprised when I noticed two people who also work in my innocuous 18 story office building [photo above] who lived in apartment houses I once lived in. By NYC standards, with from 19 to 30 apartments, they are considered small.

mount vernon nyI mentioned this coincidence to friend and colleague David Reich, who was born, brought up in and still lives in the small Westchester community of Mount Vernon. His wife Roz marvels at the number of people they meet—from Maine to California—each with roots in this tiny city, population 67,292 as of the 2010 census.

Such happenstances haven’t often occurred to me. I was a kid on a vaporetto in Venice with my mother when she waved at a woman I’d never before seen. I think she was a distant cousin and the fluke had such an impact on me that I remember she was tall, wore her dark hair in a large bun at her neck and had a speech disorder as she was deaf, but not her name.

Have you experienced this kind of happy coincidence?

vaparetto

Service of Conversations with Strangers: Craft Fair Brings Two Together

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

 

Walk to work

On my walk to work on Tuesday I saw a woman who looked strikingly smart: Fabulous floral patterned coat in muted colors, elegant purse, shoes and leather gloves. I almost snapped a photo of her from behind. She stood about 5-feet tall and had short gray hair—so she probably wasn’t a model–nor did her brisk gait catch my eye.

The look was a welcome break from the thousands of quilted black coats I’ve seen of late, mine included. Moreover, I don’t see that many women on the street looking so put together these days—they must be riding in limos or walking in different neighborhoods.

Etro coatI passed her, continued on my way, my mind on other matters. I’d long forgotten the pleasing visual image when suddenly I heard someone speaking to me, which is unusual on my daily jaunt, once I pass my block.

The voice came from the woman with the amazing coat. She said, “I have the same coat you’re wearing in several colors. I know how long you’ve had it—I bought mine at a craft fair!” [I’ve had the knit swing coat for at least 15 years and love it still. I also bought mine at a craft fair.]

American Fine Craft Fair Brooklyn exhibitor Jae Song's wearable art

American Fine Craft Fair Brooklyn exhibitor Jae Song’s wearable art

I admitted how I’d admired her coat and how tremendous she looked in it and that I’d almost snapped a photo. She said the coat was an Etro [not the one at right, above, though that coat is by Etro] and that she’d had it for four years.  Then she enthusiastically pointed out the chartreuse lining and I the remarkable detailing on the cuffs.

I often compliment a person’s dog which is met with mixed reactions for cultural reasons: Most Americans thank me and smile though generally foreigners don’t. [I live near the UN.] That was only one of the many reasons I was reluctant to say anything to this woman and I’m glad she approached me.Walking the dog

Since I routinely walk rather than take public transportation, where chatter happens more easily, and don’t shop as often as before, I don’t have as many such fun encounters with strangers as I used to and miss them. I know marriages that have happened as a result. Have you enjoyed any you can share?

Chatting on the bus

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