Service of a Wednesday in New York, When Waiting in Line was Fun

September 25th, 2023

Categories: Lines, Museums

The first poster on the right promotes the Manet/Degas exhibit that just opened at the Met Museum.

If you’re lucky and you’re in line with the right people, waiting can be as much fun as the anticipated event or make a terrible time palatable—such as during a visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles in NYC.

Gridlock during UN General Assembly week

I was early and at the front of the line for the Metropolitan Museum to open the afterhours entrance to The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium. The goal: to attend the oversold “Dialogue: The Louvre and the Met,” featuring Laurence des Cars, President-Director, the Louvre and Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director and CEO, The Met. Ms. Des Cars was here for the opening of the “Manet/Degas” exhibit, a collaboration of the two directors. I was lucky to have seen the exhibit in Paris in the spring. Two days after the lecture I visited the member preview of this treat of a show.

When the Met Museum is closed, people use this door to enter for events at The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium.

My first conversation was with a woman who, like me, was waiting for a friend. We shared our experiences navigating the east side of Manhattan with all the street closures because the UN General Assembly was in town. The city had heavy hitters to protect like Presidents Biden and Zelenskyy.

Soon I moved back in the line to make it easier for my friend to find me. My phone was in dire need of a charge, and I discovered that my portable charger was on the blink. The kind man ahead of me, who also was waiting for a friend, let me plug my phone into his charger. Behind me was a man who couldn’t find on his phone the confirmation email that would be his passport to the lecture. We helped him locate it.

Once we were all together we learned that the generous charger man’s friend is a pediatric bone marrow transplant doctor who handles some 70 cases a year. My friend had worked for City of Hope, a leader in cancer care. Small world.

Have you enjoyed brief encounters with interesting people while waiting for a doctor’s appointment, a renewed driver’s license or for a store or event to open its doors?

“The Collector of Prints,” by Degas at the Manet/Degas exhibit in Manhattan, a collaboration between the Met and the Louvre.

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4 Responses to “Service of a Wednesday in New York, When Waiting in Line was Fun”

  1. B.C. Said:

    While traveling in Egypt many years ago, we were waiting in line to see the pyramids. A woman ahead of me started to straighten her hair in the back of her head. I noticed what I thought was my College ring. I approached her, and sure enough, she had gone to my College, but was a few years behind me. Our chatting made the time inline go quickly. That was such fun!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    B.C.

    Super example.

    The motor vehicles dept in Manhattan has tried to relieve some of the pain of driver’s license renewal by opening a satellite office or two in addition to the main office downtown. {I don’t know if these still exist after the pandemic.} One year long ago, on the day after Thanksgiving, when headshots were first required, I spent several memorable hours in EACH line–one for photos, one to identify myself etc. Chatting with those around me helped me from going bonkers, though I vividly recall the experience.

    As I reached the last line, I noticed that no doubt due to exhaustion, the last clerk had clicked M not F in her computer. I figured it would be easier to fix this on the spot than explaining the mistake to any future police people. My neighbors in line held my spot and I walked right up to the clerk who fixed the error.

  3. Dawn Gour Said:

    While I enjoy chatting with certain people who are waiting in line for coffee, or at a bar to buy a drink, others frown upon it.

    Recently I was at the Capital Cider in Seattle waiting to purchase another glass of apple cider and saw a young woman before me who got a tasting of different ciders on tap. I asked her which ones she tried and decided to buy. I was surprised to learn that she purchased the “forefathers” apple cider, the same one I was waiting to get. Soon we started chatting about each other’s lives only to realize that we had so much in common. We worked for the same employers, and lived in the same cities, recently gone through similar life experiences of breakups and heartaches. We decided to exchange phone numbers and grab coffee or lunch together to learn more about how we found ourselves in Seattle running our own businesses.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Dawn,

    I loved this story. I trust the two of you will forge a long-lasting friendship. Here’s to lines in beautiful places!

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