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Today I wished I had super powers–powers that could maybe cause pain. I’m talking something that might send an electric shock through someone, or shoot stinging gamma rays their way. Or something that would MAKE them do something they didn’t want to do. Let me explain.
I was walking up Broadway listening to Pandora and I saw in the distance a big bulky guy in a white wife beater, white tennis shoes, and white sweat pants. He was wearing gold-rimmed sunglasses and had really short blondish brown hair and was very muscular. He had two big and sturdy-looking dogs on leashes. I couldn’t really tell what breed they were but one was busy taking a crap in the middle of the sidewalk while this dumb ass owner casually watched.
I started asking myself ‘Is he going to walk off? No he’s not going to leave it. It’s right in the middle of the sidewalk.’ There was just something about the guy’s attitude that made me think that he would leave it there. And I was right. The dog finished and they just started walking away. An older lady coming from the other way down Broadway started yelling at him. I had my ears still plugged in so I couldn’t hear the exact exchange. I just saw her yelling and him turning to look at her with his big dumb face and then shrugging his shoulders and walking away.
Though I was farther away I yelled after him ‘What a Jerk!’ Feeling only slightly better after my outburst, I turned and went into the 99cent store to pick up the bottle of vinegar I had come for.
Coming out of the store a few minutes later, I turned to look at the offending pile of shit and saw this little boy about two or three walking towards it and then—right through it! As the little boy walked past me, I looked down at his blue tennis shoes and saw the front of one of them covered in dog shit!
Gawd-did that make my blood boil. I just thought of how that little boy could end up putting his fingers in it or getting it on the bus seat as he crawled up onto it or who knows what all.
I was so angry that if that guy would have been anywhere around, I would have run up to him and started crazily yelling at him. I figured if he shot me, I’d have gone down for a noble cause. Sadly, he was no where to be seen and I had to walk home stewing in my own juices instead.
I so wished I had super powers so I could have zapped that jerk as he walked away–and kept zapping him until he cleaned up his dog’s mess. I would have felt so much better.
I’ve always known that there is a huge discrepancy in how the schools are run versus big business, but I got a real taste of just how different this past week.
I worked a few days at a well-known corporate entity here in Manhattan this past week–I was a temp helping out on an event. I had never been in this building before and did not have a clue what was inside. It was beautiful, clean, and full of natural light, and there were mountains of free food everywhere for the employees and this food was available all day long: piles of whole fresh fruit, cups of cut fruit, fresh cut-up veggies, bread products, coffee machines, cereal dispensers, candy, chips, nuts, cookies, juice machines, loose candy dispensers, every type of milk one could imagine for the coffee or cereals, and more. I watched, mesmerized, as one poor guy wheeled out a cart filled with containers of hard-boiled eggs, one after another. The minute he walked out with the cart, people would swarm grabbing one and two of the little containers. He kept this up for about an hour and then there were no more hard-boiled eggs and it was only 8:00am. Seems the early bird not only gets worms, but also the much coveted hard-boiled eggs.
This cornucopia of food is on display and available for anyone to grab all day long on the main floor as well as on other floors. I only worked on one other floor but it also had a reduced version of snacks and fruit and coffee products. One of the event attendees commented, ‘on the amazing amount of food everywhere.’ She, too, was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of all the free goodies.
The very next day I met a friend who is a special ed teacher at one of the city’s public schools. We decided since I was walking by her school that I’d swing by and she’d join me. We were planning on meeting up with our significant others to check out a foreign film at the New York Historical Society Museum.
When I arrived, she took me for a quick wander through the school. Over 500 students attend this little school along with another separate floor devoted to an additional group of middle-schoolers. She showed me her room where she gets a tiny desk in a corner for her computer and where she shares the room with two other teachers (who each have their own little desk areas). The classroom is old and rather scruffy looking and the small desks and chairs for the kids take up a good share of that small space. Everything is old and well-used. She is lucky though, in that this room has windows overlooking the street so there is light-and there is also AC!
My friend said she spent all last year using one of the small student chairs as her desk chair. There is one computer for the kids in the classroom, but all the furniture throughout the school is old and the building is from the 50s and could definitely use some improvements. There is no elevator and the building has multiple floors.
Just think how much better things would be if the corporations of America were made to donate a small portion of their profits to the schools. Schools could be filled with hi-tech computers, have new Leed-certified buildings, new restrooms, energy efficient lighting, elevators, and whatever tools teachers need to prepare the kids for the future.
It might mean less hard-boiled eggs for their employees though.
I spent last week in Atlanta working a trade show. We stayed in downtown Atlanta and I have to say there really isn’t much downtown there. For being a big city in the South it really is suffering from a lack of personality. It’s like the boring uncle who comes to dinner. He’s nice enough–but he’s not fun, witty or funny and so hanging out with him is really not a good time. Atlanta is that boring uncle.
I am so glad I don’t live there and that I’m now back in Manhattan. New York will always be the fun friend whom you never get tired of hanging out with. And it doesn’t take much to have a great time in this city.
Yesterday was beautiful and we went to listen to a free concert in a beautiful little church on Broadway with some friends. Afterwards, we all went up to their rooftop and enjoyed wine, cheese, and a beautiful view of the Hudson.
There’s a reason why they sing about New York.
In case anyone is interested in earlier stories…
My old, very wordy blog is located at Blogger at the following address:newyork-amemoir.blogspot.com