The New York Relationship…

nyc storm2

{The view from downtown moments before an epic downpour}

One of the (many) things that I am really looking forward to about our wedding is having our friends and family experience New York. I’ve now been living here for five years, and for someone who moved around like we did when we were younger, that is quite significant (it’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere since I was 11!) For many of our family and friends it will be their very first time visiting the big apple, and I feel a sincere sense of responsibility to show them the authentic side of the city, our favorite spots mentioned on our website, and dispel any fears about visiting.

One of the lingering ideas that so many people seem to have about New York is that people are mean. and it’s simply not true. People are busy, and not nearly as warm and chatty as in the south. But if you ask for help, rarely have I seen people ignore you or say no. Exhibit A happened to me just a few weeks ago, and it was one of the strangest series of events I have experienced in this city in a long time.

I was preparing to visit the boy in LA for the last time before he comes back for a visit this month. I ran a series of errands around the city, and was running to grab some dumplings after a quick mani and before coming home to pack and catch the train to JFK. I stopped into THE BEST dumpling place, and was commenting on my friend’s photos before throwing my phone back in my bag, grabbing dumplings and heading home. The walk home was fairly uneventful. I was concentrating on not dumping my dumpling sauce, and keeping a sense of where the man talking to himself was behind me. When I got upstairs I reached into my bag to text my mom…no phone. I tore my bag apart, ripped apart the mail, and after a small swearing outburst grabbed my bag to hightail it back to the dumpling joint. There was only one other girl in the restaurant, so surely I left it on the counter when I was paying and it would still be there (please, still be there).

I sprinted into the restaurant and asked the nice guy at the counter if anyone turned in a phone. He said no, and no one had been there expect me and the girl who just left. Here is where the strange twist of events began. As I started searching under chairs and counters, he offered to log into my apple account and track my phone! I had heard about this app but had no idea if it was even on my phone. He assured me it was, let me log in, clicked a series of buttons, and quickly informed me that my phone was walking across the Williamsburg Bridge. I don’t live in Brooklyn- yikes.

The cashier let me use his phone to call my own phone, and shockingly someone picked up! He told me that he “picked up someone’s phone” and was halfway back to Brooklyn. I was curious and of course annoyed, so I asked where he picked it up. He said, along one of the streets I covered while walking home. It must have fallen out of my purse somewhere along the route? He was happy to return it, but unfortunately the trains weren’t working so I needed to go to Brooklyn. My first thought was great, I’m going to meet the old man talking to himself in a back alley of an unfamiliar neighborhood. We are t-4 hours from departure time.

I quickly thanked the cashier and ran to the L train (which was now running?) to the agreed upon Bedford Avenue stop. I needed to call or text the man with my phone when I arrived, and of course I no longer had a phone. I walked into a restaurant on the corner and kindly begged the waiter to let me use their phone to call my own phone. Of course the manager was on their phone, but the waiter actually handed me his own cell phone! That’s two points for NYC. The man with my phone told me that he had to quickly change his clothes, apologized for making me wait!, and would meet me shortly. I told him what I was wearing before sweating and checking my watch incessantly on the corner. Not more than 15 minutes later, a man with a hat, ponytail and several tattoos quickly walked up, handed me my phone, and walked away. I thanked him profusely as another man on the corner literally gasped in disbelief, and just like that he was gone.

I’ll never know if he saw me drop the phone, or actually just picked it up off the street several minutes after I was gone, but at this point I had a plane to catch. I sprinted back down the subway, ran up to my apartment, threw some items in a bag, and in blur managed to get myself on the LIRR out to JFK. It’s days like these that make me realize, I really love this city, and can’t wait for my loved ones to experience it too.