Today I am grateful for kind New Yorkers. When we were in NYC the other day we did a lot of walking. Tons. Bloody stump walking. But we only had the one day, so time forced us to take a cab to our lunch reservation at Loeb’s Boathouse in Central Park.
The cab dumped us off at 72nd and 5th Avenue. We were assured by a kind hotel worker where we wandered into for information, that our restaurant was “right there”. Standing at one of the hundreds of park entrances, with no restaurant in sight, we strolled towards the map, looking clueless and foreign. We sat on a bench to discuss which path to take, but knew that if we took the wrong one we might get lost in the maze of the park and miss our reservation.
A young man in a pedicab zipped up to the curb in front of our bench. In an island accent he said, “I will take you. Where you want to go?” Yeah right. Heard that one before. This isn’t my first time at the rodeo. We were strapped and looked vulnerable AND in a hurry, but I didn’t want him to know that.
“Five dollar,” he said. I mentioned that he didn’t even know where in the park we were going. “No matter. Five dollar.” He was very nice, with a wonderful, genuine smile. After a quick exchange of glances between my sister and me, we decided it was worth it. When we started to haul our clumsy butts into the contraption, I said, “It’s my sisters birthday!”
“You birthday? Today!” He said to Judy, very excited. “No charge! No charge! I take you!”
It wasn’t very far, but to have this kind, young New Yorker transplant take us there for nothing was a great testimony to human kindness and quick decision making. If I had a business I’d hire him in a New York minute!
When we got there I pulled out a few bucks for a tip at least. “No, no! No tip! Is free! I take you!” He insisted. I insisted more, but I had to practically force him to take it. That is why today I am grateful for kind New Yorkers. . .no matter where they originally come from.