Allez elan!

| 12 Dec 2016 | 05:38

graying new york


A friend’s husband died last week and I went, in the pouring rain, to the memorial. So did about 300 other people. The husband had been a “personage” in the community. It was beautiful, and sad. He had been ill for many months ... but still. And he was 94 years old ... but still. Death is death, no matter what age. Final, the end, finis. And at my age, there are more and more funerals and memorials to attend and weep at. All I can think of as solace is to enjoy life, to live it with “elan,” as a friend of mine says. The dictionary describes elan as having energy, style and enthusiasm. That’s all easier if you don’t have arthritis, fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis, plus bad knees. But it’s worth having as a goal. So elan, here I come. As my friend’s husband did, the idea is to live life every day to its fullest. I am going to try hard to do that.

I have zero influence with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Still, I have to have my say. The bus situation is awful. For one thing, they hardly come. Everyone I know and speak to is complaining; where are the buses? I’ve waited as long as a half hour on Broadway, Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues. And that’s only the beginning. When a bus does come, the driver is always announcing “move to the back?” Hah! When the walkers have to give way to the wheelchairs, and everyone else has to fend for himself, it’s a ridiculous situation. Yes, I understand that it’s wonderful that people with disabilities can now use public transportation. Of course it is. But along with that comes the responsibility to SEND MORE BUSES. It seems as though there’s been a cutback in service along with the new laws regarding disabilities. OK, I’ve had my say.

Did you know that some theater performances are being captioned? Shari Eberts writes that she attended her first open-captioned performance on Broadway. It was the musical “Tuck Everlasting” and asks the question, “Would you want to live forever?” The captions were sponsored by The Theater Development Fund, a city-based non-profit. They were set up discretely in one corner of the stage. Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate and blogs at Check it out or connect with her on Facebook. For more information from TDF about this service call 212-912-9770.

AARP has released a new e-book — “Where We Live: communities for All Ages” – that highlights more than 100 initiatives launched by mayors nationwide. New York City is included for work done by Mayors Bloomberg and de Blasio.

Wellness 65+ is a program initiated by Rite Aid Pharmacy that promotes health and well-being in older Americans. It includes health- and wellness-themed events the first Wednesday of every month and includes information on vaccinations, screenings, chronic diseases, smoking cessation and skin care protection. A free pharmacy consultation is available in many languages. This event also includes coupons for selected products and discounts.

One last note. Something strange is going on with the young waiters and waitresses in restaurants I’ve patronized lately. They all seem like robots programmed to smile and smile and then forget everything I’ve asked for. They’re so pleasant and accommodating, but if I’ve asked for jam or extra salad dressing, I never see it. If I’ve asked for water, it’s as if they have to go find a well to get it. And on and on they smile. But I’d rather have what I asked for than all those smiles. Plus, they seem to disappear into the ether once they’ve put the plate on the table. Gone, disappeared, along with my jam and my salad dressing and my water. Half the time they don’t even show up to get paid. Once I got so frustrated that I left an approximate amount on the table and hightailed it out. I’d rather have a grumpy waitperson who brings what I ask for and maybe comes by once in a while to see if I need anything. There must be a special room somewhere where the staff disappears while reapplying their smiles. But please, you can leave out the good cheer, just bring me the jam.

Happy Holidays to all. Let it snow, let it snow let it snow.