EAST SIDE ENCOUNTERS
BY ARLENE KAYATT
What’s age got to do with it? — Man easily in his ninth decade. Seated in front of a crowded bus around 5 p.m. on a weekday. Approaching 79th Street, the bus speaker intones the usual call for riders to use the back door when exiting the bus. Most riders don’t heed the message and leave through the front door — not least of all because it’s difficult to navigate exiting the back door, nothing to hold onto when stepping off the bus, step too high, door doesn’t open. This is Manhattan. Everybody’s got a story. A woman, easily in her in her seventh or eighth decade, was walking through the bus to exit from the front door. While passing the nonagenarian, he wanted to know, “What’samatter, Miss, you can’t go out the back door? I do all the time.” Without missing a beat, she let him know that “When I get to be your age, I’ll let you know.” Guess if you live long enough you get to do it all. Maybe.
Check out the old-fashioned way — I’m usually game to supplement my digital newspapers and magazines with a good deal online subscription for print editions. Old and new media work for me. However, I’m not into new age payment by credit card only for subscriptions. When the subscription ends, it’s over for me. If I want to renew, I’ll renew. Not into automatic renewal, which is usually required under the terms of a subscription when you use a credit card. The Daily News and The New Yorker allow for checks. The Wall Street Journal requires credit payment and automatic renewal unless YOU cancel. The burden’s on the subscriber. Not the way to go to get subscriptions from those whose apps don’t belong to Gen Xers or Millennials.
Speaking of credit cards — Woman loses her credit card. Retraces her steps. Realizes she may have left it in the restaurant she had been to the previous day. Calls. Gives her name and says it’s a VISA. Yes, the cashier has it. Come and get it. She arrives at the restaurant. Tells cashier she called and that they have her card. Cashier goes through a pack of lost credit cards. Finds the woman’s card and gives it to her. Happy ending? Not so fast. Woman, card in hand, admonishes the cashier for not asking for her ID before handing over the card and demands to see the manager. Don’t know how the story ended but let’s not forgot how the restaurant got the card and who lost it. Maybe she’ll bad-mouth the restaurant? Or sue?. Or both? Oy.
No more whine, for now — I’m of a mind that happy hour prices for wine should be no more than $5. That makes for a happy hour. Maybe chips. Maybe pretzels. Maybe not. Five dollars for wine in the late afternoon (many happy hours start at 4 p.m.), early evening is just right for the drinking to begin. To my surprise, there was one such happening right under my nose in the unlikely location of a classy, high-end restaurant and bar, Parlor Steak and Fish House, at 90th/Third. Hardly a sports bar. However, the several TV screens spanning the wall facing the bar blare sport channels. Happy hour prices at other bars start at $6. Sorry. Only a $5 option starts the clock for moi. Here, call drinks are $8 and beer $4. Potato chips, gratis, were house made. Getting hungry, I ordered the cheese plate, $16. Selection of three with charred crusty bread. Instead of dried fruit with the cheese, as promised on the menu, there was strawberry cut in half. I like my $5 wine and $16 cheese plate with dried fruit. Next time.
When a cat calls — More and more I’m seeing people on the streets along with their pets asking for money to feed themselves and/or their pet. When I see the cat or dog, I get concerned that the animal may be a prop for the solicitation. And worry about what happens to the animal after the solicitation. And how they got the animal in the first place. So when I saw the same man, cat in arms, standing outside several supermarkets regularly, I decided to find out. Turns out, it’s always the same cat. Name’s Boo Boo. The man got Boo Boo from someone on a bus who was giving it away. Said it was “fixed.” Don’t know Boo Boo’s gender. The cat’s well-cared for and lives with the man. Passers-by drop money in a hat. Or leave canned and dry food for the cat. Life on the street. Not easy.
Sadly noting the passing of Maggi Peyton, whose career in NYC public service spanned some 35 years. Highly regarded and beloved by all who knew and worked with her, Maggi was the quintessential insider and go-to person in NYC politics. At the time of her death, Maggi was serving as director of Arts & Culture in Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer’s office. She started her career in 1975 working for Congresswoman Bella S. Abzug’s campaign for the U.S. Senate and then worked for four of Manhattan’s Borough presidents — Andrew Stein, David Dinkins, C. Virginia Fields, Scott M. Stringer, Gale Brewer. This year’s Halloween Parade will be dedicated to Maggi’s honor.