Dancing in the streets: The block closings in front of some synagogues in October this year were for partying. Purely old-time religion celebrating the end of the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah. Two temples, Chabad of the Upper East Side on E. 77th Street and Temple Israel on E. 75th Street had the streets closed on their respective blocks to mark the end of the annual cycle of public Torah readings and the beginning of the new cycle. The closed streets were filled with dancing, singing, crafts and celebrating. Temple Israel had food trucks. Next year, Oct 24th.
Window rights: Cool weather finally setting in. M103 southbound bus air conditioned and not too crowded. Passenger seated near window in front of the bus opened the window. Passenger in window seat immediately behind wanted it closed. Too much wind coming in. The front window passenger insisted that, because the window release was closer to her, she had the right to decide whether the window stayed open or closed. “No” claimed the passenger in the seat behind her. Consensus of those standing was that the rider seated closest to the window release wins. Case closed. Window open.
Top of the Hill(ary) list: Comes as no surprise that Upper East Sider and Democratic Party power player Trudy Mason has been named to the Hillary for New York Leadership Council. She joins a group of over 100 elected officials - including the Governor, Congress, Assembly Members, former Mayor Dinkins as well as community, coalition and grassroots leaders -- who will be working for Clinton’s election. The current mayor, Delisted.
Boomer and millennial bond: The 60ish woman couldn’t believe her eyes. The 20-something woman seated in Cohen pocket park on E. 57th St. was holding the same version of a Samsung Galaxy phone - of not so recent vintage - that she had. Of course, the millennial supplemented hers with a smart phone. The boomer quickly approached the millennial and asked how to text on the phone. All she ever got was templates. The millennial took the cell in hand, made some magic moves, showed the boomer where to press on the keyboard to get to the ABC/abc mode. And that’s how the text was won.
Group texting: Friends of friends of friends are not my friends and hearing their text beep at 5 a.m. is not appreciated particularly when the texter is informing the minions that he’s on his way to Ashville and hopes that Leah got the name of the party goods store. Ungroup me, please.
MTA goes MIA: Missing local bus stop at 90th and 2nd. No notice before. No notice after. There’s nothing new about construction or repairs at bus stops. And perhaps there’s nothing new about the MTA dissing the public by not doing its job. Social media, posting signs at the bus stops. Simple, cost effective stuff -- none of which requires a fare increase.
Pomp and Circumstance x 2: Tams and kilts and drums and bagpipes hardly an everyday sight or sound in New York, but I’ve encountered them twice in a two-week period. First, in front of the firehouse on East 51st when Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney commemorated the 150th Anniversary of Engine 8, Battalion 8, Ladder 2 by reading the resolution she placed in the Congressional Record. Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro and State Senator Liz Krueger were on hand to honor the company ... And then to the sight of tams and kilts and the sound of drums and bagpipes came the swearing in by Mayor Dinkins of the 68th Assembly District’s Leaders John Ruiz, Melissa Mark-Viverito, John C. Rodriguez, and the AD’s County Committee Members, including former Upper East Sider Susan Hochberg.
Chalking it up: Blackboard in front of the newly opened Crepes & Delicies on East 86th: “Happiness is Just 1 Crepe Away.” The same message appears in the West Side location. Rather indelicate even if there’s a porta-potty on premises.
Arlene Kayatt’s East Side Encounters will run bi-weekly in Our Town. The column marks a return to Our Town for Kayatt, who has lived on the Upper East Side for more than 40 years. She worked for the paper from 1973 to 1986, as a reporter and as managing editor. Know of something she should include in the column? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org