Only in New York

What a wonderful late fall day in New York City. It started as a work day, work in the loosest of terms. I am most assuredly a mystery shopper. There is no mystery to the fact that I make money to eat and enjoy the service of various establishments while providing my thoughts on the overall experience. My “clients” have included all types of establishments, my favorite being restaurants. Today I evaluated a French bakery, Le Pain Quotidien , on 84th & Madison Avenue. My food was quite excellent; I ordered two soft boiled eggs and fresh bread. I highly recommend this place for breakfast should you visit New York (though they are a chain).

After work… :)… we descended to the lower regions of the earth to wait for the downtown 6 train. Though you don’t care, the 6 train connects with the E train at 51st street and Lexington Avenue. The E train goes to Penn Station, where we to meet friends to see the Disney movie, Enchanted. While waiting for our train we experienced art of the highest order.

From a long way off, I heard what sounded like gypsy music coming from the train platform. As we approached, I noticed two very dissimilar men passionately playing a romance from a forgotten age. It wasn’t until they finished that I found out one was from Moscow and the other from Beijing(the old timers still called it Peking). These communist relics have been playing together for three months, but one would never have been able to tell from the unmitigated synchronicity in their playing. These guys were good. They received, and earned, an unusual dollar from my tight-fisted right hand. I NEVER pay the subway musicians unless they are amazing, which in this case, they were. Here’s the finale:

Did you hear that applause? You should know that, as with my aforementioned money, New Yorkers don’t clap for street musicians. These guys were really something else. Where else in the world would you see a Russian accordionist playing Hungarian Gypsy music with a Chinese Erhu player on a subway platform. I love this place for this reason if for none other.

Then, and exceedingly against my will, we saw Enchanted. It was actually quite touching. If you are unaware, this is a new movie set entirely in New York. You know, the one with the princess getting sucked into real life…I wasn’t that thrilled either.

I couldn’t help but relate, in misty-eyed irony, with the main character from a warmer, friendlier place getting overwhelmed with the grimy, cruel face New York puts on for its new comers. It was fun to finally watch a “New York” movie here in the city, to finally get all the inside jokes. At one point, a big joke was made of the particular subway stop at which the heroine arrives. The entire theater got a big chuckle, but I had to wonder if this would have registered for a non NYC audience. Though a bit saccharine, the movie did remind me in some way why I moved here, so I guess that’s good.

Well, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow, the first time this year, so I’ll let you know how that goes.