New York City continued…Vegans, Metro-Sexuals,Transcendental Fashionistas and more!

by Debra Chappell

View from Broadway:

Mood Reading: ZZZZ’s (amazing what a good night’s sleep will do – got up and took a 3 mile walk this morning!)

So… on my adventure in the big apple, I managed to make it through the airport and to my hotel unscathed, meet with my literary agent the following day for a 2-hour lunch, and negotiate the subway system (and the surly ticket agent thereof) with minimal collateral damage…so far, so good.

When I left the lunch with my agent in the Flat Iron District, I returned to my hotel in Midtown via the “Uptown” line. I decided to head to Central Park to take a walk and digest all the things my agent and I discussed along with the pile of pasta I’d eaten like there was no tomorrow. Though steps away from the allure of 5th Avenue with all of its temptations… Saks, Versace, Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton et. al., just the thought of cramming my now over-stuffed self into a pair of tight, trendy skinny jeans to check out my backside under those god-awful fluorescent lights in the 3-way mirror of some designer dressing room was enough to make me…well, (to put it nicely) lose the lunch I’d just paid a small fortune for! No, what I needed now was a good, long walk.

The skies had cleared and the sun appeared along with about a trillion people suddenly filling the sidewalks.  Where they all come from is beyond me, but I’ve yet to step out onto a New York City sidewalk at anytime of the day or night and not be instantly surrounded by humanity of every sort, shape, and flavor. As I strolled through Central Park, there were families with kids in strollers, hipsters on bikes, some old timers that looked like they’d been occupying the same park bench for the past 45 years, business people talking into their Bluetooths, texting, and twittering all at the same time, and one or two absolute whacko’s who looked scary as hell but somehow against the others, seemed to fit right in!

I saw one tres chic woman in four inch heels out walking her just as tres chic hounds, all wearing pretty exquisite coats that obviously take some effort to maintain.  Hers was a knee-length white, boiled-wool, sleekly tailored number with gold buttons down the front and intricate braiding at the epaulettes, ala Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (Yeah, that’s how I dress to walk my dog too!) She had perfectly coiffed hair and a perfectly formed, permanent pout to match; courtesy I’m sure of one too many weekly Botox treatments.  She was creating quite a scene as her hounds, all three of them, those svelte, long legged, skinny hyper-type that look like they’re on the same vegan diet as their owner, were trying to take off in three different directions and she was literally wound up in all their different leashes. I kept looking around for the cameras thinking surely the whole spectacle was some sort of made for TV movie, or a new Reality show at least.  Apparently she was hoping the same thing.  She started posing for cameras that weren’t there and blowing kisses to her imaginary fans, and after a few minutes of observing people walk past her either shaking their heads or taking no notice at all, I came to the realization that whacko’s come in all shapes, sizes and designer wear too.

As I had booked tickets to a Broadway show for that evening, I left this most entertaining, free afternoon performance to go back to my hotel and get ready for the professional one.  I took a quick bath, changed my clothes, and walked the block or two from my hotel to the August Wilson Theater on 52nd St. to see Jersey Boys.  Though I had thought I left myself plenty of time, I was surprised to see a long line snaking around the building, complete with security guards monitoring the throng when I arrived.  I joined the end of the line and waited along with everyone else.

After a few minutes of waiting patiently, I was struck by the age of the theatergoers, seemed to be a lot of young people and not particularly particular about how to dress for a night out on the town.  My keen intuition and well-honed skills of observation prompted me to casually ask the guy in front of me with several tattoos and row of piercings in each ear, through his nose and both lips, “so… you here to see Jersey Boys too eh?”  Something told me in the way he smiled back at me that there was a slight possibility I may be in the wrong location. He laughed… and then his friends laughed… and then several people standing in front of them turned around and laughed.  The original guy was actually pretty nice though when he explained smiling, “No, we’re in line for Counting Crows, you want the building next door.”

I thanked him, stepped out of the line, and slunk away hastily, reaching the August Wilson Theater next door with minutes to spare.  I made my way to my seat and noticed there was an empty seat next to me.  Just before the curtain came up, a young single woman hurried in breathlessly and clambering over the several people in the row already seated, sat down next to me.  As she settled in, we chatted waiting for the show to start. She explained she had just come directly from the airport.  She was in New York on business for one night only and decided what the heck, she wanted to see this show so came by herself, as none of her colleagues would join her.  I told her I was solo as well.  She inquired if I was in New York on business too and when I told her I was, she asked me that question that people always mindlessly ask, “and what do you do?”

But every time I answer it, I still get such a thrill.  I still can hardly believe it, I still feel so lucky to be doing what I absolutely love, with the chance and prospect of it becoming a “second career”.

I smiled at her, silently giggling like hell inside, and told her, “I’m a writer.”