I was standing on the platform of the Mets – Willets Point subway station yesterday – dripping sweat. It was 11:30 pm. What an adventure to be bathed all day. The players were shining in the sun, and so were my 50,000 viewing companions. At home, I’ve mostly lived in my air conditioning bubble, but not so in New York. I have a fan in my Airbnb room and I have it on full blast all night.
My day started with a woman, and ended with another one. Rohina and I met in the Airbnb kitchen. She works for Unicef and will soon be off to Africa for a short-term posting. There’s a gentle smile and a love for New York City. “It doesn’t matter that I’m brown and a woman. It’s New York!” I felt the instant connection.
Since Rohina leaves in a few days, and I get home around midnight each day, it’s likely we’ll never see each other again. Ah … the moments. I told her about one of the passwords I use: “lasttime”. You never know.
At the end of the day, I got off the subway at the 52 Street station. I was face-to-face with a old woman wearing a head scarf. She was crying. “I missed my stop!” I know all about being frazzled for a reason that other people might find frivolous. Such as me getting back on the bicycle. Compassion is needed. The woman told me the stop that was hers and I walked down the stairs with her and then back up to the other platform. “Get on the next train and then get off at the first stop: ‘Woodside – 61 Street’.” She asked me to wait with her on the platform, and I did. As the train inched away, we waved and smiled through the pane of glass.
At the US Open, the crowds were ginormous. I loved it! As we filed out of the tennis center in the late evening, at one point we were funneled towards a narrow stairway. We advanced slowly to the stairs. No one pushed. A woman to my left paused and let me go first. Lovely.
See? I wrote an entire post without mentioning tennis matches!