Counter Service Minutes. The courtesy I enjoyed in Manhattan completely erased the negative stereotype of rude New Yorkers that my grandparents tried to impose on the family. I bring home special minutes from the Reading Room of the NY Public Library, from Bryant Park, George Washington Square Park, MOMA, the Whole Foods Cafe in Columbus Circle, Starbucks near the Garden and Macys. It seemed that people really felt happy to see a customer, even though I didn't buy stuff at every venue.
My Affinia Minute. I get a nice feeling standing under the marquee of the Affinia Manhattan. I was surprised to hear Danny the doorman ask, "Are you back for the night with us?" Danny saved me a big chunk of change by recommending thin-cristed pizza one block away and by turning me towards a Long Island Railroad connection that I will use when visiting next time.
My Macy's Minute. For a little more than a minute, I watched the eyes of a Macy's doorman while he answered questions. His eyes never left a tight scan he was keeping of the shop floor while his verbal demeanour was calm and helpful.
My Deli Minutes. It takes less than a minute to walk through many midtown delis. I was on a mission, seeking Matzo Ball Soup mix. Although I failed in my mission, I got to see bag ladies helping themselves to fresh chicken while cashiers just nodded when the ladies mumbled past the open doors.
The Sunday New York Times. A decade ago, the Sunday NYT was as fat as my little finger is long. Sunday is the day for spending a minute looking at the NYT's major sections. If you care about good writing, you will buy the paper like I do. It costs $5 nowadays. I know people who spend a week reading it, so it's money well-spent.
I miss the Big Apple even more today, with so many heartfelt minutes now part of my travelogue.
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