Thursday, January 14, 2010

"There's a lot to do"

There is a guy in our building who lives just down the hall from us, who works for ABC News as a news writer and can often be seen going in and out of his apartment at odd hours of the day or night. He sometimes returns from work at 7 AM and occasionally heads out to cover a story at 11 PM. A couple of days ago, I saw him leaving his apartment quite early at what seemed like a particularly brisk pace, and so I asked him if there was a fast breaking story he was hurrying to cover. "Naa," he answered. "This is my day off. But I'm a New Yorker, so I'm always in a hurry, there's a lot to do." I nodded, as he began to shuffle his feet impatiently waiting for the elevator. I wanted to follow up to find out what New York task was pushing him out the door in such a rush. I said something awkward about the cold weather and how it's hard sometimes to keep moving when the temperature is so low, but he just tilted his head in apparent agreement and stepped with me into the arriving elevator. "So," I went on, "what IS on your New York agenda for the day?" At that moment, I looked down at the small FAO Schwarz bag he was carrying, thinking he might be heading out for some major shopping. He caught my look and said, "I'm not an FAO Schwarz shopper, in fact, I'm not much of a shopper at all." I knew he was an observant Jew who often attended a nearby synagogue, but he usually wore his skull cap on those occasions. I wanted to know more, out of sheer curiosity, but before I knew it, he was striding out of the elevator and within a few moments had disappeared down the street. Just one of a million New Yorkers with so many things to do and so little time in which to do them.

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