New York City is loud, fast and occasionally rude. (We have encountered way more friendliness than rudeness, but for some reason the rudeness is remembered more clearly.) But there is one thing I love to do here that helps me relax like no other thing.
I love going to neighborhood fairs and walking around them until I find one particular booth. You always find it and it stands out as being completely different from anything around it. It is the tent with the ten massage chairs all lined up and someone from another country telling you how tense you look and how you need their help and how it is $10 just for you. I fall for this every time. I refuse to buy anything unless the price is “special, just for me.”
So today we found ourselves on Mulberry Street in the middle of a Saint “someone” festival. It was wonderful. There was deep fried everything and jewelry for sale and games that you will always lose. The perfect carnival. And there was the booth in the middle of the festival. A woman grabbed my arm, sat me down and started rubbing my back. There is something about getting my back rubbed in the middle of the street by a woman yelling Chinese at her coworkers while listening to a band dressed in red, white, and green – for little Italy – that relaxes me. And the band was great too because they had hats that looked like the Italian flag but two of the band members were Asian and one woman was clearly of Irish decent. It made me happy. And it relaxed me. And it helped me believe that perhaps I am not as screwed up as that ‘Italian’ band.