Readers, I have failed you! When I wrote about my birthday in NYC on Thursday, I forgot to mention two of the best parts of my day: Fashionable Man and Talking Man.
After I left the Coffee Foundry in search of lunchtime eats, I walked back down W. 4th Street towards 6th Avenue. As I approached the intersection, a well-dressed African American couple in their 20’s walked towards me. I did not really get a good look at the woman because it was the man’s attire that got my attention.
Trim in body frame and sporting a closely trimmed beard, he wore black boots that tapped crisply as he walked, a black hat with a flat top and a wide brim, and a knee-length pale fur coat with rectangular dark brown patches throughout. The man was stylin’, and I thought to myself, Now this is something I would never see in Boston. I thought of the lyrics of Thrift Shop by Macklemore and Lewis playing, but this man knows how to dress impeccably.
Seeing this man brightened my day. I remembered that this was one of the things I loved best about NYC: people can dress in a chic and unusual manner, and it is accepted and celebrated as part of the cultural makeup of the city.
Shortly after I got seated at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on W. 8th Street and MacDougal, an African American man in his 40’s sat across from me. He wore Rayban sunglasses, and his head was shaved. After he removed his eyeglasses, I thought that his face reminded me of the singer Seal’s face, but with a rounder face and round cheeks. He wore a cream shirt and dark brown vest.
At first, I thought he was talking to someone on his cell phone. I did not see any, and I tried to figure out whether he was wearing an ear piece. I stole a couple of a short looks so that he did not think that I was staring at him. I realized that he was not talking to anyone else, just to himself. He would occasionally interrupt his mumbling with a small, hearty little laugh. I tried to ignore him, but I kept wanting to know what he was saying. After catching a few words which seemed to be a commentary on who was doing what in the store, I put my earbuds in and turned on my music.
A little while later, he got up to look at a magazine on the back wall that was facing me. He started to flip through a magazine while he looked around the store. Then he started pumping his left knee and wiggling his hips a little bit to the rhythm of the music that Stumptown was pumping into the store. I started to smile, and I put my head back into my book. He sat back down with a magazine, but he really wasn’t into reading it.
Spending the day in NYC made me happy to be around unusual and interesting people again. I have missed my funky hometown. It is nice to be back.