And the children shall lead - With all the kerfuffle and beyond these days, it was nice to see that the younger – really really younger generation (like those between 4 to maybe 13) – are showing their ability to prepare for a better world. First, there was the handwritten note, signed by 4½ -year-old Madeline and attached to a tree on East 89th St east of Lexington, asking locals walking their dogs to please clean up their dog's poop. And with a no-nonsense, no-excuses approach, she pinned a stash of baggies to the tree. Good for you, Madeline. And then there's a sprouting of dance studios for children in the neighborhood. One's on East 89th just west of Second Ave. on the south side of the street. Says "Irish dancing" and it's for children. The other's on Third Ave. between 88th and 89th on the east side of the street. This one's for dancing, no specialty. But girls can be seen dancing in place throughout most days. Nice looking forward in those bleak days. Here's to dancing and clean streets.
On the job - There was a time when you heard the expression "busman's holiday" and knew that it referred to someone who was taking a vacation or a day off and spending it doing something closely resembling their regular work. When the definition came into being, I doubt women were driving buses. Hence, the designation, "busman." Anyway, on a recent coronavirus-challenged bus ride – maybe 10 riders on a late weekday afternoon – the bus driver, a male, pulled into each stop along the avenue and announced, after stopping for 10 minutes, that "we will be leaving at the next green light." When he heard mutterings from some riders, he further intoned, "Look, there's no traffic. Just take it easy. You'll get there. No worry. Don't hurry." This busman may have found himself feeling like he was on a holiday and was taking the opportunity to enjoy the perks of less traffic and a lightened ridership. But riding a bus is not this bus-riding New Yorker's idea of a staycation. So, please, Mr. Bus Driver, get on with the ride. If you want a busman's holiday, take a bus tour.
Cats back - After writing about the loss of shelf space for bodega cats because of gentrification, I've learned about a resurgence of cats in small and not-so-small businesses. The felines occupy shelf space like that taken over by the pretty black cat at Sebastian's newspaper and convenience shop on Lexington Ave, opposite the 92nd Street Y, where she's perched on the store's now empty shelves (think coronavirus). Not to be overlooked is Shadow, a "working cat," who strolls the spacious Six Corner Marketplace at the corner of 106th and Broadway. Shadow's presence was noted and her photo appeared in the online West Side Rag at the time of the store's opening. Looks like "bodega cat" is a bygone nomenclature and perhaps calling them "working cats" will require a union? Stay tooned.