So it’s February now in NYC. And the thermometer recently was in the teens with a wind chill in the minus single digits. You go into a restaurant for a cup of coffee to warm up and visit the bathroom first. You’re still pretty frozen when you get to the sink to wash your hands. You turn on both the hot and cold water faucets but only ice cold water comes out.
The restaurant isn’t a dive but like many owners of commercial properties in the city, I guess economies in operating their space comes with cutbacks to hot water in the taps. I don’t mind it in the summer months, but in the dead of winter, that cold water to wash your ice cold hands is pretty nasty.
I encountered the very same situation this morning in a ladies room on the third floor of Bloomingdales on 59th and Lex. Today, the temperatures are in the 20’s and my hands had already warmed up from taking 2 escalators up from the entrance, so the situation was a bit more tolerable, albeit still mighty unpleasant.
The stairs in NYC subway stations are an interesting athletic challenge, especially if you’re pregnant or, shall we say, of a certain age.
Not everyone is challenged. There are 80 and, I believe, 90 year olds still running in the NYC Marathon. For the rest of us mortals, the stairs, which can be extremely narrow in some stations, require that we keep up the pace, especially if behind us are subway riders with either better lung capacity or more flexible knee joints, who can ascend more quickly. The problem is particularly acute during rush hours, when impatience to get to an office on time or meet a date for dinner is palpable.
So my advice to my Wrinkles friends who might find this a problem: avoid rush hours, subway stations with narrow stairways (the 72nd Street westside IRT has stairways that are one lane only!) or intensify your aerobic workouts to better keep up with the crowd.
Six years ago, I moved to the Upper West Side in Manhattan, a neighborhood that could be described as a NORC, or naturally occurring retirement community. As described in Wikipedia, “A naturally occurring retirement community (NORC; ) is a term used to describe a community that has a large proportion of residents over 60 but was not specifically planned or designed to meet the needs of seniors living independently in their homes.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I’m part of that demographic, even though I can still jog along Riverside Drive (and terrify small dogs) and haven’t graduated to a walker or a cane yet, like so many of my neighbors.
This blog will attempt to capture some of the humor still possible to find as we deal with getting older–especially in New York City, which, honestly, can be the best place and the worst place in which to do that.