Story time, my dear readers. Because New York keeps on giving and giving. So many incredible random moments just keep coming my way that still warm my heart. Fun fact of the day: people are good.
Let me take you back to a cozy cafe on Broadway and 73rd street, Saturday night just following the linger of dusk. Luna and I had just settled ourselves into a corner seat by the window to catch up with ourselves after dancing our feet sore. I ambled up to the counter, my mind on some fruit. I inquired the price of the bananas and told the cashier lady I’d probably get one on my way out, then ambled back to my table. As soon as I’d settled in again, the gentleman who’d been behind me in the line was by my side, and thrust one of the bananas at me. “It must be your lucky day”, he said with an ever-so-slightly smug smile playing at his lips. I was speechless with surprise for a moment and then gushed out thanks over his thoughtfulness.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a banana as much as that one. What inspired this man to randomly show such kindness toward me I do not know, but it just about made my entire day. Kindness is best left simple and random, and entirely wholehearted – and shaped like a banana.
Night-time-cozy-cafe-in-NYC story #2.
After a long day of exploring and wandering I walked into a cafe on Monday night to take a moment to sit and wind down. I walked around the place appraising it and then stopped in front of the counter staring at the menu helplessly. Indecision. That’s when about three of the staff looked at me with a “hi”, “how are you”, and “nice ukulele”. I smiled back “thanks”, and the conversation rolled on from there. 15 minutes later I had three of the barista girls sitting in a circle around me as I sipped my bubble tea that their supervisor, Daniel, had decided to make me, and played my ukulele and told stories about Finland and the world as I know it.
As soon as the flow of customers eased up a little, Daniel took the chance and shot out to sit down with me to discuss life and the piano in the back corner of the cafe.
“Does anyone play it?” “No, we don’t want someone accidentally breaking it.” “Do you know how to play?” “No… Do you?” “Yes.” “Want to play it?” “YES.”
And so I ended up giving a mini piano concert in this cafe off of Times Square and walking away with a whole new circle of friends. And my complimentary bubble tea.
It feels good to have a place in the middle of this huge new city where I can go anytime and be welcomed with open arms.
I’ve seen a lot of the sights of New York and marveled at many things. But these random acts of kindness and this goodness of people are what I cherish most. It’s contagious. Sitting in the subway yesterday I found myself writing a little note wishing a happy February, “xox, a kind stranger”, and slyly dropping it into a woman’s purse in front of me. I hope it makes her smile.