Sunday, November 22, 2009

City Scape Adventures Continued*

Getting back to where I left off--

So there we were my husband & I in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. My favorite museum was a no go for us, due to it's being closed to the general public on Tuesdays. There were of course people mulling about in the lobby, some of whom I suspected were in our category, a nice mix of folks, from all over. As my husband & I were sitting, chatting & gently complaining to one another with an annoyance of how we checked out everything, except the MOMA's schedule of operation on the web. "We could go the the UN." he said. "Oh I don't know about that." was my kvetchy reply, it was by that time about 3pm. "What if by the time we get there, there's a hugh line, & we can't get in for the tour, then we've gone all the way across the city & we're right outside & too late to go in like last time." We had by chance ended up in front of the UN this past June when we had gone into the city to revisit, the Lower East Side & had gone to The Tenement Museum on that trip in. The fact that we were too late to visit the UN on that date was ok, as we had all ready accomplished our goal for coming into the city that day, but there was no way, I could bear, once again, being on the outside, & looking in to what was, at one time, an ancient childhood dream.

It was then that Ruth kindly introduced herself to me, & I followed suit. "I couldn't help but over hear your conversation." she said.
"Oh that's fine", I continued, as we were sitting next to one another on one of the MOMA'S upholstered benches. "Where do you travel in from?" I asked. "I'm from North Western Canada, Saskatchewan, but live in Manhattan now, I have an apartment on the East Side, near the river." "Oh, how exciting my father grew up on the Lower East side, also near the river." I asked her how she got around as we all know how vast NYC is, the buses, the subway, the cabs, & on foot, the choices are varied. She said it took a few months & she's got it down now, & in another month or so she'd be subletting a different apartment, which is a bit further out of Manhattan. She indicated that she lived alone, & was here until her visa ran out, & found it all interesting, & exciting.

"So you can go to the UN" she continued. I expressed to her how, it would be so frustrating to once again trapes across the city & not be able to go in. "They have a phone number, & you can call." Ruth was charming with her pretty blue eyes & blond hair of mid length, a lovely portrait; soft spoken, outwardly friendly & warm. She sat graciously poised during our conversation of which when one of the Tour Guides from the museum came over to her, to say she would be with the next group to tour.
Ruth explained to me during our initial conversation that she was legally blind, so when she was describing how she got herself around such a massive city with such enthusiasm & skill I was truly in awe, & most inspired by her tenacity of calm steady determination of her life's true compass.

Meanwhile as we comfortably sat visiting, my husband was on the phone with the UN, as the MOMA staff got the number for him, but we were unsuccessful he explained, as the call took him all over the, call relay map, so to speak. When he rejoined us, I was finally able to introduce him to Ruth, as I had tried minutes before as she had extended her hand, but he was no longer sitting next to me, those moments ago, but in a flash at the MOMA's desk, determined to make that call on our behalf. Ruth & I said our goodbyes & she wished us both good luck on what ever we were going to do with ourselves, for that day in the city.

"Well, it's the UN Ruth, we've decided, & we're going to take our chances. I think you've inspired us, as this is such an International destination, & here, we've met you all the way from Saskatchewan, that doesn't happen every day, it's only fitting that we go there today, as it's meant to be." It was a most heartfelt meeting & parting, ever so brief, yet deep with human connectedness & how we on this small, small planet, do reach out in friendship & in peace, no matter how brief. Yes, the kindness of strangers, not so strange.

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