Spring has arrived and an old man’s thoughts turn to … a walk. We decide that the prospect of sun and 75 degree weather is the perfect day for a picnic in Central Park. We’ll take the subway to 79th Street, walk to Zabar’s, a well-known emporium for New York foods, get a box lunch and walk to the park for a picnic. Plan A.
While waiting for the train, we were treated to this young man prodigiously playing complex classical music on his electric piano;
This kid can flat out play! After each piece he would quickly stand, stiffly bow without expression and sit to resume playing. Sad to see such a talented young person playing for tips in the subway, but we showed our appreciation for his gifts with loud applause and money for the hat. The arrival of our train interrupted our reverie but it was a great start to the day.
We arrived at Zabar starving so we decided to eat lunch there. It’s a small place but we found seats and had a nice lunch.
Then we went next door to the Zabar market. This is the sign we saw there:
My wife and I traversed the store twice and filled a basket with about $100 worth of goodies, planning to have them delivered to our apartment later, so we could continue our plan to walk through Central Park. We asked the checker up front to confirm that they would deliver to us on West 59th Street, given the slight ambiguity in the sign’s meaning. I read it to mean that delivery was $6 but if you ordered more than $75 worth, you could get delivery free within the described area. That’s why, I thought, there was a line below the $6 Flat Delivery part of the sign.
Wrong. The checker called the manager over and, after we explained that lived one short block beyond the southern boundary described on the sign, he said “no, we don’t deliver to West 59th.” Wow, for one block, which isn’t even occupied for the most part (60th in that area is mostly commercial), they declined $100 or more in business for which we would have paid the $6 if necessary, plus the loss of all future delivery orders we might have purchased there. An odd business decision, in my judgment, but there it was.
Had it been up to me, I would have just left the basket of food and walked out, but my wife kindly retraced her steps and returned everything to its original location. We couldn’t un-slice the Black Russian bread, but they presented no argument.
Not to be deterred, we walked to and through Central Park on the most glorious day of the year so far, as attested by the massive crowds on foot and bicycle, snoozing on the grass and just soaking in the scene. We saw beautiful spring flowers.
Many people rented row boats and cruised the lake with some Canada Geese for company.
We came upon this jazz band laying down some great trad jazz tunes to a small audience of admirers;
More money for the hat. We sat in the sun and absorbed the music, then walked toward home, only to pass this scene in the Sheep Meadow:
I first I thought it was a protest march of some kind. How could I have missed that? But, no, just a lot of New Yorkers soaking up the rays and having a relaxing Saturday afternoon doing not much of anything. No rushing.
So, as puzzling as was the Zabar manager’s decision to refuse to deliver our order one extra block, our perseverance was well rewarded in other ways. Alas, the weather forecast for Sunday is rain and 44 degrees. We shall remain upbeat, notwithstanding the cruelties of New York weather. The next day, as the saying goes, is another day.