Only in New York kids, only in New York

Red Grooms – Rainy Day Taxi

The title is a quote from Cindy Adams (, a gossip columnist for the New York Post – a local tabloid paper. When she has writes about  some crazy sequence of events that seems utterly implausible  – but is absolutely true – she often ends it with that line.

So Friday night E and I took Jack out for this birthday – 46 thank you very much and looking great for his age: 6 feet tall, shaved head, black artsy glasses, broad shoulders, good physique. He rides his bike 10 miles a day as well as runs and walks with me a few times a week. Definitely looking sharp. We got tickets to an NPR variety show at the City Winery downtown and were settling in to a nice evening.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before the show was over to relieve the babysitter, but E and Jack said they were ready to go too. The seats were very, VERY close together – 2 tops set as 4 tops – and they were feeling quite cramped. We pushed the doors open into a beautiful New York night and walked quickly down the street to the subway.

But not quite quick enough because as we were descending the stairs we could hear our train rolling in. The 3 of us still have to swipe for entry and make our way through the full body cage type turn-stiles that some un-monitored stations have.

We are moving as fast as possible and getting close to making it (but no guarantee) when we hear a woman’s voice yelling, “I got you!! I’m holding it!” and we look at the train to see a strawberry blonde,  petite gal holding the subway doors for us. She is using all her might, and the conductor is starting to yell because the train can’t move forward until all the doors are shut.  We can hear her announcement “YOU in the BACK – let GO OF THE DOORS!!!”. But as soon as she finishes yelling – we three are though the gate, on the train and are off!

We thank our champion profusely!! Her name is M and she looks like the fun, up-for-anything friend you had in high school. She’s dressed in a red checked blouse tied at the waist, jeans, hair disheveled and a big smile. Her friend is N and they are headed out for a good time. And where are they headed? To M’s corner bar – which happens to be right in our neighborhood! Well, now things really pick up, and she pulls a bottle of wine and a bottle opener out of her bag. When she finds out its Jack’s birthday she insists on opening it and passing it around.

After 3 dirty martinis I am in no position to argue. And there is something delicious about a shared bottle of wine, in an otherwise empty subway car, rolling along under the streets of New York. We are all going in the same direction and switch trains accordingly – taking the illegal (yes, even in New York this kind of public drinking is a ticketable offense) bottle with us. Jack promptly finishes it.

As we get closer to home, I have to beg off (babysitter – remember) and M is lovely in her disappointment. She asks whose child it is – and Jack, who usually plays these things close, proceeds to explain our living situation. She starts laughing – totally tickled.

The four of them weave off into the night and I have to wait until morning to find out what happened.  M was extremely generous – bought 2 rounds of shots in honor of Jack’s birthday. N, the friend, was a bit of a sad sack with no confidence who kept on referring to herself as “The fat one”  – she wasn’t. Jack hung out with M who has lived around the world, loves a good time and is an actual grownup with a business card from her pretty cool job to prove it!  Poor E got saddled with N who wanted to discuss her abusive childhood. This was a non-smokers/smokers division by the way – sometimes people do NOT have a very good notion of smoking conversational topics.

Things had the potential for some serious birthday fun – M was flirting with Jack and suggested the future possibility of a threesome with him, her and E. That night was out, she had to take care of N – who by this point was no longer fit for public view – but maybe another night? Um, yeah…E fielded this…and of course had to say no because how do you explain that “we have to keep it down’ cause of the kids” to a brand new sexual partner you have met on a train? You don’t is the answer to that one.

So a good birthday was had by all – with flirting and adventures and all the flirty sexy stuff you think has got to be all over with by the time you hit your 40’s. And looks like there might be more to come…

Happy Birthday Jack – wishing you possibilities, excitement and subway cars full of fun in your 46th year!