Overheard

Standing next to a tall sophisticated woman on the corner of 5th Avenue and 59th Street, I was waiting for the light to change. A perky blond woman in her fifties walked up to us. She addressed the stranger next to me.

“Excuse me, I hope you don’t mind me asking. Who did your nose? It’s absolutely stunning!! Gorgeous!”My Dutch upbringing perceived this as an incredible rude question. I kind of expected a small catfight to break out. Maybe even leading to an arrest. Things have a way of heating up fast in New York. I looked at them more closely. Both were dressed in designer names – from head to toe. For a moment my eyes got lost in the décolleté of the perky blond woman in the Valentino skirt. Then, afraid to get caught in such unacceptable behavior, I quickly looked up at the slightly younger woman next to her in the Dolce & Cabbana suit. She looked like she had just participated in a boxing match.

Someone else in her position might have avoided getting outside all together. Or would at least have gone out wearing some kind of bandage. Not this woman. She was parading around with a black and blue nose as if it was an art object that she felt compelled to show to the world. I could see where, once the swelling got down, it would be a perfect nose. Petite, pointy, charming. It would go very well with the suit. Eventually. The nose was decorated with little black stripes – stitches no doubt. Applied by someone with an impeccable taste for design, I thought.

“I don’t mind you asking at all!” she answered. “In fact, I have my doctor’s business card right here if you’re interested.”
The Dolce & Gabbana suit enthusiastically took a dive into her Versace bag, pulled out a business card, and handed it over. As the light changed and they started crossing the street together, I heard the Valentino skirt bring up her new triple E.

That’s what I love about New York. I may have stated in my documentary films how hard it is to connect here. How difficult it is to develop real friendships. How there’s so much hidden loneliness in this city. And that’s all true in most cases. But every now and then I witness an exception to the rule. It can be this easy. Valentino shirt and Dolce & Gabbana suit will be friends for life. I just know it.

44 Comments so far
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*Smile* Only in The States!

Yes, New York will always be a strange city. I was there six years ago and it is definitely a fascinating city, and I do want to visit again, but it’s also alienating. Unfriendly, unapproachable people in shops and all over. The nicest people you meet on the street accidently.

@Dree: I now see that under ‘Thoughts’ you have Osho listed. At the end of the seventies I was engaged in Baghwan a lot. I have about twenty books by him and boxes full of cassettes  from India. I’m still fascinated by him, en still read him regularly.

Super! You won’t hear something like that here in the streets of the Netherlands very soon!

@ Pascal - that’s what I meant when I wrote a comment on your blog that I’m not so much looking for something, just always looking around - curious to find out what inspires people and makes them enthusiastic and passionate about life. Others have put me on to writers etc. that made me explore new things. Some of those findings become part of my ‘being in the here and now’.
If you like Osho, I can recommend Anthony de Mello’s Awareness. I love writers that write about the paths they have taken in an explorative, direct, confronting and sometimes skeptical way. In that sense Daniel Pinchbeck’s 2012 is also a ‘must’. Enough about my bookshelf (links under ‘thoughts’ on homepage) - thanks for your input!

Oh that is definetely something for New York, Minnesota “Nice” doesn’t do that here, too confronting.

Magnificent Dree. I read it twice. You’re perplexed, for a moment it looks like your eyes are distracting you which could give the other the wrong idea, you see what’s happening, you realize where you live and you’re touched by a moving encounter, by something that has nothing to do with the image of designer names. Beautifully written.

Thanks, Marius! Sometimes you have to to see a little further than your own nose here. For an emotional person New York’s touching encounters (and there are lots of them) are a ‘blessing’ and a ‘curse’. I wouldn’t miss them for the world!

(…)
These little town blues, are melting away
Im gonna make a brand new start of it - in old new york
And if I can make it there, Im gonna make it anywhere

It up to you - new york new york (…)
(Sinatra)

O, New York! Unfortunately I’ve only been there once, but I lost my heart there!
Hé, Dree, you are indeed a very versatile person!
Great that you paid a visit to my blog - that’s how I found yours!

Aren’t you a little too optimistic? People on the streets of Amsterdam also readily talk about everything. But it’s a long road to a real friendship.
I live in Leiderdorp near Leiden now (kids had to go to school and I lived two minutes from The Dam which I did not consider the best place to grow up). I was in the supermarket here talking to people but they are literally taken aback; ‘Do I know you from somewhere?’
So now I shop in Leiden where people allow you to ask them what they’re having for dinner and if they have any tips.

Very expressively written :) “What kind of new nose do you want, Madame?” “Well, one thing’s for sure, it has to go with all my outfits. So, I’d say, designer-ish?”

Unbelievable..but everyone has his or her own way to strike up a conversation of course….

What impresses me most is that you know WHAT they are wearing! I spot ‘beautiful’, ‘ugly’ or ‘must have been a fortune’, but whether it’s Gucci or Armani? I see, I wouldn’t fit in in in New York ;-) But I do talk to people paying them a compliment about a great coat or a nice perfume, because I know how good that feels. Maybe I would fit in a tiny little bit after all….

@ Ireen; I have to admit I allowed myself some poetic licence…….it was probably exactly the other way around…I apologize to the designers - and maybe I even overlooked a Donna Karan bag!

What a world of difference….we live in a farmer’s village in ‘Belgisch Limburg’, “outsiders”, coming from the “big city”.
Highlight of the day here is a bunch of cows passing by, mooing……wanne swap some time?

And by the way: “your drawings are really cool!!!”

@ Heidi; thanks! There are days that I really miss the cows, the fields, the peace….if it wasn’t such a big trip, I’d take you up on it!

Thanks Dree, for the translation!
*wink, big smile*
Enjoy the snow and have a splendid
day!

But what if it had been her own nose? Don’t people have their own noses anymore? Sorry, just being nosey…

For a simple Dutch girl like me there’s always the big question, what’s real and what’s fake? But trust me - it seems the ‘plastic pro’s’ here know a real nose when they see one!

het blijft een gok dree maar hoe moeten we dat nou vertalen…..
it is gambling anyhow ?

How about ‘It remains to be a mystery’?

that’s the best I guess but the “gok” doesn’t come out ;-))

‘I still wouldn’t like to place a bet on it’ might be an acceptable option that keeps the gambling spirit of that Dutch saying more alive?!

comes pretty close, but still “gok” (the nose)doesn’t come out
have a nice weekend dree ;-)

Dutch is a great language - let’s leave it at that??! Nice weekend to you too, dear Mopperpot!

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