‘A Car That Was Turning Slowed Down, and the Window Rolled Down’

Wearing a favorite dress, a Manhattan wedding and more reader tales of New York City in this week’s Metropolitan Diary.

Comments: 173

  1. This week’s stories bring out different emotions since all are not purely about kindness. First two stories bring out appreciation and positive response from onlookers. The third story is about solitary enjoyment. Fourth story is about guilty feeling and then correcting the wrong when found. Last story is regarding indifferent attitude. The story “ Polka Dots “ has made me smile. It’s nice that a number of people have appreciated the dress of Catherine Henihan including the lady in a car, who took a turn and then complimented her. What has interested me more is the fact that couple of men complimented her dress, which is rare. Generally men don’t go out of the way to compliment the dress of a stranger that too a lady. My wife’s saree was appreciated on couple of occasions in America. In particular a lady complimented her by saying that they wear men like dress all the time, which lacks variety. I don’t know when Natalie Cohen has got married. I wholeheartedly wish her a very happy, healthy, prosperous and long marital journey. Her sweet story “ Marriage Bereau “ brings back memories of all married readers I suppose. It’s always pleasant to look at a newly married couple any day. Spontaneously everyone wishes them happy married life with a smiling face. Everyone of us goes through gloomy days and we look for mood uplifting in someway or the the other as mentioned by Tony Glad in the story “ Vacation Days “. The lady in the bar seems to enjoy all by herself.

  2. @Sivaram Pochiraju - I appreciate your wisdom on all of these. The way you described her, "the lady in the bar seems to enjoy all by herself" somehow, though it must have been sent into the Diary a long time ago, feels so right for what we're being told to try to do for a while now, the social distancing - and thanks to your succinct insight on that, this came into focus: One of many things that are so nice right now about areas like the NYT comments, is that we are keeping physical distancing yet it has potential to be a (moderated for on-topic and civility) town square that keeps our minds interactive. There are bad things about the net, but let's celebrate one of the good things, that we can share and interact even while we observe guidance to not physically interact !

  3. @Sivaram Pochiraju - regarding the fellow in the box office, when he's asked a question like that, it falls into the category of no-win for him. It's just reality. For a hit or a show selling well, it seems at least $350 for any seat downstairs (except the stalls in the rest rooms) rather than the center of the mezzanine, which surely is more normally priced. So I don't know if it's indifference. it's a question for which the only honest answer can't be given by an employee "well, if you want to be sure of that, the only way is center orchestar and the first two in the sides." - so a wisecrack is how that man deals with it. That's 2010s premium Broadway - it was not anything like this elitist world Broadway has arrived at in the 1990s or earlier. Growing greed and finance has led to so much that is awful, and show tickets turning Broadway from populist to elitist is a 2010s example that fine arts are not exempt from that, have become like widgets and realty. We can't say greed caused coronavirus, but it's no stretch to say that financial concerns caused the two-month delay from when officials overseas knew about the virus until they shared the information and really started containing it, like China's two months, and even the DC delay trying to protect the stock market here. (The positive: Let's learn from this. What will $ do for you when you're not here?)

  4. @Freddie : Your wonderful response has made me to write how Italians have found a way to enjoy in the present difficult situation. Yesterday only I happened to see their balcony concert video on a TV channel. It seems this video has gone viral. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching it. The coordination between balcony to balcony is simply unbelievable but true. What a way of enjoying in the midst of crisis ! I salute Italians wholeheartedly. It proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that where there is a will, there always will be a way.

  5. I was leaving the W4th subway station on my way to work one day when an envelope dropped on the steps and what looked liked $1000 in twenties spilled out on the steps and landing. The reaction of the young man who was carrying the money and they way he was dressed didn't quite add up however I immediately began scooping up the bills on the landing for him. When another man finished picking up all the bills on the steps he hesitated, I shot him a look and he returned the money to the young man. This weeks entries are a much needed respite for a difficult and trying week. Thank you diary.

  6. @mlb4ever Not all well-to-do peeps dress up. In fact, I learned many wear schmatahs. This I learned while living in Boston.

  7. @PrairieFlax So true! In New England, the old- money people usually look the shabbiest.

  8. I love polka dots. I have dresses, blouses, shoes, jewelry and a handbag all with polka dots on them. I usually receive a compliment when I wear a polka dot item.

  9. @maggie When my mother was 89 (since deceased), we saw a woman wearing a blue dress with white polka dots. I said "You used to have a dress like that, didn't you? You wore it when you took me to kindergarten the first day." She looked at me thoughtfully and said yes, I remember, it was my favorite dress! How did you remember?" There is something about polka dots.

  10. @Carden. What a beautiful thing, to remember what your mother wore on your first day of kindergarten. Thank you.

  11. I like these little stories! I sent the polka dot story to my friend, she LOVES polka dots! Compliments out of the blue are often the best because they are so unexpected!

  12. @Catherine Joy Yes. I made a winter car coat from a remnant of a Yakima blanket (see the Pendleton website) and not a week has gone by that I haven't received a compliment out of the blue. A double one for me because I know I sewed it up myself. PS - Love the Diary.

  13. @Catherine Joy... I just offered an unwelcome suggestion to a friend that he paint green polka dots on his grungy old white car. "Use a stencil so the dots are hard-edge."

  14. Dear Natalie, The story of your magical wedding day brought warm feelings and a big smile, most welcome this Sunday. I can almost see you floating happily down the streets of the city in your beautiful gown with your lovely bouquet, being greeted with congratulatory smiles and good wishes. Allow me to add my own good wishes for many years of health and happiness, which I hope you will permit me to extend to our community of readers and writers, friends near and far, here at the Metropolitan Diary. Please stay well all, and stay safe. Allen

  15. @Allen Thank you. You stay well, too.

  16. Sometimes, a man can compliment a woman on her attire in a completely adorable way. Many decades ago, my aunt had gotten a “gig” to take tickets at the door to a black-tie, high-society event. There was no pay, but the ticket-takers got the fabulous gift box given to the guests. She wangled me the opportunity too. I found a lovely off-the-shoulder, long, black gown at a thrift shop. I worked hard on my hair and makeup. I wanted to fit in. At the venue, I was walking down a long hallway and a tuxedo-wearing older man was walking in the opposite direction. As we passed, he said, as if stating a fact, “YOU are a good-looking woman.” That was it. I kept going, as did he. I felt terrific!

  17. @Kathryn Today "“What am I your doctor?” he said." could get the fact stater in trouble. Sic transit...

  18. @HapinOregon - oh, I understand that. I have had my share of disgusting catcalls, grabbing, harassing. I know what that feels like. This moment in time felt very different than that. It felt validating and sweet. I think he was a very kind man. Sometimes, you just know!

  19. @Kathryn Absolutely - you know! As a female, i think one if the finest way to spend some time - a moment, an evening, a lifetime - is with a man who appreciates women. Not lecherous, not smarmy, not out of line. A woman knows, indeed. And lucky the man who knows, as well (-:

  20. In 1977, I visited a friend in England for a couple of weeks. One day while sightseeing, my friend and I visited a bank in London so that I could cash some traveler's checks. I thought it odd that the cashier asked for my local address, because I was staying only two weeks. A couple of days later, I received a letter from this bank, asking me to inquire at the bank (no reason was given). I called the bank and learned that I had left some of my uncashed traveler's checks on the bank counter. We made another trip into London to collect them. Thank-you to the cashier for asking for my local address! Before cell phones and E-mail, this was the only way the bank could have found me.

  21. "Two, Please" - now that was funny: made my day. The others: meh...

  22. Usually the Met. Diary gets a smile out of me, but today, two, three? cracked me up--which I sorely needed. Last night my final attempt to fly home was canceled and this morning the virus watchdogs shooed me back from my walk... I love Italy and as a born and native New Yorker, I left swearing I'd never return. Enough already. I WANNA GO HOME!!

  23. Dear Stu, I wish I could do more than wish you good health and the ability to venture forth and travel once again with the freedom so many of us have enjoyed but that we will never again take for granted. Stay safe Stu, and take good care of yourself. Allen

  24. @Stu Reininger Dear Stu, I totally understand. The pull of home triumphs over all. My son is in Miami for an internship and will be home in mid May. He cannot wait. We might still be in lockdown then but he says he has lots of movies to catch up on. We have planned to also play Monopoly! CE LA FAREMO, Anne from the Italian Front Lines...

  25. @anne Grazie tutti!! It must have been the good vibes! Miraculously and with help.. I scored.. Lamezia roma, New York..this Sunday yet, when I was looking at mid-April.. May the Cancellation Gods be self-isolating...

  26. Sara Sackett's story should be called "chutzpah!"

  27. What do dots have to do with polkas?

  28. @Stewart Dean They came into style in Germany at the same time as the polka (which takes its name from the word for Polish women). "The American women’s magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book was the first to print the term, in an 1857 description of a “scarf of muslin, for light summer wear, surrounded by a scalloped edge, embroidered in rows of round polka dots.”

  29. @Stewart Dean I wondered the same, and went to Wikipedia, where "polka dot" Footnote 1 reads in part: "polka", Oxford English Dictionary, On account of the popularity of the dance, polka was prefixed as a trade name to articles of all kinds (cf. quot. 1898 in 1); e.g. the polka curtain-band (for looping up curtains), polka-gauze, polka hat; {polka-dot}, a pattern consisting of dots of uniform size and arrangement

  30. “'What am I, your doctor?' he said." Classic.

  31. I hope the ticket seller was joking in a playful manner. Otherwise his comment reads as rude and unprofessional (and possiblly ageist).

  32. You don’t get New Yorkers, do you?

  33. Wedding Dress: Rhoda Morgenstern

  34. @PrairieFlax Thanks for the memory, a favorite episode from a favorite show in simpler times . . .

  35. @cheryl My favorite decade so far, for all its problems.

  36. “What am I, your doctor?”...I laughed out loud! Fabulous NY wit.

  37. Stealing Passover cookies? That's terrible!! Then the next story brought back my smile. Love the Diary.

  38. Re: Polka Dots Perhaps I shall run out and buy a polka dot outfit for my next job interview! Will it bring me good luck?

  39. Dear Dressy, I believe I speak for everyone in expressing the hope that a lovely polka dot outfit will bring you great good luck, that your next interview will be a smashing success, and that you will be rewarded with a position you will find fulfilling. Be well and warmest good wishes for good fortune in all things. Allen

  40. Two, Please is a great example of New Yorkers serving up clever comments. As craziness swirls around us, it's great to laugh.

  41. “What am I your doctor?” I gasped with delight when I read this ultimate New York response. The Passover cookies allowed the reality of Life to enter this idyllic place. I hope the would-be thief learned a lesson. Polka dots are intrinsically positive. Who remembers how Princess Diana favored them? And long, long ago on the puppet show starring Howdy Doody, one of the characters was Princess Polka Dotty Party of One — In this time of social distancing, this may be our best bet!

  42. @Allison Thanks for reminding me of Howdy Doody. I had been thinking of that puppet recently because I felt that Pete Buttigige reminded me of him. No disrespect -- I like Pete. I don't remember Princess Polka Dotty at all, but I do remember Princess SummerFallWinterSpring.

  43. @Allison Actually, the show was "Rootie Kazootie, who was a hand puppet dressed like a baseball player, and his friend was Polka Dottie. I think there was a dog puppet as well... And I well remember the polka dot dresses on sale at Alexanders that another writer mentioned, as I had a job that summer working in the Y.E.S. shop at Bloomies that sold the designer version of that dress! And Bloomie's basement and Alexander's basement sold even more affordable knockoffs of the same dress, which absolutely amazed me at the time.

  44. I feel the writer Sara Shacket has handled the awkward situation quite superbly simply by restraining herself. Her restraint has made the story “ The Cookie Thief “ praiseworthy. It must have been quite an embarrassment for the lady, who took the cookie box, to find Sara Shacket in the same compartment face to face with the cookie box in hand. Her guilt must have compelled her to return it. I wonder why her boyfriend didn’t help her in carrying some of Sara Shacket’s packages.

  45. @Sivaram Pochiraju Or why the boyfriend didn’t get the tickets. This was a great story, though. One hopes the thief sees it too, although I wonder about someone who wouldn’t have yelled after Sara, “Hey, you forgot this!” Could have been a bomb.

  46. The Diary entry “Vacation Day” took place during the holiday season of 2015. Tony Glad still thinks about the woman wearing the large headphones who was having a party for one. As soon as I read Tony’s story, I wondered what happened next. Here are three possible scenarios: #1: Tony and the woman finished their meals at the bar and went their separate ways. More the 4 years later, Tony is still regretful that he did not try to strike up a conversation her. #2: At one point, the woman took her headphones off so that she could enjoy her meal without fearing that the headphones would fall into her food. She and Tony looked at each other and began to talk. They exchanged phone numbers and dated for 3 months, but they realized that they had little in common. Even so, Tony still thinks about her 4 years later. #3: Tony and the woman exchanged phone numbers and moved in together several months later. Believe it or not, the woman is Natalie Cohen, the author of the Diary entry “Marriage Bureau.” Natalie and Tony were married at the Marriage Bureau in July 2017. They have been thinking for several years about writing their separate stories and submitting them together to the Metropolitan Diary. Both stories appeared today! Well, that took my mind away from the coronavirus for a while. Please stay healthy, everyone. Dean

  47. The Diary entry “Vacation Day” took place during the holiday season of 2015. Tony Glad still thinks about the woman wearing the large headphones who was having a party for one. As soon as I read Tony’s story, I wondered what happened next. Here are three possible scenarios: #1: Tony and the woman finished their meals at the bar and went their separate ways. More the 4 years later, Tony is still regretful that he did not try to strike up a conversation with her. #2: At one point, the woman took her headphones off so that she could enjoy her meal without fearing that the headphones would fall into her food. She and Tony looked at each other and began to talk. They exchanged phone numbers and dated for 3 months, but they realized that they had little in common. Even so, Tony still thinks about her 4 years later. #3: Tony and the woman exchanged phone numbers and moved in together several months later. Believe it or not, the woman is Natalie Cohen, the author of the Diary entry “Marriage Bureau.” Natalie and Tony were married at the Marriage Bureau in July 2017. They have been thinking for several years about writing their separate stories and submitting them together to the Metropolitan Diary. Both stories appeared today! Well, that took my mind away from the coronavirus for a while. Please stay healthy, everyone. Dean

  48. Dear Dean, Your number 3 is a wonderful twist on both of the entries and a delightful hypothesis. Thank you for turning your inventive mind to this week’s Diary. Keep well and safe in Connecticut Dean. Allen

  49. @Dean Dean, Most definitely your third scenario is best and the one we all hope for. Actually, it is the one you write about with such certainty and authority that we believe in it quite naturally. And I am most glad that your confident and hopeful words managed to get printed twice. You've bolstered us with a double dose of optimism in these very frightening and uncertain times. Thank you, Elissa

  50. @Dean (Reply to Dean from Dean) Correction to a typo in my Scenario #3 above: Natalie’s wedding at the Marriage Bureau took place in the spring, after days of spring showers. As she said, the rain began again later that night. It was in April 2017, not July 2017. Dean

  51. @catherinehenihan dressing up in something fun and colorful is just as much for everyone else as yourself - it's similar to putting holiday lights up in your window - or planting tulips - it cheers up the whole neighborhood

  52. @Courtney Ferrell I wonder if dressing up for "working from home" would help the mood? I'm going to try it. Wish I had a polka dot dress!:-) Thanks for the idea!

  53. @Patty Working from home in my pj's. (No polka dots.) so far pretty productive. Ready for a nap.

  54. @Courtney Ferrell, I prefer to make sure I am wearing clothes that I won't be embarrassed to be in if someone comes to the front door, or if I have to run an an errand. Nice sweatpants or jeans are acceptable!

  55. Marriage Bureau brings back such sweet memories. I was married at the Criminal Courts building in 1972 on a beautiful, warm spring day. Through the years, I often thought that I missed out on my big wedding day by having this type of ceremony. Here we are, 47 years later, and I realize how perfect it was, a quintessential New York City wedding. I hope you enjoy 47 years of marriage, and more, as well.

  56. Dear TC, Thank you for a delightful comment. May you and your spouse enjoy many more years of good health and happiness. Stay safe and stay well. Allen

  57. @TC thank you! I had similar sentiments when I went to other people’s big weddings. we took the subway from our graduate dormitory in the upper West Side down to city hall to get married. We then walked to Chinatown to have dimsum. Later we walked to soho and visited a few galleries. 38 years later, I don’t think I would do it any other way!

  58. Good Monday morning, Metropolitan Diary readers and commenters: I hope that everyone is well. I posted a comment yesterday, and until it appears, I want to let you know that I’m thinking about all of you, especially our regular commenter Anne from Rome. Several of you (Freddie, Allen, Sivaram) said that this comment forum is a good way for us to stay connected. Yes! We are hunkered down in Connecticut. Many things are closed here. Stay healthy, everyone. Dean

  59. @Dean I'm glad all is well with you & yours for now! I read the Diary every Monday to start my workweek, and you/Freddie/Allen/Sivaram are a big reason why. When one of you is missing for a few weeks, I worry until you return. And when yoh come back, I always look forward to reading what insights your adventures lend... May we meet again next week ❤

  60. @Dean We are in Wisconsin, doing our best to maintain spirits in the current circumstances. Thanks to the NYT for the always entertaining Metro Diary and helping us keep in touch with the world at large. We are one in spirit with all of you. Be strong, be well.

  61. @Ellka : Thank you very much. So kind of you. Only because of strong supporters like you, we are more than encouraged to give our inputs in a small way so that everyone can feel happy. Be happy and healthy all the time.

  62. There is something about polka dots. I went to a huge banking conference a number of years ago, and a business friend had polka dot shoes with her black business suit. Best shoes at the conference!

  63. @maeve Polka dots do indeed rule. I've owned a navy tie with white polka dots for maybe 35 years, and it adds a fillip to any coat-and-tie outfit.

  64. @maeve My favorite dress shoes were black ballet slippers with gold polka dots. Dang, I miss them! But I don't have anywhere to wear them any more.

  65. @Sarah D. I've noticed young women in NYC wearing party clothes to work and roundabout so for goodness sake, wear those wonderful black slippers with gold polka dots.Neither age or destination is a hindrance to wearing good-looking things. Shake em up in Maine!

  66. Love the "What am I, your doctor?" line. Quintessential New York. It made me recall the old joke about the guy who's having hand surgery done. "Tell me, Doc," he says, "will I be able to play the violin?" "I don't see why not," replies the doctor. "Great!" the patient exclaims. "I've never been able to play the violin before."

  67. I tried that line on an ER doc while he was suturing my hand. He looked very annoyed and I think gave me an extra stitch (or two).

  68. @J. S. The surgeon gravely entered my father's ICU room, asking if he had any questions for tomorrow's surgery. My father asked, "Are you Republican or Democrat?" (re: nothing to do with the surgery). We all laughed, while the surgeon was at a complete loss for words. Translation: "Discussion is irrelevant. Anything I ask will not change whatever you do in this surgery. Just get it done! .... and keep your sense of humor!"

  69. I was 13 when I got a navy blue polka dot dress, looked in the mirror, and realized that I was somehow turning into a grown woman.

  70. Polka Don'ts I must be wearing the wrong kind of polka dots. When I've worn polka dot items over the years, I get comments, but they haven't been as complimentary as what I'm reading in everyone else's comments. Three instances come to mind: -One day waiting in line at the bank, I was wearing my favorite red dress with white polka dots. I turned as red as my dress when I heard the little girl behind me whisper loudly to her mother, "Mommy, that lady is wearing Minnie Mouse's dress." -One day on the train to work, wearing the same dress with white shoes, my fashionable train buddy who was always dressed to the nines just to go to work, looked me up and down and then tsked, tsked me with "You know a black girl would be stylin' some funky red shoes with that dress." -Finally, a childhood friend who I see once in a great while, never fails to mention my favorite purple raincoat with white polka dots from childhood, and how much she hated it. Despite all these encounters, I still do love my polka dots, and have a Pretty Woman dress that I'm going to wear this summer with a big floppy hat. Polka Dot haters be damned!

  71. @Rose Jaye, And don't forget 'The Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini!' this summer, with the big floppy hat and a pair of snappy shades. You reminded this reader of years ago when I was a winter bride and wore a long navy blue dress with tiny white polka dots and a Peter Pan collar. It was purchased at 'Alexanders', next to Bloomingdale's at the time, and made of 100% rayon at the cost of $18. After the matrimonial ceremony was over, the wedding party of five came out into the sunlight on Lexington Avenue, and I still have the photo where I am beaming like a happy canary in my polka dot attire, unaware of the graffiti scribble on the wall in this pretty portrait 'Super Slick'. Here's to polka dot lovers, and happy to hear from you and Ms. Henihan that these dots are still in style and jazzy.

  72. @Rose Jaye , I had a blue polka dot bikini when I was in 8th grade!

  73. @Rose Jaye - The Minnie Mouse dress comment by the little girl is priceless.

  74. I'm going to find me a polka dot spring dress and wear it with a smile as soon as our Duluth snowbanks melt and the sun warms our fair city to above 40 degrees. I so love and look forward to Monday's NYT Metropolitan Diary for a glimpse at life in the Big Apple.

  75. @Jeanbee Me, too! Strapless, I think. In magenta. Or yaller.

  76. Unexpected pleasure of a hit dress, a weather's reprieve, a delicious lunch beside a party of one, a disappointed but honest opportunist and the reality of NYC . . . "Who am I your doctor?" Take care of yourself and enjoy what ever is available.

  77. Natalie Cohen's wedding piece is like a prose poem. Nice work!

  78. Thanks for the humor and delight in these vibrant stories. A balm on a difficult day.

  79. That women probably saw you forget the cookies. She was a thief.

  80. @Paulie Um, yes.

  81. @Paulie With a conscience.

  82. Glad to see the West Side Story ticket booth person is a true New Yorker ....

  83. @ Jerilyn, Oh my gosh this just cracked me up. It’s just the epitome of New York! Fabulous.

  84. @Hortencia Totally the same here and I needed that laugh!

  85. Me too! I laughed out loud - soooo New York!

  86. I have a friend who loves polka dots too. Shared it with her. A nice distraction and smile. Much needed. Thx.

  87. @ Natalie Cohen: Oh so romantic. I assume you left the window open to hear the rain fall as you cuddled with your sweetie. Ahhh.

  88. Catherine, polka dots are magical!

  89. I very much enjoyed all of this week's stories. And so nice and reassuring to see some of the very familiar posters. Hope all are doing well. Hunkering down in SF, and listening to either my favorite sports talk radio or my favorite classical station. I did my last shopping run this morning before word came down that the 6 primary counties in the SF Bay Area are in "Shelter in Place" status. Talked to my next door neighbors this afternoon while maintaining the proper social distancing. We both were out for a walk so I went one way and they went the opposite. Don't know how or when this all will end, but I do have the Metropolitan Diaries to look forward to!

  90. @AliciaM Thanks for your post. As a fellow San Franciscan living in Parkside, we will get through this. My wife and I are hunkering down, while supporting our local restaurants and grocery stores. Oddly enough, I started watching "The 12 Monkeys" the tv series, a month ago. Who knew.

  91. @Michael, It is so strange to see such light traffic in the city and on the bridges and freeways! I don't ever remember a time that traffic was this light!

  92. I remember how light it was right after the Loma Prieta earthquake (Oct. 17,1989). You could find street parking everywhere in the City.

  93. I can't be the only one who wants to find out the source of those polka dot dresses.

  94. For some years now I’ve been dreaming of a yellow dress with white polka dots...am yet to see the dress of my dreams, but if anyone has any ideas, I’m all ears!

  95. @NYer You could buy yellow fabric & while locked down to escape C19, paint it with white dots ..... Then make a dress out of it. Yellow polka dot cotton is a staple quilter's fabric. Should be heaps of it in the USA.

  96. In 1979 during Christmas break from law school in San Francisco, I took my girlfriend home in the New Haven area to meet my family. During that visit, we decided to to take the train into NYC for the day. We got off at Grand Central and I ran to the rest room. Seeing that I needed some coins to get in and having none, I went to the nearest newsstand. "Sir, can you break a dollar for me?" I asked the vendor. "Wadoo I look like, a change machine?" was the quick reply. Yup, we are in New York now, I thought, smiling inwardly.

  97. @Jerry I hope you got the change.

  98. @Jerry: That's an old New York Grand Central Station story. Way back when I lived in New York, sixty years ago, the solution was to get a shoe shine and ask the 'boy" for some change when you paid him.

  99. Think I will put on my polka dot tie, break out the good plates and silver, light some candles, put on some of my favorite music, and have a party for one tonight. Inspiring stories. Thanks.

  100. @Robert Good for you, Robert! It's a gift to be able to create joy, even when alone.

  101. @Robert Have a good one! Let us know how it goes.

  102. @Robert Oh, I love this!

  103. Marriage Bureau brings back memories of my own marriage at City Hall in NYC...in 9 days it will be our 13th anniversary. The hurried decision after his proposal the night before, to go that very morning to get married. Our respective parents far away in India and in France, happy for us when we called them. My parents helping me pick my saree and his tie on video chat. Our asking our landlady to be one of our witnesses when she woke up, and my college friend on his way to work, being asked to be present too. For a last minute marriage, we made it all very special and its simplicity was its beauty...true love was on display.

  104. Thirty-five years ago I bought a kelly green dress with white polka dots. It was the most cherished dress I've ever owned, but about a year ago I had to admit that age had caught up with my waistline. It was a classic style so I donated it, along with a large armful of other dresses, to a charity shop. The largish woman who received my clothes loved the polka dot dress too, showering it and me with compliments. Maybe one day I'll see it sashaying down the street.

  105. I may be the only one who hates polka dots. When I was 4 and had the measles (pre-vaccines) I ran a high fever and must have been hallucinating. I saw polka dots everywhere. I even told my dad he had polka dots on him. It was years before I could even look at anything with polka dots.

  106. Dear CRE, Your comment reminded me that, back in the 1950s, when my mom took me to a doctor’s office to have my tonsils removed, an open cone with an ether drip was used. What I remember so vividly was the sense of my head going down and of seeing these vivid black circles. The experience did not leave me with an aversion to polka dots but did leave a lasting memory of that very strange sensation. Stay well. Allen

  107. @CRE - oh, gosh. I had the measles and hallucinated too. I thought the bed was about ten feet off the ground and that I’d be risking life and limb to get out of it. That was well over 60 years ago and I can recall that feeling like it was yesterday. I felt so high up. I guess I was nine.

  108. @Kathryn and young people today don’t think the measles are a serious disease. My kids were shocked when I told them I had measles!

  109. Wow, Tony Glad's story really shows his name is an aptonym.

  110. @Bis K. I had never heard the word aptonym and had to look it up. Thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary as well as a new pastime.

  111. There is a great film with Diane Keaton, "Because I Said So" and it has a lot to do with polka dots. Exactly the kind of film you need for this period in time. Judging from all the positive comments about polka dots here, I think that designers should be paying more attention! Thanks to all who have asked about me. I am fine. Now going to the supermarket once a week, my supermarket, btw, has totally supplied shelves, including toilet paper. Why are people even fighting over this in the USA? If necessary, you have a shower. In Italy all bathrooms have bidets, even easier. CE LA FAREMO (We can do this), lots of love from Anne on the Italian Front Lines...

  112. @anne When my wife broke both wrists, and my personal care assistant job got too personal for both of us, I bought a bidet attachment--most upscale toilet seat you can imagine--and installed it. My daughter saw it, and I installed hers in her new house outside NYC last fall. And now it turns out to give both of us a bye on the TP hoarders! Who would thunk it? A bidet is pandemic emergency supplies!

  113. Help! we need at least 3 Metro diaries a week to get through this shutdown!

  114. Dear Cheryl, Happily, there are many past editions of the Metropolitan Diary available to us all online, whenever we wish to revisit or discover them. We can get through this together. Keep well Cheryl Allen

  115. @ Jerilyn The quintessential New York story; oh how I miss Manhattan!

  116. I'm not always so impulsive, truly. After reading a few of the comments I went to Amazon and as I typed in p-o-l it auto-filled with 'Polka dot dress for women." I suspect I wasn't the only one who did this. BTW Midi, sleeveless, belted, white on blk polka dots.

  117. @e. In this present instance, the appropriate search result relevant to "as I typed in p-o-l it auto-filled with..." would more accurately have been "Metro -p-o-l- tan Diary".

  118. Here in my remote corner of Texas, reading the metropolitan Diary every Monday, is my bright start for the rest of the week. I have yet to be disappointed. New Yorkers, really have a succinct way with words.

  119. Love Jerilyn's story! Visiting once, many years ago, I tried to order a glass of milk in a restaurant and the waiter said "Not unless you brought the cow." Loved it!

  120. @Katie, Funny, and when asked what cows drink, some of us flunk the test and reply 'milk!'. Speaking of Waiters, apparently there is a new law in New York that they should be addressed as 'Servers? An acquaintance of mine with an eating establishment got a hefty fine recently. If somebody here, or elsewhere, has some clarification to offer on the above, it might come in handy.

  121. @Miss Ley I was on a plane from St. Thomas, USVI to Miami, and my seat referred to the flight attendants as waitresses. Mid-1990s - he should have know better. Waiters and waitresses are servers.

  122. My "whad am I" story, now a family saying: Little Italy late 70s, lovely day in May. I'm walking toward a mom, dad and 8 year old boy, father and son laden with many bags. They look Italian-American. Suddenly the father says loudly, "Oh my God! Come on!" and with lightening speed piles his bags and his son's on his startled wife's arms, as they rush to stare hungrily into the window of a butcher's shop, full of birds, suckling pigs, sausages and so on. I stopped and looked at the mother as she said, "Whad am I, a hook? that you should hang things on me?" Thanks, Diary and readers, my spirits are always lifted by the stories and comments. Take care, everyone!

  123. @Elle I was at the Buildings Department at Queens Borough Hall when someone decided to cut corners and go directly to a Supervisor with their folder. This was not how it was supposed to work, and a very elderly white haired women sitting at a desk behind the counter yelled in protest, “What am I, cooked liver?” Thinking the entire incident amusing, I was retelling it back at my office. But when I got to that part (there were a lot of other details), everyone at once starts yelling at me, ”What am I, chopped liver! Chopped liver, not cooked liver!” “I know”, I said, “I know what the expression is, but she said ‘cooked liver’”. But it was useless. No one believed that she said ‘cooked liver’ instead of ‘chopped liver’, which totally ruined my story. So for the rest of the day I felt like I was living under a cloud of colloquial blasphemy, or at least a very bad case of being an unreliable narrator.

  124. @Patrick I love this. And of course, my first thought on reading your first paragraph was, "that's not right! She said 'chopped liver!'" But I believe you!

  125. Once again lovely stories for the diary. I can't believe the woman handed the passover cookies back. I guess guilty conscience does sting sometimes even in a big city like NYC.

  126. @TheniD - I'm making an assumption that she couldn't have afforded to get a box of cookies like that for herself to have done that, maybe rationalizing that they wouldn't miss it if they left it behind like that. Maybe she was hoping against hope that it had been left behind when she first took it, and then when she saw them looking for it, there was really no way of then handing it back without pretty much admitting she had taken them. Fate just had them ending up by each other on the train.

  127. @Freddie you’re probably right. And she could have just looked the other way on the train but she owned up. Good for her!

  128. @TheniD With all due respect, I am thinking that once she found out that the cookies were for Passover, she may have been more willing to come clean and part with them. Like I said, with all due respect!

  129. That is the sweetest wedding story I have ever read.

  130. @Enlynn Rock And not outrageously expensive, I bet!

  131. @Paul Sheridan Are you kidding? You should see what Russ & Daughters gets for their smoked/pickled fish retail. Their cafe, God knows! Anyway, it’s not how much they spent, but the memory they will have forever.

  132. Maria and Anita are next in line for that box office guy, planning to see the show about them. [Box office guy] I’m still not a doctor, but I suggest seats for when the virus thing is over. Where do you want to sit? - Tune of “America” [Anita]. I like to be in the Orchestra! We’ll hear and see in the Orchestra He has row G in the Orchestra That's best for me - in the Orchestra! [Maria]. Mezz has a view of the full stage [Anita]. Should we climb steps, though, at your age? [Maria] Ha ha! Dances look better from upstairs. [Anita]. It’s not Jerome Robbins, so who cares? - [They dance the moves from 1960, amazed they can still do it] Okay!

  133. @Freddie Well, aren’t you the lucky one!! That’s fantastic!

  134. @Freddie Freddie--how wonderful!! And don't worry about "Anita." If you're thinking Chita R.--she's fabulous. She's still got the moves!! Elissa

  135. @els - Absolutely! And Rita Moreno also - for an amazing mix of admiration for Ms. Moreno, and an "uh-oh, we look at this moment with Charlie Rose a different way now" - from 2017, when she gave Charlie Rose a "Marilyn Monroe happy birthday" dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilaEOKT4cRI and at some point she kids him that he's "too cooperative." Watching it now, I kept looking away and then rewinding!

  136. All good.

  137. I have never been a fashionista, but in my mid-70s bought a polka dot dress, then in high style, and wore it to a conference my husband attended. We ran into an old friend who WAS a fashionista who asked where I had bought the dress as she had been searching for one unsuccessfully and loved the one I was wearing. I knew then it was a great purchase. Now in my 80s it still fits so I wear it occasionally.

  138. @Jean gallagher -- Another point to ponder why is so much of todays fashion disposable? It should be enduring, not throw away, like so much we consume. It would make our planet happier. The stories here make the world a happier place.

  139. To begin with, I can get the News from many sources. However, The Metropolitan Diary is the most precious jewel in the crowning glory of the New York Times. Might even be the reason why I keep reading the times daily. Every story endears a new 'unknown stranger' to me, as their story resonates in evoking the preciousness and folly of all we call Human. And for someone who loves NYC the way I do, it's a daily yet timeless gift.

  140. I think I saw the wedding party walking down Second Avenue near 7th Street as I was going in the opposite direction maybe about a month or so ago, if that was the one. The groom had a thick black beard and the bride a strapless top carrying flowers. It was a very mild day for winter time. I was nonplussed and didn’t offer any uplifting words at the time, so Belated Congratulations!

  141. @Patrick Which version of nonplussed to you mean? Surprised? Or bot surprised?

  142. @Dia Ria Good question. The version that I didn’t give it a second thought ‘till this vignette jogged my memory. Saying that, hope they didn’t rob the bank on that block and I’m the only witness to the getaway. You’re not a Detective, are you?

  143. In the early 1970's, polka dot dresses were in style, and navy blue in particular. I had a long, sleeveless dress with a bolero jacket, navy blue material with white polka dots. I wore it to a wedding where four other women had different style dresses made from the same navy blue, polka dot material. I had loved that dress, but I never felt the same about it after that.

  144. @Linda J. I never understood why so many women react negatively to seeing someone else in a similar dress. Whenever I see another guy wearing the same shirt or jacket as me, I smile. We both have the same (good) taste. Is this a cultural thing?

  145. @Joseph Hanania I'm not sure why anybody feels that way, but when it happens, the expression was "I hate to see myself 'coming and going.'" Maybe some men would rather not see another man wearing exactly the same tie when they're in close proximity, maybe at a meeting? Perhaps the difference is that a dress is much "larger" than a tie and stands out more?

  146. @Linda J. Sometimes, a little humor helps. If I had been one of the 'polka-dot dressers', I would have gathered all of us together and asked someone to take our picture while we were laughing. Cheers!

  147. Years ago I had a favorite long navy polka dotted sundress that never failed to elicit the most extravagant compliments. I remember an older man making his way across a crowded event to say "thank you for wearing that dress" and then walking away.

  148. I hope everyone is well. Here on the prairie we don't have a lot of hospitals and we always take health care providers, but we also don't have as many people. 32 confirmed cases here in Nebraska as of 3/20/20, none where I am. Keep in touch, MD readers.

  149. @PrairieFlax *We always NEED health care providers.

  150. Dear PrairieFlax, Stay safe and healthy yourself. It is good that we can safely visit here at the Metropolitan Diary from any corner of the globe. Wishing you and all good health and good spirits. It is springtime. Allen

  151. @Allen TY Allen. And to you.

  152. A polka dot dress. Navy Blue, white polka dots. My mother died shortly after my 6th birthday. It's the only dress I remember. So, yes, I agree: Polka Dots RULE!! Wear yours in good health!

  153. @Dancer's Mom Plus navy blue and white, a beautiful combination.

  154. As always, a breath of fresh air. No politics, no corona. YEA!

  155. I think that a polka dot dress is the sexiest dress in the known universe. Now, why is that so? A wonderful, joyful mystery. I'm old and my kids won't let me leave my house, so I will ponder it for at least the rest of the day. Maybe all week.

  156. @2REP Perhaps it's utter frivolity and utterly feminine. Let the brickbats commence!

  157. @2REP When I'm "allowed" to leave per darling daughter, I'm shopping for a polka dot dress. preferably navy blue with white polka dots, my favorite dress when I was carrying her.

  158. Our mom had a polka dot dress - navy blue, white dots. Only saw her wear it once - at least sixty years ago, but I can see her in that dress like it was yesterday. Dad died young, I was seven, brother was nine. She never wore that dress again, but never disposed of it. Now, I understand. When she passed, many years later, never remarried, we buried her in that dress - she would want to be wearing it when she met the one and only love of her life again.

  159. @eugene1670 Wow...that last line hit me hard.

  160. @Rob Me, too.

  161. My mom had a red and white accordion pleated skirt she wore periodically and the energy noticeably kicked up a notch when she walked into the room wearing it. It was a happy skirt and that's how I like to remember her.

  162. @Zoli oh, yeah, it was polka dots.

  163. Going to a bar and wearing headphones- having a party for one? Stealing Passover cookies? A self-satisfying rude answer from a clerk to a reasonable question? Anonymity creates selfishness, even in a crowd. Witness the coolest among us still crowded together cluelessly spreading a plague. I wanna love NYC but this one reason is why I do not.

  164. I just read all these stories and ended with a much needed smile on my face. A party of one, how many people are confident enough to do that? The rest just funny acts of being human.

  165. @Me The clerk wasn’t being rude, he was “cracking wise” — a New York tradition going back to Vaudeville. Obviously you are not a fan of Jackie Masón, Henny Youngman or the Marx Vrithers.

  166. These are all great. It's a fact, women look better in polka dots than men. Maybe it's because women look better full stop.

  167. What pleasurable reading, quietly uplifting.

  168. Barbara Bush, wife of the former President, wore a beautiful full length blue dress with white polka dots and a necklace of large white pearls to the White House dinner celebrating its 200 birthday. I was there and complimented and she hugged me.

  169. @michael - It would have been a MUCH better story if George H. W. was the one wearing the dress! ;)

  170. Thank you for making my world a little brighter today. The visual image of those polka dot dresses will stay with me all week!

  171. Ohio here, stay healthy everyone, this will pass

  172. This isn't an experience I had living in Manhattan, but I always like telling the story. In 1998, I was consulting for a year in Minneapolis, MN. One evening, on the radio, a woman related this story. She & her husband went out for dinner & then were heading to their theater series. When they got to the theater, she discovered her purse, with the tickets, was not in her pocketbook. They were able to buy 2 other tickets & entered the theater. There, she saw another couple sitting in their regular seats. She went up to them during intermission & asked them where they had gotten the tickets. A nice young man had hawked the tickets outside the theater for face value. The next morning, she got a call from the local police precinct informing her that her purse had been handed in. She hurried over to retrieve it. All of its contents were intact except for the two missing tickets. There were, however two extra $20.00 bills and a note. The note said that the man who had found the purse (in the back seat of the taxi they had taken to the theater) knew he could not track them down in time to get them the tickets back, so he went to the theater, sold them to another couple and put the money in her purse before taking it to the police so she shouldn't have been put at a loss. They talk about the idea of "Minnesota Nice" sometimes a bit facetiously, but sometimes it really exists.

  173. One of my earliest memories - likely preschool - is of a blue dress with embroidered white polks dots. It was made for me by my beloved, extremely skilled, maternal grandmother.