A New York lunch trip

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Taking baby steps in Central Park. Photo: JH.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024. Yesterday was a supremely beautiful day in New York with temps topping 80 but no humidity so that was just warm, sleeveless abounding.   

The New York lunch trip. I was invited to lunch with Patsy and Jeff Tarr, at their apartment, at noon. Traffic is exceptionally heavy all over Manhattan on weekdays. In the busiest 10, 20, 30 block areas, a four-laner is reduced to one, thanks to the pink bus lane (only), along with the official bike lanes and the new limited parking lane. With it comes with mass exasperation behind the wheel(s).

A less exasperated moment behind the wheel.

The delivery services have replaced people going out and shopping on their own and returning with their purchases. Now a lot of those purchases are done online and there is no hitting the pavement for it. A convenience on one level.

Before yesterday’s lunch, I last saw Patsy at the Central Park Conservancy Hat Lunch a few weeks back.

I live on the Upper East Side, a block from the East River in the 80s. The Tarrs live in the lower 70s on Central Park West. I was looking forward to the pleasure of their company. I gave myself a good half hour start and drove over to avoid the cabfare which is higher than ever. I made it in a good half-hour, and parked in a garage.

Car parked, I went to find their apartment building. I didn’t have the exact address but I had been there before (about ten or fifteen years before) and knew what its facade looked like. It was right around the corner from the garage; a three-minute walk. When I reached the entrance of the building I told the doorman that I was going to the Tarrs.

He never heard of them. Oh? Nope. Wrong building. Hmmm. I walked a couple of blocks down the avenue to the next similar façade. Never heard of them. I ended up covering a ten block area and there were no Tarrs anywhere.

Meanwhile I’m beginning to feel like I screwed up (big time) in not asking for an address; when my cell phone rang. It was Patsy! Relief!

The Tarrs live high up above the Park which can be seen clearly and grandly from their living room windows. From their dining room window, they look out on of scores of rooftops of the neighborhoods of the West Side with few buildings of more than seven or eight stories, and in the distance the West Side of the Hudson, the banks of New Jersey.

The expansive view looking east from the living room of the Tarr’s Upper West Side apartment early one spring morning.

Since I was more than a half hour late, we had a brief conversation before moving to the dining room. Their housekeeper came from the kitchen laying out the plates with oven-baked salmon and broccoli and a sliced cucumber salad. A perfect lunch with a conversation about our daily lives along with recalling historical moments.

My interest in people’s lives is what motivates my work and experience. With certain people, and both Patsy and Jeff are good examples, there is an ongoing quest to learn and to participate. This is a natural state of being but also one that depends on other elements such as one’s personal relationships, one’s sphere of interests (and not too limited), and one’s access to the world outside ourselves.

We all met long ago because of Patsy’s personal and intense interest – that being Dance. And then Lesley Hauge and Sian Ballen interviewed her in their apartment, while JH surveyed the scene (SEE HERE). Yesterday’s lunch where we had a couple hours of conversation brought the same pleasure of their company and the continued movement in their interests.

What I’d booked in my mind of schedules was meet at noon, lunch and finish at two. We’re in New York and on a weekday it’s All Business. I got there closer to one, and it was after three when they surely needed my exit on this midday of the business week in little ole New York …

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