Good Evening from New York.
Today has been a really cold and windy day in New York. I had my little scrap of notated paper in my pocket as I headed out around 11 this morning, with the intent to get started on my Christmas list. Well. I waited a very long time on a windy corner for a bus to take me to the East Side of the park. I kept thinking, do I want to be even colder? Where is that elusive bus?
I had already done some errands on my west side of town, but needed to go eastward to go deeper into the Christmas shopping. Since I have to grab my free time when I can, every half-hour really does count.
Finally the bus arrived. My fellow twenty waiters and I boarded, and soon we wound through the Park's transverse road and emerged on to Fifth Avenue. I got off and got to stop one on my list. Done. On to stop two. But by this time the cold and the really huge crowds on the sidewalks of midtown were putting me off. (I do think that many of these folks on the sidewalks were out-of-town tourists, because they just did not walk at the pace that we New Yorkers sort of get used to.) I made one stop, and then returned home.
It was much more productive to stay cosy at home for the afternoon and continue my Christmas card painting. Great jazz music on my radio. A few phone calls with friends. Very relaxing. And warm.
This past week, our company held its annual holiday party, a few weeks earlier than usual. Don't think that we have ever before had the party in November. Anyhow, it was fun to have a chance to see folks that I usually only connect with via e-mail or phone calls. Great food and drink. Music, dancing. Venue located right on the edge of the Hudson River, with great big windows overlooking the water and the city skyline. Lovely.
We also learned this week of the year's great financial success for our company. This means a big profit sharing bonus for each of us, and hopes of more to come. I attended a meeting at which there was opportunity to share views with our company's founder, and of course I had to take advantage of that opportunity.
Perhaps not so great news is the past week's crime in the area of the shop. Last weekend as a club in the area closed up ca. 3 a.m., someone was stabbed to death. This club is a block away from our shop. Obviously the night life in the area is quite different from what normally goes on during business hours.
Ah, but wait. Also last week, there was an armed robbery in a shop at the corner of our block of Fifth Avenue at 4 p.m. Now this concerns me. Alarms me. Since learning of this incident from one of our delivery service's drivers, I have tried to find out more about what actually happened, and how we may get additional protection for the shop. I have been communicating with the robbed shop, the police and with my company. So far, I regret to say, I am not happy with the results of my communicating. Maybe I will feel differently by this time next week.
December is always a dicey time crime wise in this city. There is just so much money around, the nights are long, people are not attentive, all sorts of factors.
My concern as a manager is that I want those on my staff, and also my customers to be safe. I want to be safe myself! Making theory into reality is not always so easy. When it comes to safety, I am not of the laissez-faire school of thought. It is upsetting not to have calls to the local police precinct returned. When I go back to the shop tomorrow, I will try again to get some answers about what the police may be doing to provide the area with addtional protection during this glorious holiday season.
Meanwhile, my neighborhood's sidewalks now have the annual additions of lots of Christmas trees for sale. The trees mostly are trucked in from Canada, in all sizes from tres petit to twelve foot tall ones for the high-ceilinged grand apartments. It is great to walk past these trees just to breathe in the fragrance. Each one of these "encampments" is staffed 24/7 by heavily bundled up young entrepreneural folks who manage to make a bit of money each December. Most have boom boxes blaring forth various notions of Christmas music, usually not any of the carols that you all might recognize.
Let me end this seasonal New York report with the vision of sidewalks lined with stands of lovely green Christmas trees awaiting adoption.
Pleasant dreams to all.