Thursday, January 10

metropolitan diary

I have evolved into a big fan of the "Metropolitan Diary" columns in the New York Times. I've got a thing for personal stories and observances and small histories, and in Metropolitan Diary (or "Dear Diary" as it is sometimes called), New Yorkers write to The Times to share what they've seen and heard and remembered: the profound, the peculiar, the unexpected, the ubiquitous New York moment that only true New Yorkers get. I get it, too. We all get it.

I like Metropolitan Diary for the same reasons I like StoryCorps and TAL. I think what it boils down to is that I like people. I like to see what people enjoy. I like to see what makes them laugh. I like to observe a stranger's breaking point. I like to see what they're made of. Where they came from. Where they want to go. What really happens. The little moments. I love conversation, whether partaking or overhearing. This also makes me a fantastic people-watcher, though I don't claim bragging rights to being a great eavesdropper. I embarrass and scare too easily.

Anyway. For examples, there's this one about a mom who had to teach her toddlers to climb stairs in the Plaza Hotel because her family lives in a true flat in a building with an elevator.

And this one guy named L. Fred Avayzian wrote this clever haiku:

This Daylight Saving
This hour gained, but empty, hushed
No one told the birds

Or there's this one about a woman who gladly rode in the trunk of a car just to make her meeting in Manhattan. Or an 84-year-old woman's triumph in getting her 12th-story window cleaned after years and years. Or a four-year-old girl who got her first "pony ride" on the back of a Great Dane in Central Park.

I want to subscribe to The New York Times for this column, alone. But right now, only the New Yorker is in the budget. In the meantime, there's the book, which I really need to get my hands on.

This writerly sister of mine and this funny sister of mine really need to write in. Do it for me.



Tiffany said...

I had no idea this existed, but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I love to hear people tell stories; everybody's got a good one.

And I whole-heartedly agree that your sisters should be writing in!

Ann Marie said...

Love it! Reminds me a bit of the book "If I Live to Be 100" by Neenah Ellis. She interviews centenarians all over the country. It's absolutely beautiful. Anyway, looking forward to reading more Metropolitan Diaries.

veeda said...

Life profiles are the best. I agree with you, I really like hearing stories about other people.

Chelsea said...

Love the types of things. Thanks for the tip.