I just read on-line this morning that NYC is the most expensive city to live in on the USA Continent. There is no question about it, things are expensive in this town but somehow folks get by. Last count there were over 8 million of us living in Manhattan and its surrounding four boroughs. But there’s something about the strong and deep survival spirit of this city’s residents that cannot be taken for granted.

Right now we are experiencing the last cold and windy days of early spring. A lovely mysterious fog frequently crawls across the skyline blurring, sometimes even blotting out the taller buildings. And those living in the upper floors of these apartment buildings could believe they are free-floating as the mist and fog cuddles in around their windows.

Lately I’ve been stuck in a world of revision. Nose to paper, fingers cramped from making corrections, crossing out extraneous words or phrases, only periodically looking up to check out the world around me. And some days on a break from the tedium of editing, I open my iPhoto file to look at old photos and to see what I’ve experienced in the outside world.

There’s a vendor on a corner up the street that I’ve caught in my camera lens more than once. I call her the Golden D hotdog lady. She’s a hearty woman and faithfully working on her corner in all seasons. Even when we have those all-day rain storms I see her clad in a yellow rain slicker standing under the umbrella of her hotdog station. I don’t know where she lives but she is one of the solid members of our commerce community.

On the bright sun filled days she stands under the umbrella on her vigil, waiting for the passersby to purchase a freshly steamed hotdog.

On the other corner, across the street from the hotdog lady’s stand, someone usually flicks a handful of birdseed for the local pigeons that live in the roof tops of our buildings.

In the winter when the sun settles early behind the horizon, the hotdog lady stays on through the dark, late afternoons catching the weary workers grabbing a quick snack before finally reaching their home.

And in the winter, when it’s miserably cold, the snow filled streets cleared by the plows, the hotdog lady does her bit to clear out her space making room for the taxi drivers who pull up to her curb with one of those hotdogs on their minds. She has a regular clientele and this is her way of taking care of those who make a living by chaffering around the locals.

I some times see the hotdog lady leaning against the building nearest her, reading a book, writing in a notepad or just gazing up the street. From her corner she has one of the NYC classic views of water towers.

There are other people like the hotdog lady who scratch out a meager living doing what they can. Two blocks from the hotdog lady, every Christmas I see a jolly old guy busking in the subway station singing his version of Feliz Navidad.

And what is more fun than bubbles in the summer sun. I caught a photo of this fellow when he set up a ‘bubble gun’ stand on a sidewalk in Lower Manhattan enticing prospective customers with his display of jewels floating above his head. Yes, this city may be one of the most expensive to live in but somehow it is not burned out from exhaustion, it still smiles.



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