Only in New York ...

Can you see James Bond on Broadway and watch the city fling its trash in the face of an inhabitant on the way there. A post about my Saturday night.

It was the kind of Saturday evening that could only happen in New York.

Sharon and I left our apartment building about 5 p.m., uncertain on the destination. We just wanted to get out. We had done something similar on Friday, heading north and we encountered an outdoor jazz concert complete with a dance floor and giant disco ball at Lincoln Center.

This time, we headed South on Broadway. Past the 99 Cent Fresh Pizza at 55th, where there was a line out the door, presumably because it’s one of the last spots in Manhattan where you can get a cheese slice for, well, 99 cents. Past the Ed Sullivan Theater, site of the Stephen Colbert Show. Past the Krispy Kreme shop with a walk-up window and the guy dressed as Spider-Man who was posed for pictures while atop actual garbage bins (eewww!)

We stopped at the tkts digital board where they post discounted tickets and saw that they were available for both “The Music Man,” which stars Hugh Jackman, and “Macbeth,” directed by Sam Gold and starring Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga. Turned out Jackman was out with COVID, so we opted for “Macbeth” and got half-price tickets that were located in the seventh row on the right side of the Longacre Theater.

I’m not trying to rub anything in here. We are unbelievably fortunate not just to live here, but to pay the ridiculous rent necessary to live in Manhattan. But this is also a city where everything you do is 45 percent more difficult than it would be elsewhere because it’s New York, and at any point, a task that should take you 25 minutes may very well require 90 because this city that supposedly prioritizes convenience can become teeth-grindingly inefficient with absolutely no warning.

But this is also a city where on a Saturday evening, you can leave for a walk, uncertain where you’re going and wind up watching James Bond play the part of MacBeth from the seventh row. The production was really interesting, the costumes a modern dress and the set incredibly sparse until the very end when it got incredibly claustrophobic. Also, there was a lot of blood. A lot. Some of the blood spurted.

While we were walking to the theater we had another experience that could only happen in New York. The wind was whipping through the city as it tends to do, blustering from the north fiercely enought that it was picking up the detritus that accumulates on Manhattan streets.

Suddenly, a woman walking in front of us shrieked. Twice. Then she shook her head. As she turned her head and I got a view of her profile, I thought she was trying to shake off the N-95 mask she was wearing only to realize — gasp! — that it was a piece of litter that had been blown directly onto her face. It was a napkin and the wind held the piece of paper against her face like one of those hotdog wrappers that used to get pinned to the chainlink outfield fence at Candlestick Park in San Francisco when it got blustery.

We’re not sure where the napkin was from. If you forced me to guess I’d say Popeyes while my wife thought perhaps Annie’s Pretzels. It absolutely had printing on it, though, and it was also blown up from the sidewalk in this most filthy of cities and directly into the face of this poor pedestrian.

It occurs to me know that the city — which endures unbelievable amounts of trash being thrown on directly on its streets — had found a way to throw some of that litter back into the face of an inhabitant.

“Kissed by a butterfly,” said the man who was walking with this poor soul.

Except it wasn’t like that. At all.

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