On a Thursday afternoon, there is no trace of the sun on Lexington, given the tall buildings on both sides. It’s okay, because the temperature is nice. It’s 77° Fahrenheit with a late summer breeze.
A dad carries his baby boy in a sling. Baby rests his head on dad’s tummy, sleeping tightly. His two little bare feet dangle in the wind. Dogs are taking their afternoon walks, sticking their tongues out to taste the cool air. Between 77th and 78th street, Butterfield Market is busy, not inside the shop but outside of it, where the long benches attract relaxing crowds. Among these people, six are having ice creams, and a guy is eating a peach while his friend is peeling a banana.
Classic New Yorkers walk so fast—even to nowhere. Still, on a day like this, a sense of the slower pace of summer comes across. While jaywalking, people laugh and talk to each. A man gives his wife a bite of his apple. Many people walk and talk on the phone; a guy smiles sweetly while listening to the person on the other end.
Four ladies are window-shopping. Their lipsticks are well kept and shining, and their white hair is blow-dried, glowing. Despite the wrinkles, they still seem to be twenty inside.
“Oh, I love this skirt!” says one.
“I love this dress!” says another.
“I wish I could wear that!”
Every one of them likes something from every window.
They come from Alabama. When I ask what are they doing here, 70-year-old Maddie Cohen giggles, looking at her friends, and says, “We are…playing!” Then they all laugh.