My mom sent this photo to me yesterday. It was taken in New York City exactly this time of year (end of October) in 1989. If my memory serves me correctly, this photo was taken the day I learned that my boyfriend back home in Spokane died in a car accident the night before. I would go home, after having had a fun day in the City, and learn this sad news. What a strange thing to think about today.
I don’t know what the fuck I am wearing. It was the Eighties.
I have actually done this. This is another New York Story. It was Earth Day in 1990. April 22nd. Oh, it was a fabulous day. A beautiful spring day in the Big City. I wandered around Central Park and Manhattan with my friends. In fact, this photo of the roller skaters was taken on this very day.
The day felt very magical. I remember there being lots of people wandering around Central Park. There may have been something going on (a free concert or something. I can’t quite remember.) There was a powerful, wonderful energy in the air.
We walked by a sign for a psychic/palm reader and decided to to check it out for fun. We walked up to this apartment (which was very weird) and knocked on the door. There was a family of gypsies who lived there. The psychic, a middle aged woman, beckoned me into a back room and instructed me to hold out my palm.
My palm was beset with terrible eczema (I know. Probably TMI but it’s true). The woman tried to read my palm but was so distracted by this that it dominated our conversation. Her advice to me was that I should take “Half a Valium everyday” and that would clear it up. I can’t remember what she said about my future. I do remember that it involved finding the perfect man and marriage and the usual things 19 year old girls think about. The whole thing lasted about fifteen minutes and cost me twenty dollars. I was extraordinarily disappointed. I have never been to a psychic since.
When my North Dakotan friend and I got off the train we decided to take a cab into Greenwich Village. We got into the back of the taxi and gripped the seat as the driver tried to impress us with his erratic driving through Manhattan while asking us questions about where we were from. He turned his head to talk to us and in that moment I saw it coming. In the distance I saw the man crossing the street. He was wearing a red shirt and black jeans. He had brown hair and a mustache. He looked into the cab of the taxi the moment before impact. I will never forget that look. It was a look that was mirrored in my face, I am certain. As the cab driver turned back around the man was on the hood of the car, rolling up to meet the windshield. His body bounced off the windshield as the taxi driver screeched to a stop. He told us to stay in the car while he got out to check on the man he had just hit with his car. My friend and I sat in the back of the taxi in shock.
Somebody opened the door and offered to help us out. We looked at each other. “I don’t want to be in this car,” I said. “Neither do I,” replied my friend. So we accepted the offer. We ended up on the sidewalk where a crowd had gathered. The man was lying on the ground, not moving. I didn’t know if he was alive or dead. I heard sirens from an ambulance trying to make its way through the busy city streets. Somebody next to me said, “I’ve lived here all of my life and I’ve never seen anything like this before.” Somehow that gave me a bit of comfort. Even New Yorkers, who have “seen it all” were shocked by somebody getting hit by a car.
The cab driver found us and asked us why we got out of the car and who helped us out. We didn’t see the person who helped us. He left the scene. Because he stole all the cabbie’s money.
18 years later I would remember that look of horror on that man’s face as I watched the grill of a car drive into me and I bounced off the windshield of a Oldsmobile.
I exchanged the defective scanner and hooked up the new one this morning. Already I am having better luck with it. The “film” option is not grayed out. I have yet to scan negatives but will do so as soon as I get a chance. This morning I scanned another snapshot of NYC.
This photo was taken on the same day as the previous NYC photo. It was on Earth Day in 1990. It felt like a magical day. The weather was unseasonably beautiful. Everybody in the city was in a really good mood. We wandered around Manhattan all day. I think we happened upon a free B-52s concert (though, that may have been a different excursion).
That is the sound of me yelling in frustration. I stopped by Office Depot today to pick up a few things and they happened to have the film scanner I’ve wanted, the Epson v500. I was all, “killer! I might as well buy it today.” So off I go, all happy and excited. I installed the software, plugged it all in and scanned some old photos. Worked great! Then I tried scanning some negatives. didn’t work. I have tried everything to get this thing to work. I think it is defective. So I am off to go return the stupid thing (that wasted my fucking day trying to get it to work).
Anyway, here is a snapshot that I scanned. I found it in my desk. It is from when I was a nanny in New York and my friend and I visited NYC (I was 20 years old). Looking at it brings back lots of fond memories.