First I abjectly failed what must surely be a litmus test for determining who is – or is not – a true New Yorker. I drove in town for a party and was extremely pleased with myself for having found a legal parking spot on Riverside in the high 90’s. (After a few lengthy sojourns at the Impound Lot on Pier 40, I now read the parking signs carefully, and repeatedly.)I backed in and did the parallel park dance (I may not be a certified urbanite, but my parallel parking is RAWTHER good.) when suddenly an SUV completes a U-turn and pulls along beside me and starts honking. I stare blankly. He lowers his windows and says some unfortunate things about my character. He claims that he had his eye on this space all along and who am I to steal it. I mention that I had not seen him, and by the way, didn’t he just pull a Uey? My character is further castigated.
But here is the insane part. I pulled out of the cozy space, and gave it to him.
I can’t explain this.
(If my one-legged Chilean psychiatrist were still alive, we could have a lovely time parsing the meaning of this. But he is not. I did, however, speak with a gentleman at the party in question who had an Argentinean psychiatrist with a shriveled arm. In both cases they were geniuses who spoke with thick accents.)
So you can imagine my delight when, after finding another parking space, I am walking down Riverside Drive and come upon the Joan of Arc Island. There is such a thing. (I am a Joan of Arc fan, and not because we have anything in common. I don’t ride horses, hear voices, or want to save the kingdom of France. But I admire her enormously. To prove it: my cup of tea is this very moment sitting on a Joan of Arc coaster.) High upon a Gothic pedestal is an equestrian statue of Joan of Arc. The horse’s right front leg is raised, presumably because she was injured but not killed in battle. The statue is by Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973), an American sculptor who specialized in animals, and especially horses. Because Joan is atop the horse, which is atop the pedestal and also because it was nighttime, I could not make out Joan’s attire in any great detail. In fact, from my vantage point, what I could see most clearly were the horse’s testicles.
I plan to return with binoculars.
Joan of Arc would never, ever, have given up a legitimate, legal and well-deserved parking space.