It’s not just the fact that the little guy I go see every day at Starbucks is not just always smiling, but that he remembers me, my wife, our drinks, and the conversation we were having the day before; it’s not just the fact that there are clean, breezy walkways without homeless people badgering you for your change, it’s not just the fact that there is an omnipresent security staff paired with bored looking NYPD officers which make me feel safe; it’s not just the fact that there is virtually always a place for me to sit, it’s not just the fact that there is all this and more under one roof which keeps me coming back to the World Financial Center in New York City’s Battery Park City.
Nope. It’s the little things.
It was snowing recently and the borderline temperatures made it a wet snow. Originating from the hills of New Hampshire and Connecticut, this was no big deal to me, and I, coupled with our alternate-side-approved, 2007 Saturn Ion, didn’t even think to wear a hat let alone use an umbrella which my dutiful wife offered me when I showed up to her work.
But needless to say there were careening individuals, riding bicycles, running this way and that with their yellow rain suits and their umbrellas. It was on my journey from my pre-lunch seat to my pre-lunch Starbucks visit that I happened upon this wet-umbrella receptacle at one of the doors.
Hmmm…”Wet Umbrella Bag.”
It was then that I happened upon my memory of living in the clean Connecticut suburbs and how this umbrella bag thing would be even absent in my largely homeless-gentrified suburbs (these were the homeless that had escaped the City and were now living off subsidized welfare dollars)…some, in hindsight, even call the surrounding areas “red-neck” territory. And I guess neighboring towns are bound to rub off in at least some small way. But these umbrella receptacles would be aligned only with the most pristine of new office buildings or to more ritzy neighbors like Greenwich, Stamford, and the like.
And while having a clean hallway to walk down and having a regular barista who remembers your conversations might be ordinary for your suburban life (as they were for me when I lived in the burbs and worked at Starbucks!) that has now long since passed so it’s sweet to remember this time in a small way. So, to the visiting individual I say, stay away from Battery Park City and the World Financial Center. It’s rather boring and I would in no way want to encourage riff-raff to find their way to this place only to have the well-to-do take off for some other, distant, Mecca. No that would make me sad; the community which resides and regularly calls the World Financial Center their loitering hole may be exclusive, but I’m glad to sit in their midst and be among them for a time.