life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, October 29, 2010

NYC street scene

On any given day in NYC you're likely to see someone handing out "stuff". Up in times Square they hand out coupons for discounted admission to comedy clubs and Madame Tussaud's. Walk a few blocks and you'll find someone handing out menus for the local take-out restaurant. Walk a few blocks in the other direction and you'll be handed a postcard or flyer for something you don't want your kids to see. As I was walking into Penn Station the other day someone handed me free samples of a new Cream of Wheat flavor.

And, of course, you're going to see lots of people handing out the free newspapers.

There are two freebies here in NYC, Metro New York and AM New York. I'm not sure who publishes Metro, but I know that AM New York is published by Cablevision -- the same people who own Newsday. Both dailies follow the same marketing strategy -- handing out free copies, especially near subway and railroad stations, during themorning rush hour.

The thing is, most of the time you never notice the person who is handing out the flyer or the product or the newspaper, your attention is more focuesd on the "stuff" than on the person delivering it to you. You never think about the person, never wonder why they would take such a thankless job that requires them to stand outside in all sorts of weather...

But I've been noticing one of the women who hands out the free newspapers. Her post is on Vesey Street, near the entrance to the E train, and I walk past her on my way to the PATH station.

She's an older woman, I'd guess late 50's or early 60's. She always wears long skirts and dark stockings, and either sneakers or Oxford type shoes. and she has a hat, a big floppy beige hat, that ties under her chin. She wears this hat in all kinds of weather, summer and winter. I don't know if I'd recognize her without that hat.

I have to admit, I'm curous about her history and why she's doing this job....

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