It’s a good news day.

Not every city in the path of Hurricane Ian was devastated. Disclaimer: I saw this story before 60 Minutes did a segment on it Sunday night. Go, me!

The Miami Boys Choir sings.

The abacus as a tool to learn math. I think of it as a learning aid in the Montessori method — hands-on and visual.

From the NYTimes Metropoliltan Diary:

Dear Diary:

I often pass though the plaza at the center of Columbus Circle, where the perimeter of fountains muffles the din of traffic and creates a delightful oasis.

Once, when I was flittering through early in the morning, I saw a young woman in a ballerina’s outfit sit down, change from her street shoes into dance shoes and put in a pair of earbuds.

For 15 glorious minutes, I watched as she danced around the statue of Christopher Columbus for an audience of one: me.

I could not hear the music, but I could see the grace and beauty it inspired. It was thrilling. The woman seemed to dance for the sheer love of it.

When she finished, she bowed softly.

Instinctively, I stood up and bowed back in response.

“Exuberance,” I said quietly.

About a week later, and in a spot not far away, I was walking in the street with lots of people late in the afternoon when a young woman stepped out of the crowd.

“Exuberance,” she said, and then melted away.

Dear Diary:

My friend Barbara and I were walking on 55th Street toward Lexington Avenue. It was a hot, muggy, gray afternoon in late August.

A gust of wind kicked up suddenly, tossing bits of tattered papers, leaves and other debris in our direction. Then the rain started: big drops at first, then a steady cascade.

“It smells like soot with a mix of Chinese noodles,” I said as we rushed along. “Weird. Only in Manhattan.”

“Right,” Barbara said. “Rain does smell.”

Just then, a man who was walking ahead of us turned around.

“It’s called petrichor,” he said, and then he just kept going.

Dear Diary:

I walked past a woman on Second Avenue and told her that I liked her shirt.

It said, “My own approval is all I need.”

Dear Diary:

I left my office at 48th Street and Madison around 9 p.m. and hailed a cab.

The driver and I started to talk about how hot and humid it was. He said he walked everywhere, even from his apartment in Harlem to Chinatown.

“Chinatown?” I said. “Seriously?”

“Yes,” he said. “Chinatown.”

“Well, in that case, you should run the marathon”

“I have. Multiple times.”

He proceeded to tell me his name (Wilson) and his age (73). He said he had run 10 New York City marathons and that his personal record was 2:47.

When we got to my building, I stayed in the cab for 15 minutes while we discussed running marathons and training for them.

Wilson showed me pictures of his family and of him crossing the finish line. I showed him a picture of the bib from the last New York City Marathon I had run.

He told me to look for him in the park, and we wished each other well.

Some time later, I was running in the park with my friend Carolyn when I saw a gray-haired man speeding past us.

“You are not going to believe this,” I said to Carolyn.

I hurried to see if my hunch was correct.

“Wilson!” I yelled when I got within screaming distance.

He turned around and we bumped fists.

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3 Responses to It’s a good news day.

  1. gayle says:

    who knew that the abacus could turn out to be such a rabbit hole?

  2. handeyecrafts8306 says:

    So, folks in NYC split their time between doing inspiring things and blending into crowds. . .

  3. k says:

    Oooh, what Handeyecrafts said! …
    I credit one of my gradeschool teachers plopping abacii? down in front of us for my understanding of arithmetic. I’ve been thinking about getting one as an adult and learning to really use it.

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