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May 12, 2010

Henry Luce Gets the Blood Racing

Is the 92nd Street Y some sort of notorious pick-up joint, and everyone forgot to mention it to me and I neglected to notice?

I went there last night to hear Alan Brinkley talk to Frank Rich about his Henry Luce book. Not exactly a meat-market milieu, or so one might think.

But, before the festivities began, the man sitting in front of me (handsome, white-haired, in his 60s, lives in the neighborhood and has a house in Connecticut) started chatting up the woman one empty seat away from him (striking, long-haired, in her 50s, native New Yorker not from the neighborhood but takes art classes at the Y). He seemed sweet, charming, curious, and determined to enjoy the world, while she was whiny, cynical, and excessively flakey in a way that a disproportionate number of artsy New York women have perfected. He made dry little jokes; she had no apparent sense of humor. I wanted to fling my body between them to stop them from getting involved with each other. (The comic strip "Sylvia" has a superhero character called Relationship Cop who nips incipient disastrous liaisons in the bud. It was that kind of impulse.) But of course as soon as the talk was over, he asked her out for coffee.

And then the weird thing happened. I was waiting at the end of my row to merge into the aisle when a completely unfamiliar guy in his 30s or 40s, heading toward the exit, stopped to address me.

THE GUY: (pleasantly) Hi! Want to see my apartment?
ME: (startled) What?
THE GUY: Want to see my apartment?
ME: No.
THE GUY: (surprised, slightly incredulous) No?
(ME shakes her head. THE GUY rejoins the stream and continues up the aisle.)

May 12, 2010 9:21 AM | | Comments (0)

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