Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Old Women of Manhattan

Well, I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, tell where are you going?
This he told me
Said, I'm going down to Yasgur's Farm
Gonna join in a rock and roll band
Got to get back to the land and set my soul free - Joni Mitchell, "Woodstock" 1969

Upper East Side Women
Where have they gone, the children of Woodstock? Long time passing. The "where have all the young girls gone" girls. The "I Am Woman" women.

The older women of my parent's generation frequented diners or cafés. Socialized in the dining rooms of their peers.

They had their hair permed and gray-rinsed. Certainly they didn't hang out in  bars. OMG - in Australia women of any age were not even allowed in bars. But the times they have been a-changin'.

The young girls of the nineteen fifties and sixties are now women in their sixties and seventies. You can see some of them in the bars and restaurants of Manhattan. They generally come in groups of two but sometimes dine alone. Sometime between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. But this early dining is not because age has wearied them.

Aù contraire. They choose these hours because these are "Happy Hours" here in New York City. Drinks are cheap. Important when on a fixed and limited income as many are.

They quite often have large smiley-face plastic bags on the table next to them, containing the left-over food from their meals, that they'll take home for tomorrow night's dinner home alone.  One night eating in, next night eating out - all for the price of one. Anti global-warming deniers - they would demonstrate against their own carbon footprints - defiant in exposing their own hypocrisy.
Smiley  Face, Happy Hour

Like "alternate side street parking" that we have here - something I've never completely understood - possibly because I don't own a car.

I gather it means that you have to park on the opposite side of the road than the one you parked on the day before. But I can't figure it out. How would one remember? And how would the parking guy know? And what if you parked on the left side on Monday but were away from home on Tuesday. Would Wednesday be the alternate of Monday, or of Tuesday?

The taking home of leftovers though I do understand, though I don't participate. Along with the happy hour drinks it makes economic sense.

I admire the older women of New York. Hanging out in bars, walking wherever they want. Giving as good as they get.

We've come a long way from Yasgur's Farm, and I like to think we've set our souls free. 

Star dust, billion year old carbon.

As they say in New York - "Tell me about it!"

Meanwhile, we'll keep on rocking.

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