City Sights

29 Apr

One of the things I love about NYC is the ample opportunity for people watching. I am usually preoccupied with Bandar and maneuvering her stroller through mounds of dirt and other things but the solo trips I make twice a day between home and her school allow me a lot of time for taking in the scenes and some reflection.
To some extent, people watching as I walk the busy streets takes me back to India. After living the last 7 years in other cities in the US where driving is pretty much the only way to get around , this is such a welcome change.
My favorite breed of people to watch are senior citizens. Here in NYC they have to be in pretty good physical condition to walk around so much and I really feel happy when I see active old people. They don’t walk fast but at a comfortable pace and are usually holding groceries or library books. I sometimes see couples – the man sometimes  holding the woman’s elbow and steering her gently or just holding hands as they wait for the traffic signal. It fills me with a certain warmth and I imagine the husbadoo and I together at that age – picking up a few light groceries to make a simple meal. I really hope and pray I can grow old with this man.
I assume the older people I see here are reasonably well off and own the apartments they live in. I hope they are not renting and paying several 1000 dollars in rent at that age or are at least in some sort of long term inflation protected lease scheme. I dream and wonder how they made their millions , was it in investments, family money?
I do some quick math and realize we will never be able to afford to retire in this city and I for one am totally okay living somewhere else in my old age. This is fine for us now but I think I would like to be somewhere slow paced compared to here.
I think your 70s is really the perfect old age to be. The few people I see who seem older sadly seem to be in bad shape health wise. Our own grandmothers are really suffering in their late 80s and 90s in India and seeing older women who vaguely resemble them makes me sigh. I still see these people trying to take a few steps with a walker and a young, health care worker or caregiver by their side. I have seen the really irritated looking caregivers and also ones who also seem gentle and kind and encouraging.
Apart from the older generation, I also love  observing nannies with the young ones under their care as they go about their day in the city.  We live in a highly residential area and child care for children under two costs apart from costing the earth is hard to find. For parents with over one child, nannies end up being the cheaper option. Also I can see why most parents would prefer to keep their newborn at home with a nanny rather than at a childcare facility. We did the same till Bandar was 15 months and honestly it would have been my first option if we could afford it in NYC.
Nannies make a reasonable amount of money here in the city apart from paid vacation time, holiday bonuses and health insurance inclusive packages. For starters , most of the nannies are really well educated. A mom in my book club was telling me how she had Yale graduates apply for a full time nanny position she advertised!
Most of the nannies I see on the streets seem to being very professional and capable.  They are talking intently to the older ones and teaching them about traffic signals. They efficiently handle a screaming toddler tantrum on one hand and skillfully push a stroller with an infant using their other!
So incidents like the one I mention below I am sure are few and far between.I was walking back after dropping Bandar off at school, I noticed 2 nannies, each pushing a double stroller on the streets. They were hurling abuses at each other in jest but really words you would not want to hear used around kids. They did not follow any traffic signs and crossed busy streets carelessly. One was constantly on her cell phone  while the other kept interjecting with bad language. I watched them for a few streets and finally turned a corner to go home. I am part of a moms group with over 2000 moms in the area. Within 2 hours another mom had emailed the group with exact descriptions of both nannies and their charges asking the group if the nannies were in their employment. I added my two cents on what I had seen. Within the next 4 hours, another mom replied saying one of the nannies was employed by her and she reached out to both of us on details of what we had seen. The other nanny apparently worked at her neighbor’s. I do not what the final outcome was – did the nannies get fired or did they just get a warning. But either way,it made me glad to think that mothers here watch out for each other and had a way to report any wrong doing. If nothing at least the two nannies and others realize that they their behavior doesn’t go unnoticed .

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4 Responses to “City Sights”

  1. Little Fingers May 1, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    That’s amazing how well connected the mommy group is.

  2. magic May 3, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    I love people watching, this I realised only when I came to the US…. reading your post reminded of my beloved Bangalore

    I am typical city gal…. I prefer living in a city cant bear this silence …

  3. Comfy May 7, 2014 at 4:59 am #

    People watching is so much fun! It was a fav. activity whole back in college. Now I am so busy running around myself that there is no time for any of it. Someday again I hope!

  4. princessbutter May 13, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    Hey! I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! Write write more! And visit San Diego! 🙂
    Check this out…. http://asplashofmylife.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/329/

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