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Friday, October 15, 2010

When Brian Met Sally...

A Tale of the Fortuitous, Serendipitous and a Late Night Offer

Sally Darling is a regular reader of this website and is one of the most effusive, ebullient individuals who has graced these cyberpages. She lives in Kansas, a virtual metaphor for all that is not New York City.
On September 9th, 2010, she commented:

Me again. Sorry, I'm your new stalker now :) I literally can not stop reading your posts. I can't explain how there is something in my bones that has always, my whole life, made me feel like I belong there, that I should be living there, but life's events didn't see it that way. Thank you so much for letting me have my little NYC Oasis right here in Kansas!

On September 10th she commented, announcing her upcoming visit to New York City:

Thanks Brian! I stayed up last night and read almost all of your 2010 posts. Not quite through with them, but I'm enjoying every second! I hope you know, my passion and thrill for your fascinating city is only getting fueled by your incredible photos and writing! I can't wait until we arrive on September 25th! My mind is racing a mile a minute with my itinerary selections!

But the Plot Thickens.

On September 24th at 12:41 PM, the day before leaving for New York, Sally commented:

I just love all your adventures that you have in your splendid park! I can't wait to be there Saturday! All I want to do is sit, watch, enjoy, and take in all the wonderment WSP [Washington Square Park] has to bring. You are so lucky that you have it at the tip of your fingertips! I'm counting the minutes until I walk through that wonderful Arch!

A fortuitous turn of events started as a dishwasher disaster at Sally's home in Kansas the night before leaving for New York City. Read the entire story here in her own words. Prompted by or nearly prevented by this accident, at 4:30 AM with 6 minutes left at home before leaving for the airport, Sally decided to make a quick examination of the comments on the blog with no expectations. She was surprised to find my late night offer posted at 11PM:

Sally - welcome to our world. Ask for me if ur in the park.

You're way ahead of me, I am sure, but the devil is in the details.

On Saturday night, September 25th, I was in Washington Square Park. The weather was superb and the evening glorious. Music was everywhere to be found and the park regulars were all there. Jeff, one of the habitués, approached me and said "Brian, you have some visitors looking for you." And there was Sally with her husband and daughter! After a mutual round of OMGs, I told them how they had picked the absolute best night.

I gave them a tour of the plaza, introducing them to all the important regulars, some of which have appeared on this website. Gaby, who was featured on September 8th, 2010, was also there. His story is another tale of the serendipitous (read On The Road here). A photo was taken of the three of us which you see here today.

Two friends, Hellen and Harvey, a married couple living in a nearby high rise, met Sally and her family and made a spectacular offer - to take them up to the roof deck on the 26th floor of their apartment building. The views from there are spectacular, a virtual unobstructed 360 degrees, including south views directly to Washington Square Park (lower photo). Sally was of course just brimming with enthusiasm. When it was time for our guests to leave, Hellen, the ever gracious hostess, insisted on walking them right to the subway platform.

On September 28th, after Sally's return to Kansas, I got this email:

Hello Brian I hope this is your email, and I hope you don't mind that I'm sending you this note. I just want to thank you for one of the most amazing evenings I've ever experienced. It was literally one of those unexpected moments that one might never experience in their lifetime. Please, Please, pass along my thanks to Harvey & Helen, for opening up their home and allowing us to see something my eyes will never forget! How can I ever repay you and them! And I thank you for not only introducing us to them, but for introducing us to your other wonderful Park friends. Sandy Vitamin, Hans, Gabby.....what a wonderful night! I wish we could have all sat down over a cocktail someplace and continued our visit. I knew my daughter was getting tired, and was not feeling good, so unfortunately we had to end our evening. I only hope that one day our paths will cross again, and we can continue where we left off. Your friend, Sally

'Twas a case of the Fortuitous, Serendipitous and a Late Night Offer, When Brian Met Sally... *

Please Note: All correspondence between Sally and I were reproduced here only after obtaining her permission. Thanks Sally.

*When Brian Met Sally is a play on the award winning 1989 comedy classic When Harry Met Sally... , starring Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan. Read more here.


Mary P. said...

Great story, Brian. Sorry I was not there to meet Sally.

Luis Gomez said...

Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this one.

Brian Dubé said...

Mary P. - Sorry too. You are one of the few regulars who did not get a chance :(

Luis - Thanks.

Sally Darling said...

Wow! My magical night has been officially published! I seriously thought it was a dream. Brian, you're the Best.
Signed, Your #1 Blogger Fan!

Anonymous said...

Nice blog!

NYfan said...

Happy Sally!! I know, it´s not nice to be jealous, but, yes, I must admit: I´m feeling a bit jealous... But next year in September I´ll visit Washington Square Park too!!! Can´t wait!!! Take care, Brian, I love your blog!!!!!!!

Steve Scauzillo said...

Brian, I really love your blog being a former New Yorker who now lives in Los Angeles (well, Temple City, hence my blog I enjoyed reading the story as I, too, have relatives in Kansas. As I looked at the shot from above, I had that great Counting Crows song run through my head ...''Washington Square." Thanks.

Sally Darling said...

As the fall wind starts to whip up, and winter's arms surround us, I will wait patiently for my next trip to the Park. When the late spring/early summer sun shines down on us once again I will be back there! As my Dad use to say "Good Lord Willin' " I don't know how I can manage to wait until then!

Anonymous said...

From Hellen and Harvey: Brian, that type of an evening is part of the unique fun of life at the center of the world's tourist crossroads. Sally Darling and Family: You are the type of guests we love sharing our city with and the next time you are here, let's plan on having that drink at the roof deck.

Sally Darling said...

Hellen & Harvey - I will count the oh-so-slow minutes until we all can sit down and continue where we left off. What wonderful people you are. We thank you for your pure kindness in sharing your secret place! One day next year, you'll be minding your own business in the park, and there I'll be! Part Two! :)

Jack said...

What a nice story. I am another of the regular readers, but I think I will just stay in the shadows. Somebody has to be a voyeur.

Karen said...

I'm so glad Brian met Sally! I've been following your blog for a while now and I always see Sally's comments. She seems so nice. What a loyal follower. Thanks for your blog Brian, it's always so informative. I learn so much about New York here that I try to check it everyday.

moe lauher said...

This is a great story - I've just posted it to my Facebook page as an example of why I so enjoyed visiting and reading blogs. I learn so much about people and places all over the world - things that I would never had experienced otherwise. Thank you Brian for you kindness.

RD said...

I LOVE stories like this! They just confirm for me that there is still so much goodwill all around us! Brian, I so am going to ask for you next time I'm at WSP--which truthfully may not be for years to come. Hey, my word verification for this comment is "salay"! For you, Sally!

Kenon Thompson said...

This is such a cool (and personally touching) post. As I am from Kansas, I can definitely relate to the statement from Sally "I can't explain how there is something in my bones that has always, my whole life, made me feel like I belong there...." I feel the exact same way and I am more determined then ever as I am so close to making this dream of moving and living in NYC a reality!

Thank you for the post Brian and thank you for alowwing the story your story to be posted Sally.

Sally Darling said...

Kenon - Hello fellow Kansan, and how fantastic! I think it's just wonderful you are moving there! You MUST keep us updated on the progress of your move! I envy you!

RD - How funny about your word verification...this post was meant to be!

Kenon Thompson said...

Sally - Thank you! I definitely will keep you all updated on my journey to NYC :)