Sunday, August 2, 2009

Help comes in surprising ways

Yesterday began Round 2 of the now famous 3rd Avenue Stoop Sale. A garage sale without a garage. A yard sale without a yard. Crazy the things we come up with here in Manhattan.

With some Upper East Siders strolling past and looking down their noses in disgust, and all the other un-snobby people stopping to chat and take a look, last week myself and two neighbors spread our unwanted belongings all over the sidewalk in front of our building. The first round was fun, hectic and incredibly successful. We met neighbors, made friends and brought in some hard-earned cash. Without the company of my neighbors this past weekend, Round 2 was much less exciting, but worthwhile nonetheless. Because the more I sell, the less I have to pack.

It's ironic, really. I began to realize yesterday that as much as New York can pull friends apart, it certainly brings strangers together. (I think there have been many examples of this, both in big and small ways.) Handling this move-out as a single gal has been quite an intense and exhausting experience, yet help has come from the most surprising places. Barry, the guy I share a wall with yet never spoke to until yesterday, quietly spent the morning by my side, keeping me company and selflessly watching over the sale so I could occasionally step away. He even offered to help me move some furniture down the stairs. Two neighbors who were utter strangers before last week came by repeatedly throughout the day to check on me, asking if they could bring me a cold drink or a coffee, or just to hang around, chat with me and keep the day light. Even my yoga teacher and fitness trainer offered to help move whatever was needed!

I am truly touched by this display of support, and it comes as all the more surprising because some of my oldest, dearest friends have pretty much gone MIA on me and haven't shown much interest in this experience. I suppose I can't blame them, everyone is busy in their own lives.... And yet, total strangers have banded together to show support, and have ultimately made me feel less alone throughout a lonely process.

My emotions are mixed and I don't really know what to make of any of it, but I am eternally grateful for the angels that have come my way recently. I couldn't have done all this without them. Thank you, New Yorkers. You never fail to astound me.

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