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Food for thought

New York seen

Yesterday took me into New York for the first time in a while, the unseasonably warm weather offering up some fun people-watching moments. In no particular order, here are some of the bites I had of the Big Apple:

A crazy quilt of attire. The extra-warm day left people unsure about what to wear. So there was a man on the subway in a full-length black dress coat and fedora not far from a braless, longhaired beauty wearing a backless blouse, knee-length shorts and calf-height combat boots. One woman tried to rock head-to-toe sequins, while others stuck with comfortable jeans and T-shirts.

The balmy breeze brought a constant swirl of fresh-off-the-hanger summer skirts and dresses, right alongside winter-weight tights and shorts.

And the shoes. Oh the shoes! Closets fairly coughed up the season’s first round of sandals, peep-toes, wedges, slingbacks and flip-flops. So quickly they were snatched from behind the boots and sneakers that in many cases there was no time for a pedicure — and in at least one case, the first reveal of bare leg was engineered in the shower at warp speed, the ankle ties of a pair of navy-and-bone wedges barely hiding the collateral damage.

On the streets and campus lawns, the sun’s rays brought crowds outside to sun themselves, push kids in the strollers, have a midday stroll, or grab some fresh air while doing a bit of work or having a bite to eat.

On the morning subways, kids heading to school or day care clutched books and toys, carried pint-sized backpacks and Dora the Explorer lunch boxes. One set of siblings sat across from me, chatting with their dad, their barrettes reflecting the overhead lights. The younger of the two wore socks with cupcakes emblazoned on them. How could I not share a smile with her?

On the morning and evening train to and from Grand Central, I was fascinated to see that in the 18 months since I stopped commuting daily, there are new trends along with the old traditions. E-readers are edging out newspapers folded, origami-like, to display the bite-sized pieces of the morning’s headlines, but in the morning most everyone doses and in the evening, it’s still social hour.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

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