Dear Diary:

After 34 years in cramped apartments, my wife and I have an arrangement that is not uncommon among city residents who share tight spaces: I keep stuff, and she throws stuff out.

Over time, I have noted that my wife has three distinct levels of “throw out.”

Throw-out Level 1 (the lowest): She holds something up and asks: “Can we throw this out?” This gives me an opportunity to object.

Throw-out Level 2: She holds something up and says: “I’m throwing this out.” This means that I must present a compelling case for keeping the item in question.

Throw-out Level 3 (what I call “Throw out with extreme malice.”): This is when I ask where something is, and my wife responds: “Oh, that. I threw that out.”

— Richard Pieper

Dear Diary:

The night my husband and I fell in love, we dressed up like animals for a themed party at House of Yes. I was a fish and he was a cat.

Neither of us had ever cared much for dancing in clubs, but we outlasted all of our friends that night. Our first kiss was on the dance floor.

Afterward, we walked through a misty drizzle to the Williamsburg waterfront, where we watched the sunrise. The Manhattan skyline had never looked so beautiful.

We headed to Kellogg’s diner. After feasting on eggs, hash browns and waffles, we stood outside, eyes and lips locked, not wanting the night to end.

“Excuse me!” a crackly, nasal voice said.

We turned to see two older women. One had an aluminum walker and an impatient scowl. We were blocking their access to the wheelchair ramp.

We apologized and moved out of the way.

A few moments later, the second woman came back outside.

“I’m so sorry about my friend,” she said in a thick Brooklyn accent. “I told her, ‘Leave ’em alone, they’re in love!’”

— Samia Mounts

Dear Diary:

It was January and I was home from college visiting my father on the Upper West Side.

While I was in New York, I relished making plans way downtown that would give me the chance to get a good stroll in. Unfortunately, that often meant braving the madness of Midtown.

On one chilly night, I was near 39th Street when a huge truck swerved around some parked cars and pulled up to a red light way too close to me.

I lost it. Pure rage. Every curse I could string together flew out of my mouth. I even banged the side of the truck’s cab with my open palm.

I could see the steam pulsing off me as I waited for the driver’s response. I was ready to escalate.

But after a beat, he smiled.

“That was pretty good,” he said through the truck’s open window.

My fury dissipated immediately. And as it did, a new warmth filled my cheeks. Pride.

I loosened my scarf and kept walking downtown, leaving Midtown’s mad heat behind.

— Victoria Bata


Dear Diary:

It was near midnight. My wife and I were in a cab driving crosstown on 19th Street, hoping to avoid traffic. Just past Sixth Avenue, everything stopped.

The cabby edged over to get a look at what was holding things up, peering past a Fire Department ladder truck returning to its station just down the block.

We could see that a large delivery truck was blocking the street, and we watched as the driver made several failed attempts to back into a loading dock.

After a few minutes, we got impatient and decided to get out of the cab and walk home.

Just then, the ladder truck’s driver climbed down from his rig, approached the delivery truck and waved up at the driver.

“C’mon down,” the firefighter said. “I gotcha.”

With a relieved look, the delivery driver jumped out of the truck.

The firefighter climbed up behind the wheel, closed the door, checked the mirrors, put the truck into gear and then backed it in effortlessly. He and the truck driver shook hands.

Another successful rescue.

— Bob Schroeder


Dear Diary:

I needed to get out and burn off some energy so I decided to take a long and fast walk.

At a nearly empty intersection, I heard rockabilly music coming from a car that was waiting for the light to change.

“I love rockabilly music,“ I yelled to the driver as I was crossing the street.

When I got close to the other side, I turned and saw that the driver had opened his door a bit so that I could keep enjoying the music while he waited for the light to turn green.

I was itching to dance, and it was as if he had read my mind.

Stepping onto the curb, I put my bag down and began to boogie. As the light changed, I stopped dancing and did a quick high kick.



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