Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Something I learned in NYC

When looking for a quick sandwich in downtown NYC, try to be more specific when asking the locals, "where's the nearest subway?"

Chances are, you'll follow the directions arrive at the location, only to be staring blankly at a flight of stairs that go beneath the street with no trace of an aroma that smells remotely pleasant.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

People I Meet - A stranger friend

A few weeks ago I was following up on a lead based on some bargain hunting I'd been doing on Craiglist. The item: A stainless steal designer lamp for a mere $20.

After I arrived and looked the lamp up and down disapprovingly (that's what you do to items when you're "Craiglsiting") I decided to forgo my usual bartering. $20 seemed fair and I didn't feel like asking for $15 after I had driven 20 miles out of my way to pick it up, only to be possibly turned down (weak, I know). Besides, I liked their immaculate interior design, so I gave them a pass.

As a walked back to my truck, prize in hand, I felt my stomach drop out. Not literally (as that would be rather disturbing and inappropriate) by figuratively, as I came to the realization that I had locked my keys in the car (being distracted while getting out earlier by a phone call to home).

I stood in the middle of the road, set the living room lamp down and pursed my lips. This solved nothing. Actually, it started raining. I then manically pulled on my truck door. Again, nothing.

After knocking on the door of the lamp sellers I explained my situation and was invited in. Now I was really glad I didn't get into a nasty bartering session (not that I've actually been in one, but I can imagine).

A few minutes later I had completed a call to my insurance company and help was on the way. Daniel, the former owner of the lamp and current owner of the house, was in his late 20
s and graciously offered me dinner and various chocolates. I munched on the chocolates out of politeness...and because I really like good chocolate.

As we waited, I soon learned that he was a builder and that he and his wife designed and built their home together, and on the weekends he was the pastor of a small local church.

The most unexpected part of it all was when we started talking about hobbies. He shared that he was a filmmaking enthusiast and had worked on several short films. I couldn't believe it! I started talking about filming Dialtone and within minutes his Mac was on the table and I was showing him The Man on YouTube. Our animated conversations were soon cut short by a knock at the door. My truck was ready to be unlocked.

Only 5 minutes later I was ready to head back home, lamp now secured within the vehicle. But first, I gave my new found friends a copy of Dialtone, exchanged contact info and promised to keep them updated on our next project at their request.

As I drove home, I reflected on my initial misgivings of driving that far out of my way for a dumb lamp, but smiled in the dark knowing that my journey and the ensuing impromptu meeting was more than coincidence.

There are still good random people in the world, just waiting for you to lock your keys in your car and invite you in, offer you dinner and chocolate and perhaps even has the same interests.

But it's not just a small world. It's God's world, and I'm happy to be in it.