This post title comes from a Facebook comment. Before I left for the US, I posted to let everyone (my friends list is quite small) that I would be posting updates as I went and that if they didn’t want to see them, they should unsubscribe from my posts or delete me altogether.
Very graciously I was sent many comments saying they were actually (nuts right) looking forward to my various updates.
One of those comments was from a friend Emma, who has been very helpful to me in the past few months as I look for a new career direction, part of Emma’s comment read “…do very random things”
Whilst I can’t say I’ve done anything massively random I think what will unfold below would fall under that heading.
As I said in my previous post I was heading to Washington Square Park, the filming location of a few films; ‘I am Legend’ with Will Smith but the one that was in my head as I approached was ‘When Harry Met Sally’. There is a scene in front of the Washington Arch in front of the park.
The park is in Greenwich Village and is a meeting place and also seemed to be a place to do just about anything you wanted to do.
There were musicians jamming, groups singing, some acrobat performers, jugglers and others, like me, just taking it all in. As I sat watching what was unfolding around me, I was approached by a chap who blurted something out that I didn’t understand, so I just looked at him, he then repeated it with the words changed ever so slightly. “Would you like some bud? Do you smoke weed?” I was a little taken a back but politely declined, he then moved onto the next person and so on until I lost sight of him.
The Park is famous for the music and other activities but perhaps in some circles even more so for the permanent chess tables in the southwest corner. Random act approaching.
The tables have been featured on TV and in a few films. So I wanted to see them. As I got to them I could see two were occupied by single players waiting for opponents, and there was one game in progress.
Both single players encouraged me to play, I declined and just watched the ongoing game instead. An older couple wandered up and were also asked to play, the gent deciding to play the more rough looking of the single players. It was then that I decided to play the other one.
As a bit of background, I was a member of a chess club when I was about 8, and my level of chess hasn’t moved on since then.
I sat down, we shook hands and he said “you know it’s five dollars right?”, I didn’t but agreed to play anyway. Despite being a hustler, the chap I was playing was decent to me. His name was Dwight and he guided me through the various openings that I could make and what to do. Of course he plays all day and as he told me, he has done so for 10 years, so I stood no chance. We played very slowly for about half an hour and of course he eventually won. By the end of our game I could see about three of his moves ahead but couldn’t do anything about it.
It was a fun half hour and I’m glad I played. I’m also grateful that Dwight was as nice as he was.