UWS Encounters: Bob Dylan, A Subway Save, and a Not-So-Lovely Meter Man

Bob Dylan, via Wikipedia, Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz.

“Ain’t it just like the night…”

On Friday, 11/29, I went to the Beacon Theater to try and snag some last-minute Bob Dylan tickets. No surprise, but they were sold out. Resigned, I turned the corner on 75th Street towards Amsterdam Avenue. As I walked towards Amsterdam, a handful of large security guards straddled the sidewalk keeping lookout, as if a head of state were about to arrive. Then, like an apparition, Dylan himself (no more than ten feet away from me) walks into the stage door of the Beacon, wearing a black leather jacket, a hoodie, scarf, and holding a paper cup of tea, while onlookers gazed on in silence and awe. Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks…

— Davide Hagen

“…a homeless man grabbed the bag…”

Several years ago I was riding uptown near midnight in a sparsely-populated car on the #1 train. A well-dressed couple was in an animated conversation when they suddenly realized the doors were closing at their 86th Street stop. They leapt up and hurried off the train just before the doors closed, realizing too late that the woman had left her purse on the seat. Before I could even think what to do, a homeless man grabbed the bag and yelled at his also-homeless female friend to lower the window. (Back then you could.) She slid the window down and he tossed the purse out onto the subway platform, as the train rumbled out of the station.

— Mark Elliott

“May the Grinch Steal his Christmas joy…”

Many unChristmaslike thanks to the meter man on West 79th and Broadway. Several weeks ago I was going for chiropractic therapy there. My husband doubled parked for literally 30 seconds to help me to the door. The meter man snuck up and gave him a $150 ticket. My husband tried to explain that I was virtually crippled, but the warm-hearted meter man simply said “No double parking.” May the Grinch steal his Christmas joy for many years to come.

— Marcia Epstein

As you can see, encounters run the gamut. It’s not all sweetness and light on the UWS, though there is plenty of that, too. The other day I met a woman in a meadow in Central Park, where our dogs were playing. “It’s beautiful,” I said. “There’s beauty everywhere if you look,” she responded.

Send your encounters to westsiderag@gmail.com150 words or less — please use your real name and include your address. We won’t publish your address, we need it to deliver a West Side Rag mug to you, if we post your story.

COLUMNS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. Jana Goldin says:

      Disgraceful meter man. I think if you’d disputed the ticket, there’s a chance it would have. Been dismissed. Hope your story and this comment will help another neighbor.

    2. Catherine Holmes says:

      I wouldn’t cross the street to see Bob Dylan. A couple of years ago he was at Bethel Woods and we paid very good money to see him. We were sitting on the lawn and not under the canopy. He would not let his image be put up on the large jumbo Tron’s so that people sitting on the lawn could see him. He needs to remember that his fans put him where he is today. A little humility Bob

      • Sandy Gansberg says:

        I could not agree more. We saw him in Aspen 5 years ago and he came onto the stage, never once looked at audience and mumbled for at least 20 min before we left with a stream of other disappointed fans. We were angry at him for months. Michael and I went to Bethel Woods also and sat under the tent. He was standing on a wood box and between songs they blacked out the stage and moved him to a different location. He spoke to the audience a bit. We decided that this was probably as good as it was going to get and decided never to see him again!

    3. notsofast says:

      Re the meter man, who (unlike so many people) was just doing the job he’s paid to do, which is to enforce the law: Lots of people think they’re so special that the rules (e.g., no double-parking) should be bent or broken or simply ignored for their benefit. Sound familiar? Double- (or triple-) parking is killing transportation in this city. This morning, I had to go four blocks out of my way in a taxi because of double-parking. And I had to take a taxi because I AM crippled, not “almost.”

    4. Bista says:

      Where can I buy a West Side Rag mug?

    5. SHG says:

      Now you’ve done it! We all want to buy West Side Rag mugs!!!