Last Butterflies in Bedstuy

Dwindling in population steadily over the last two decades, more significantly within this past decade, is a colorful, diverse and growing extinct species.  However, they have an amazing ability to migrate and leave many dazzled by their ability to move through spaces designed specifically against them. Wonderful beings, dying out by the haphazard misguidings of the authorities and communities meant to protect them. People of color deserve far more.

Once the majority of the ghettos we were once segregated to, slowly but surely a large shift in the neighborhoods once deemed “unsafe” by the people who now inhabit them. Either grown tired, evicted from or displaced, the numbers of the black and brown natives are exceptionally low. The faces of those who built up the oh so cultured neighborhoods are now more commonly seen with goofily smiling faces on street murals, as if in a happy memorial of oneself.

Last Butterflies in BedStuy You Me NYC

Even though there aren’t many things more discomforting than seeing the faces get paler closer to the final or ‘hood’ stops on the train. The thought of the young pupils growing further and further away from the mosaic of mothers shouting down shopping lists from the second floor, the quick sentiment of “borrowing” a jump from the pig tailed double dutchers disappearing or the barbecues that started on Friday and ended the week after fading away, is a striking one.

Chickens Coming Home to Roost

The chickens have come home to roost and I love every minute of it.  We all know, the “Yellow Cab” industry had quite the monopoly in New York City for years and now it is crumbling.  It was almost impossible to get a cab to take you out of the city a few years ago.  Hailing a cab and taking it to Harlem was out of the question.  The farthest I would get is east 96th street, along with a constant scrutinizing eye on me, from the cab driver, as we made our trek uptown.  Let’s not forget the appalling treatment of the African American and other minority communities as well.Chickens Coming Home to Roost You Me NYCThe chickens have come home to roost now that the rideshare game is in full force.  What amazes me more than anything else, is that instead of coming up with an innovative way to combat the rideshare industry, the medallion owners cry “foul”.  What a bunch of crap, they went and cried to mommy(New York City Council), that they can’t compete.  So what does mommy do, they cap the number of rideshare vehicles for one year and require that drivers be paid a minimum wage as well.

I am all for drivers getting paid a consistent wage and getting paid more.  Driving on the road 8-12 hours a day is a tough gig.  “Our city is directly confronting a crisis that is driving working New Yorkers into poverty and our streets into gridlock,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.  I couldn’t disagree more with this statement.  What does ride-share have to do with driving working “New Yorkers” into poverty.  Funny, I thought “Gentrification” is what is driving working “New Yorkers” into poverty.

Gridlock, rideshare is the cause of that too, according to our mayor.  Forget about the fact that almost every street in the city is under construction with lane closures.  What about everywhere you look there is a new luxury building going up?  How many more glass atrocities do we need in the city?

Conclusion

What’s funny about rideshare is that we have already been doing it.  Brooklyn, and all the other boroughs established the “Dollar Van”.  I can’t speak for Staten Island, I have no clue what they did or how they take a cab to that borough.  The “Dollar Van” has been and currently is the equalizer to the “Yellow Cab” industry.

I was in a “Yellow Cab” this morning and it was the usual.  The cab stunk, the driver had a piss-poor attitude and of course he didn’t want to leave the city.  He better remember something, Uber and Lyft drivers have no problem leaving the city.  I have no problem replacing the “Yellow Cab” with a nice, comfortable and enjoyable ride with one of the many rideshare apps at my disposal.  “Yellow Cabs” are a part of New York City history, however it’s a part I don’t mind saying goodby too.

No More Poor Service

Just when did we start to accept poor service as normal? Each day I am disappointed and frustrated by the terrible customer service I receive from just about everywhere. A few years ago, I would have said my disgust was a function of my nearing 50, but each instance of poor service is leaning towards the slobberization of America. Yes, that’s right, the slobberization of America.

No More Poor Service You Me NYC

I was in Target, one of my favorite stores. I gathered all of my items and made my way to the cash register. The cashier was wide open. I was so excited, as this is a rare feat at Target. I placed all of my items on the belt. The cashier failed to acknowledge my presence. Strike #1.

He started to ring up my items while carrying on a conversation with a co-worker. Strike #2.

The topic, his date from the night before. He then packed my items, still no acknowledgment of my presence and continued to talk to his coworker. Strike #3. At this point, their conversation was so good, he forgot that I was there.

I stared at him with the intensity of a surgical laser. He finally realized that he was in the middle of a transaction. I received no apology. Strike #4

He then mumbled something to me, which I did not understand, since I do not speak mumble. He handed me a gift card. I asked him, “What is this for? “

He said, “ Oh you get it because of mumble , mumble, mumble, mumble.”

“I do not understand , why are you giving me a gift card? And why is it a used gift card.”

“Damn Gurl, you got a lot of questions.”

Oh no, here it comes, I can’t hold my tongue any more.

“I am not a girl, I could have given birth to you, Ms or ma’am will do from you. Speak to me clearly. I have not heard a damn thing you said. You did not greet me, nor acknowledge my presence and now you are speaking to me like I am one of your little friends.”

“Oh my bad, my bad, chuckle, chuckle, you get this card because you bought that thing. We have to use up the old cards first.”

I paid, took my items and my used gift card which I was afraid to use for 5 months, in case it was not legit. I left thinking, OMG, I am turning into my mother. Nothing I said to him even registered with him. I just can no longer accept poor service. I work too hard and I have worked In both retail and hospitality. Its not hard to treat people with respect and give good service.

No More Poor Service You Me NYC

When did retail outlets, restaurants and hotels stop training their staff. The minimum wage is going to $15 and no one wants to work for it. What is becoming of us. I know I am not the only person disgusted by this norming of poor service.

I am not going to stand for it any more. Who is with me?

Regular

I have one of those jobs where I office from home and travel for work. It’s convenient and nice to work from home but, I miss being a “regular”. That sounds a bit odd, what could possibly be so great about being a regular anything?

There is earned status to being a regular. I was part of an elite group of customers who patronized the Frontier Diner on 3rd Ave. Every weekday morning, I would come out of the # 7 train at 42nd street, walk over to 3rd and 39th, and cross the street to the Frontier diner.

The owner would stand his watch at the front counter and have my order prepared as he saw me at the far corner, a large light coffee and a toasted blueberry muffin with butter. We’d exchange pleasantries and he would wish me well and a good day. I would do the same. I did not have to wait in line, he knew what I wanted, needed and craved. It was an easy and affordable transaction. If I missed a day of work, he would ask if everything was alright and inquire as to where I was the other day. It was our ritual.

Now that I office from home and travel for work, I am no longer a “regular” any where, I’ve lost my elite status, a friend and someone who watched out for me. I cannot seem to find coffee that taste just right or a toasted blueberry muffin to my liking.

What’s Missing:

Perhaps what I miss is the kinship that was developing over time when I was patronizing the Frontier diner day after day, year after year. A sense of belonging and the knowledge that someone was waiting for me, with a smile. I like Starbucks, and the new local coffee shop in my village but, its not the same. With mobile or kiosk ordering, we’ve lost that sense of community that came from getting to know the folks who worked in the eateries we patronize.