Monday, January 24, 2011

Returning Lost Treasures

I came across this video when it was posted on facebook last week. It's such a delightful nostalgic kind of story. I love his honesty, sense of humor, and creativity. I love how he has old cross country skis. I love his speculations about the photographers and the stories he tells about the pictures. Such beautiful photographs too! Who uses 35mm anymore? Well I do, but it's certainly rare to find.

The best part however, is the part about the woman who gave him $26 on the street. I feel like that's quintessential New York. You think it's a crazy big bad city, but every time I go back to visit since I left it a year ago, I am struck by how nice people are there. Sure they're in a hurry and moving fast, but I've found that so many go out of their way to be kind.

This brings me to a story I love to tell about an experience I had in my first year living in NYC. It was when I was in school at NYU and it was a morning like many others. I took the train in from Brooklyn and set myself up in the library to study. However, when I went to go buy myself a coffee I realized I didn't have my wallet. I figured I'd just left it at home, which had happened before, until, a little while later, I got a call on my cell. It was a police officer from a Manhattan precinct, and I was thoroughly confused when he said he had my wallet and asked when I could come pick it up! It was a station not far from NYU, in the west village, and when I went to pick it up, I think he was even more surprised than I was that it had been turned in, completely intact, with money, cards, everything. He also handed me a flier for a Chinese restaurant and said that the guy who turned it in was from this place, if I wanted to go and thank him. I could tell he thought I was pretty lucky.

The craziest part was when I walked out of the precinct, the guy who turned it in was there! He must have been waiting for me to come pick it up. He didn't speak English very well, but he was eager to tell me that everything was in the wallet, including even my extra metro card. All I could do was thank him again and again.

I still have the flier from that Chinese restaurant somewhere, I always intended to go eat there. Honestly I'm not completely sure how he got my wallet. I think I must have dropped it getting out of a cab near Chinatown the night before. It's an amazing story, and it reminds of the story of the 35mm film, even if I didn't making a lovely video about it. There really are good people in the world.

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