A regular feature in the Monday edition of the Times, the Metropolitan Diary is a typically quiet collection of Dear Diary submissions from readers with a unique New York experience to share. Often drawn from overheard conversation, tender accounts of stolen moments, or funny encounters, the feature sounds pretty treacly. And it can be. But for whatever reason, I absolutely love it.
Take this entry, from this Monday’s paper.
When you work at a luxury hotel, as I did, employees must make sure the guests get exactly what they request. This can be especially frustrating when a guest is asking for something completely irrational.
In this instance, a couple of years ago, it was a businessman on a fiery tirade about reducing the noise that garbage trucks make in the morning. I stood at my doorman station with a hotel security guard and watched the man berate our co-worker at the front desk until the guest finally picked up his briefcase and stomped in our direction.
He passed me and stopped directly in front of Julio, the security guard. “Call me a cab,” the businessman ordered.
This was not Julio’s job, but not wanting to ignore the guest’s request, Julio looked him straight in the eyes and calmly replied, “You’re a cab.”
Julio turned around and walked away as I wandered into the street, waving for the nearest cab and grinning from ear to ear.
Maybe it’s because I’m homesick, or because I’m excited to see evidence that New Yorkers can be impressible, humble beasts, but I can’t look away. This is an appreciation made more poignant given that later this fall, my favorite newspaper will be letting go up to 100 — or eight percent — of its newsroom staff.
If it’s not already part of your routine, head to Metro section each Monday and enjoy. Who knows how long it’ll be an option?
PS: There’s some question as to how rigorously, if at all, the Diary is fact-checked. This seems important, but I read anyway.