I had a quick trip to NYC this week and as usual, I got at least one great story from it. Heading on the 1 train downtown, I noticed two ladies with Scandinavian accents, looking confused. Asked where they were heading and they told me sweetly: Harlem. Um. After explaining they needed the 2 or 3 uptown, not the 1 downtown, I asked where they were going & they showed me their 7:15 p.m. reservation for Red Rooster (310 Malcolm X Blvd, between 125th and 126th).
Hearing this, other passengers chimed in about how they should wait to change trains at 42nd Street, not 59th Street, so they wouldn't need a new fare. We chatted about the Marcus Samuelsson memoir ("Yes Chef"), which I recommended, and then I pointed the ladies out the door at Times Square.
The passengers of the car held our collective breaths as we watched them hesitate, then head up the stairs in the ostensible right direction. I found myself wondering about them all night, hoping they'd found the restaurant and had ordered the fried yardbird (dark meat, white gravy, mashed potatoes, bread & butter pickles for $28). And had gotten home, wherever that was.
God, these Swedes can break your heart, right on the downtown 1 train.