On Friday, we arrived at the train station with about 5 minutes to spare. As we purchased our tickets at the platform kiosk an announcement came over the loudspeaker; the bridge in South Norwalk was stuck in the up position causing delays from there to East Norwalk. We all had the same thought – we didn’t have firm plans for Friday night, no timeline to follow, no concerns if we arrived in the city later than planned. With tickets bought we turned our attention to the track to wait the train’s arrival. A second announcement boomed through the speakers; engineers were on their way to the site of the stuck bridge but the delay would stretch to several hours. We debated our next move, decided to get on the train with intentions of getting off in South Norwalk and taking a cab to East Norwalk where we would continue our ride.
When we boarded the train there was a little confusion; the three of us headed to seats in different areas. Jana picked a row of seats facing the back of the train. I told her I couldn’t ride facing backward – after she had put her cell phone and pocketbook on the seat and hoisted her luggage up into the overhead rack. She pulled her luggage from the rack, slipped her pocketbook onto her shoulder and walked the ten or fifteen feet to where Joanne and I had settled. In those 2 – 3 minutes of moving luggage and changing seats Jana’s cell phone disappeared. We dumped everything out of her bags, searched every pocket and compartment…twice. She searched the seat she had first picked to sit in…twice. I called her phone which went right to voice mail even though it had been on…twice. Jana asked the two young kids sitting in the seats nearby if they found her phone…twice. They said no…twice. I may have jinxed us with my last post.
Within minutes we were running through different scenarios.
“Could you have put it down on the ticket kiosk?”
“Could you have put it down on a bench?”
“Could you have dropped it getting on the train?”
At the next stop we got off the train thinking we’d go back, have a look around. Without going into all the ugly details of the next 30 minutes I did learn that a smart phone cannot be tracked using the ‘find my phone’ app if said smart phone isn’t on. And there isn’t much use going back to look for a phone that is probably in someone’s pocket on a train headed to Grand Central Station. So I called Bill; he graciously picked us up in Stratford and drove us to the Stamford station where we caught the 6:05 local which made about 20 stops before pulling into GCT.
Although Jana was convinced her phone had been stolen in those few minutes she left it on the seat I wasn’t. I just couldn’t comprehend someone taking her phone then watching as we frantically searched her luggage and pocketbook. By the end of the weekend, after tracking her phone online from Westport to the Bronx to Stamford, before having it shut off forever by AT&T I was a believer. A sad and disappointed believer.
We walked to our hotel and finally turned the key to our room about 8:15.
After washing up we headed out for our first chai lattes of the weekend. Then on to dinner, my first experience in the meatpacking district. It was buzzing with young people, women in dresses the size of tube tops and shoes with 4″ heels they could barely walk on, men in jeans and t-shirts yelling to each other from opposite corners. They formed lines outside nondescript brick buildings, waiting for permission to enter, heads looking down at their phones, sending and receiving texts or holding them out at arm’s length to take “selfies.” Everyone, including me, was talking, smiling, happy. The energy was high, palpable. My excitement level went up just being in the midst of it all. We ate at Fig and Olive. It was noisy, I had to raise my voice, a lot, across the dinner table to be heard and strained to hear Jana and Joanne when they spoke. We didn’t care, we were in NYC, starting the day over at 10 pm, forgetting about delayed trains and lost phones. We ate bread and olive oil, crostinis, chicken, ravioli, bouillabaisse. Coffee, tea and dessert sampler followed then we took a cab back to the West Side, went to bed, ready for the weekend ahead.