Kindness Even In New York City

Submitted by Kevin James Shay from Washington, D.C., area

New York City is not exactly the first city that comes to mind when one thinks of kindness. But one incident in particular surprised me on a visit last week, when I met with publishers about my latest book, Walking through the Wall. I had to park my vehicle that had Maryland license plates on the streets of New York near Times Square overnight.

To my chagrin, someone apparently upchucked on the driver’s side window. Needless to say, the vehicle was a mess. I couldn’t find anyplace to clean the car as I drove to an appointment. Following that meeting, I reappeared at my parked vehicle to observe two teen-agers viewing it.

“Where are you from?” one asked as I walked up.

I was suspicious, thinking they might be pulling some kind of scam. I responded quickly,

“The Washington, D.C., area.”

“Oh yeah? I was born there,” said the youth.

He then asked me what I was doing in New York and other questions. He seemed sincere so I kept answering his questions. At one point, one pointed to the window.

“That’s really gross!” he said. “I can’t believe someone would do that. Wait here.”

He returned a few minutes later with some cleaning supplies, and the pair proceeded to wipe off the window as best they could. I kept expecting them to ask for money, but that request never came. Finally, they sensed I needed to leave. They both shook my hand.

“I didn’t want you to get the wrong impression about New York,” one said. I didn’t, thanks to the kindness of these teens, who made the sometimes mean streets of New York a little brighter.

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I think that your story was very nice and nspiring for people to do kind and generous things. Anoushka from Berri Sa

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