Dear Diary:

I was on the M104 going south on Broadway. As I got off at my stop, a woman waiting to get on told me that my shoe was untied.

I thanked her and said that I would tie it when I got onto the sidewalk.

Before I had a chance, the driver got up from his seat, climbed down the steps, knelt on the pavement and tied the lace for me.

— Ardell Borodach

Dear Diary:

It was my first Halloween in my first Manhattan apartment.

Having grown up on Long Island, I assumed that trick-or-treating was strictly a suburban phenomenon so I had not kept track of the date.

But shortly after I returned home from work on Oct. 31, my bell rang. When I opened the door, I was surprised to find a small boy wearing a costume and holding a shopping bag that appeared to be empty.

“Trick or treat,” he said hopefully.

“Wait a minute,” I said before running off to the kitchen.

No treats anywhere. But I didn’t want to send him away empty-handed.

In desperation, I grabbed a cantaloupe from the counter, rushed back to the door and dropped the melon into the boy’s bag.

As he walked away silently, he appeared to be staggering under the weight of the unusual treat.

— Karen R. Caccavo

Dear Diary:

Awoke at my mother’s place in Brooklyn
Cooked myself some Cream of Wheat cereal
Since I have come down with bronchitis
I took some antibiotics and drank tea
Then took a bath using my Aging Hippie bath oil
Went downstairs to pick up The Times and The News
Last night I streamed in Sabbath services
There are some nice female rabbis there
Hanukkah is coming soon enough!
Then I picked up a pen and some paper
and wrote this ode.

— Matthew Anish

Dear Diary:

One night I took a cab home from work. As I opened the door to get out, I heard a man scream, “Hey!” directly into my ear. He was on a bike trying to force his way through the narrow space between the cab and a parked car.

I pointed toward the other side of the street.

“Hey!” I yelled back. “Do you think you should be in the bike lane?”

“You’re supposed to look!” he screamed again, and then shot off.

I jumped out of the cab and shot off after him. For someone who was exhausted, I was running at a pretty good pace.

I was pleased and surprised when I caught up to him at an intersection where he had been forced to stop. I was ready to really dress him down about his complete lack of attention to New York City bike protocol.

I got right up next to him.

“Hey!” I screamed.

He looked startled.

“Yeah?” he replied.

“Are you all right?” I said. “You’re right. I should’ve looked.”

“No,” he said. “You’re right. I should’ve been in the bike lane.” Then he, motioned for me to come close.

“C’mere,” he said.

We hugged.

“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m having a really bad day.”

“I’m sorry you’re having a bad day,” I said. “I hope it gets better.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I hope you have a nice day, too.”

And then he rode off into the splash of car lights that swirl through the streets on a Manhattan night.

— Gail Dennison

Dear Diary:

I used to go into New York from Mount Vernon by myself to see shows, taking the subway downtown from 241st Street. The price had gone up to a dime at the time.

When I got to Times Square, I’d walk up Broadway to Lindy’s for supper. I always had the same thing: ground sirloin steak. It came with a baked potato and wonderful creamed spinach.

I’d also have a beer even though I was underage. The drinking age was 18 then, but at 16 I was 6 feet 6 inches tall. Close enough.

The meal cost less than $5 with tip. I never had the cheesecake for which Lindy’s was famous because I needed the money for a theater ticket.

After dinner, I’d walk up and down among the theaters looking to see what ticket I could get for $10 or less just before curtain time. I would go to $15 for a musical.

You could see almost anything if you timed it right. On one of my trips, I saw “Guys and Dolls.” Alan Alda’s father was in the cast. In the show, Lindy’s became Mindy’s and praises for the cheesecake were sung.

I was lonely, but it was a good lonely and I felt sophisticated beyond my years.

In 1963, I honeymooned in New York, and my wife and I passed what was the second Lindy’s. The cheesecake recipe was posted in the window. We wrote it down, and although my wife became a great cook, she never made the cheesecake.

I wonder what it tasted like.

— Nils Peterson

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Illustrations by Agnes Lee