Just Another Day In The Big Apple

, , , , , , , | Friendly | February 11, 2020

A few years ago, I took a trip to NYC with my mom and my cousin. It was a girls’ weekend to celebrate my cousin’s upcoming wedding. We spent the morning shopping and stopped in a family-owned Italian restaurant that was recommended to us. The woman who greeted us was the chef, and her elderly mother who’d started the restaurant was behind the register. There were only five tables in the whole restaurant and we were currently the only customers. 

We’d been seated and were chatting about what we wanted to do that night when my cousin suddenly stood and pointed behind my mom and me. Black smoke had started pouring from a staircase in the hallway that lead to the businesses above that one. Thinking the floor above us must be on fire, my mom ran to the back to grab the chef, while we tried to convince the elderly Italian woman, who it turned out spoke no English, to come outside. She couldn’t see the smoke from her place behind the register and kept swatting us away and scolding us in Italian. 

Finally, my cousin physically picked the lady up. Yes, it was as awkward as it sounds, but thankfully, she was a tiny lady and my cousin was strong. We got her outside and she finally saw the smoke, which was now also streaming out of the windows of the floor above her restaurant. My mom and the chef made it outside right behind us, and the mother and daughter began speaking rapidly in Italian. 

My mom took her phone out to call the fire department, but someone else must have already done that because we heard the sirens coming our way. The fire truck rounded the corner, crushing the front end of a cab in the process. That was something else to see on its own. The passengers in the back of the cab started screaming in panic, and the driver just sat there looking bored, like this happened every day.  

Thankfully, no one was hurt. We didn’t find out what had caused the fire, but at least it didn’t spread beyond the second floor. The chef thanked us for helping them, and her mother kept hugging my cousin and kissing both of her cheeks. The rest of the weekend was uneventful compared to that afternoon, and I’ve always wanted to go back and see if that restaurant was still there.

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