Walking home from work I was drawn to the west side of Grand Central Terminal by the earth-shattering music and a crowd sing-along. On the way I encountered gaggles of people gleefully comparing their free booty. Free booty?! So I joined the masses on Vanderbilt Avenue.
What a sight. There’s nothing that enervates New Yorkers like freebies or sales, and before me lay the masses, scurrying from one outdoor booth to another to taste organic soups, mob the free Cliff bar guy and get multiple samples of Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies (an adorable nexus of Goldfish snacks meets rabbit and made from organic ingredients.)
Then there was the line to enter to win an enviro-friendly car (Question: if we won it, where would we put it?) and most mobbed of all, the stand to get the Google give-away cotton shopping totes.
Lest you think it was all swag and no substance, the bulk of the booths were all about minimising your ecological footprint on the planet, from joining litter pick-up groups, to donating to the scenic Hudson organization, to installing a worm composting mechanism to turn kitchen scraps into compost. (Again begging the question — where would most of us put either the composting device or the compost!)
And the music? Oh yes, a large group with all kinds of melody and percussion and simple, green (as in enviro-friendly), lyrics that everyone seemed to know. Add to that freely available hula hoops and it was a crammed block party in the middle of Manhattan.