Thursday, June 17, 2010

American dream

A, my long-lost high school friend from Southern Africa, was in town today! (We haven't seen each other in 23 years, but it felt more like 23 hours.) From her hotel we walked through Central Park, where she decided to sit for a charcoal sketch - something she's always wanted to do. The sketcher was an old Chinese man who spoke no English; his wife, who spoke little more, was his handler. He started with the eyes, which he did well but something about the final sketch wasn't quite right. "I've got it," A said when she saw the final product, "it's what I'd look like if I were white." Indeed, since the shape of the face was more Sarah Jessica Parker than my friend, she concluded with a smile "it's my long-lost Jewish sister!" A perfect New York souvenir...!

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