Loser: You know something? I like to stick ice together. –Quizno’s, St. Mark’s Place
Yuppie: There is in fact a fundamental difference between Ray’s and Webster’s. One is a series of restaurants that sell pizza; another is a book that you can look up the definitions of words in. –Party, The West Village
Young man comes up to the manager of a cafe in Brooklyn sitting next to me, inquires about the “help wanted” ad outside, and during the course of an impromptu job interview says, “I just wanted to tell you that for my emotional health I can’t work too hard, and especially I can’t move my wrists that much. So how hard would I work here?”
Man: Do you sell cannabis?
Man: Yeah, it’s a plant. –28th Street
Old lady (looking directly at Hispanic woman and her baby): They don’t speak English and they don’t wanna learn. They just want pay from America. They hate our guts.
[to baby]: Give your Mommy a kiss! –B6 Bus, Brooklyn
In a coffeeshop in Los Angeles (the Novel cafe in Santa Monica), a tutor is giving a beginning Spanish lesson to a student at the table next to me. The student is reading a newspaper article in Spanish, and then translating each sentence word by word:
Student: “I don’t know what this word, ‘decada’ means”
Teacher: “What do you think it means?”
Student: “I don’t know”
Student: “I really don’t know”
Teacher: “Here’s a hint. It’s very similar to an English word”
Student: “‘Decada’? Deca….. I have no idea”
Teacher: “It’s almost identical to the English word”
Teacher: “There’s only one letter difference”
Teacher: “C’mon, what do you think?”
Student: “I really have no idea”
(Teacher pinches her on the nose!)
Teacher: “It’s Decade!!!”
Student: “Ahhhhh!!!! Okay! I feel stupid!”
Guy: So…after she says that, I said, “Who would have ever thought to just cook lettuce?”
Girl: Woooooooooow. –Bedford Street off Bleecker
Employee: Would you like to try a new Portuguese wine?
Customer: I love South American wines! –Cabrini Wines, Hudson Heights
Deli guy (to another deli guy): He’s got a shrimp salad sandwich too. Here, I’ll mark the paper for you so you don’t get confused. I know your brain, it don’t work so good. Do you want me to write it in Mexican or in English?
Four teenagers in a convertible at a stop-sign speaking about me as I cross the street right in front of them, in Vancouver: “Hey, he looks Jewish!”