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NYC Street Scenes

New York City, to my mind, is one of the most fascinating and fluid cities in the US. I grew up here, but the city I knew exists only in select areas. The rest of the city is like the equivalent of an architectural mushroom, popping up over night seemingly in new and exotic shapes pushing out into areas once thought to be not just undesirable, but downright disgusting. I refer, of course, to the waterfront along the Hudson River where living now requires a pretty hefty paycheck or an investment by the corporation for which you work. Yes, I am assuming that corporations still purchase condos for business purposes, not condos where people live on a permanent basis.

When I was a fairly young magazine writer, I came across my first corporate condo where a famous comedian was staying for a week or so, on the corporation, of course. It was in an extremely tastefully decorated apartment in a lux East Side building and was empty for most of the year. But this fellow had just signed to do a series of commercials for their beverages and this perk was in the contract while he was shooting the commercials.

Another intriguing feature of the City, as we native New Yorkers call it, is the incredible vibrant entertainment industry shooting films all over the area. Today, while taking someone to a hospital appointment, I realized just how upsetting film crews with their enormous trailers of equipment, can be to anyone trying to navigate the busy streets. The street I needed to use was cordoned off by police for a film shoot and two blocks around had huge trailers taking up much-of the parking spaces in the area. These things are not just trailers, they are behemoths with running refrigeration or some other manner of machinery that is kept going for hours on end.

One thing I did notice was that craft services, where the food is provided for the crew, was a skimpy set-up but maybe that's because it was primarily an afternoon shoot. At night or early in the morning, perhaps they brought on the full array of delectables.

I have no idea who was on the shoot or what they were shooting. Everything is always hush-hush and even the trailers are unmarked. If you hung around, I suppose you could get some good shots of anyone of import.

Dismissing the film crew, I went about my business and, when I came out of the hospital, I noticed something of interest. A medium-sized dog lay on the sidewalk. No tail wagging, no look of interest at anyone, he was the saddest dog I've seen. Then I noticed the metal staples in his underbelly and I knew.

His owner, obviously loving this animal, tried to get him to walk, but he kept lying down and she'd lie beside him, soothing him. It didn't work. I thought of the pain he must have been in and I wondered what they'd given him for pain. These medications can cause stupor and he was not going to walk if he could help it. He just wanted to rest and, perhaps, if he could, go to sleep, but not on the sidewalk.

How do they monitor an animal's pain? They can't tell you except by their change in behavior. What was this dog's diagnosis and would he be okay? I know they wanted him to walk, possibly to avoid pneumonia by inaction, but he must have been in pain. No one needs to be told that, when you have pain, the last thing you want to do is move around.

As a pain management specialist told me today, managing pain is hit-or-miss and I wondered how they figured it out for this dog. I felt sorry for him and for his mistress. She couldn't carry him with his incision and his size and she tried valiantly to coax him to walk. He's take a few steps and lie down. It was all he could do. There should have been someone to help transport him home, but there wasn't and I could help. I had someone in a wheelchair as my charge.

I hope they did manage to get home, perhaps by cab and that he'd be okay, but I'll never know. What I do know is that she loved him and that was upsetting to see how she tried to help him.

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