Iam going to meet my friends Ricky, Eddy and Arthur in an Italian Restaurant between Broadway and Columbus Avenue, somewhere in the eighties. I have to pick up my glasses before the optometrist closes, so I arrive half an hour early. I am sitting on a barstool near the entrance, watching the rain through the glass door, when two young policemen stop in front of me and one of them sniffs and says to me: “Excuse me, may I ask what perfume you are wearing?” I almost fall off my barstool with astonishment, but answer him politely that it was Guerlain. Not satisfied with my reply he asks whether it was Shalimar, and I say no, it was Samsara. “Oh”, he says, “whatever it is it smells enticing on you.” I smile and I tell him that he made my day. Who can say that policemen are not civilized and polite? And above all have a good sense of smell!

Shortly after my three friends arrive, we have a lovely meal and a great conversation, and then we all leave to go home. They invite me to share their taxi, but I prefer walking. It is a pleasant evening, with a slight drizzle. I set out, in one hand my umbrella, in the other hand a beautiful long stemmed rose wrapped in a paper cone which Eddy and Arthur had given me. Just as I am crossing the wide road at 86th street, I hear shouting behind me: “Lady, Lady”. I turn around and I see a taxi driver leaning out of his cab and yelling: “Lady, you lost your flower!” I look into the paper cone, it is empty. As I am standing undecided whether to dash out into the traffic to retrieve the flower, a good looking, well dressed young man comes running toward me, telling me that he picked up my rose – he didn’t want me to lose it. I thank him and tell him how touched I am by his lovely gesture, and I walk home with a great feeling. Chivalry is definitely not dead in New York!

Lucy Mandelstam