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Meet, The Mayor

“Hello, Can I tell you something?” he asked.  “About your personality,” he added, with a shy grin.



“What?  That you like it,” I smiled.


“Yeah, I do,” he chuckled and sipped his coffee.


I was talking to the “Mayor.”  The Mayor is a 6 foot something black man who lives in my building, but who also spends a great deal of his time in our parking lot.  I liked the Mayor right away when I met him and it’s impossible not to meet the Mayor.  He knows everybody.  He’s friendly to everybody.  Everyone needs a Mayor in their neighborhood or their life.


I’ve talked about my need for community before.  I’ve talked about why I loved the neighborhood feel of New York city.  It’s one of the biggest and most densely populated places going, but within that you can find little neighborhoods, little places where everybody knows your name.


In California, I thought that was going to be more difficult.  Hell, everyone is always in their respective cars.  It’s hard to feel neighborhoody as you jet by in your personal speed capsule.


Now, “The Mayor” is a nickname that I thought up for the mayor to amuse Wifesy.            I used to throw it around all the time.  We’d come downstairs to get the car to go somewhere and I’d say, “Oh, look, the Mayor’s up.  He’s kissing babies and drinking coffee again.”  “Awesome, the Mayor’s outside, guarding our automobile!”  This always made Wifesy smile.  I couldn’t help it.  It was accurate.


The Mayor is a sweet, sweet, man.  I wish he had a better view from out of that parking lot.  He stands there and looks out over the 101, everyday, either sipping his coffee and / or having a cigarette.  He’s pretty much the only one that does this.  There is a common area in the building, a more wooded locale, where you could go and sit on the stairs.  It might be nicer for him.  But, the Mayor doesn’t hang out there.  He hangs in the parking lot and I think I know why.  More people.  I mean, everyone has to come and get their car.  So, the mayor greets them all with a hello and a “how’d ya do.”  I even ask him things like, “Say, Mayor, what’s going on with that water sound in the building we all hear night and day.  Or…Do you know that guy, Mayor?  Does he live here?  ‘Cause I haven’t seen him before.”  The mayor always has an answer, “It’s the vacant apartment on 2 or that’s Ed.  Yeah, Ed’s been livin’ here a long time.”  It’s like having a town gossip without the sh*tty gossip part.  The Mayor, he just watches.


Will I see the mayor today? I hope so.


So, the mayor pulled me aside to say he liked my personality and I said, “Thank you.”  He went on to say that he enjoys talking to me, but I turned the tables on him.  The good times weren’t about me.  “No, it’s you,” I said.  “You’re the one it’s really enjoyable to chat with.  I’m from New York and I knew other, area guys, that would strike up conversations with me, like you do.  It always makes a place feel homey.  It always makes you feel good.”


“You know what I used to call you before I knew your name?” I added.  (It was time to tell Clark Kent that he was really Superman.)


“What?” he asked.


“The Mayor.  Because you know everybody.”


He laughed.  “Yeah, I’ve always been like that.  I used to have a house and I’d always be out in the yard.  And people would come by and wave or stop for a chat.  I really did know everybody.”


“Well, I for one am glad you’re here,” I said.


He smiled again.


“It’s gonna be a hot one today,” he answered, picking up our usual rhythm.


“Yeah, real hot,” I said.


“Probably 110,” he said making his way over to his little slice of the parking lot.


“Man, that’s hot,” I responded.


The Mayor smiled and I smiled.


Stay cool, Mr. Mayor.  Stay cool, I say to myself with a smile.  You’re the only thing that brings life to this concrete slab.  If the other cold fish in the building won’t say it to you, heck, I will.  You’re important and I’m glad you’re here.


Special end-note:  Now, this included video is not of me or the Mayor.  But, it is a perfect depiction of my new life.  Please enjoy the hit viral vid, “It’s Getting Real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot.”




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Photo creds:

Parking lot, feature

33 thoughts on “Meet, The Mayor

  1. I’m glad you found the Mayor. And that he found you. Sounds like you both deliver a little sunshine to those in need.

    And that’s the only sappy comment I’m allowed until next month.

  2. This is gonna sound really weird…we have a really sweet man in our neighborhood who walks around with a Scotch glass in his pocket. He knows everybody and everything that’s going on in our hood. We keep a bottle of 12 year old single malt (Dalmore) in the pantry in case he stops by to give us the “situation report.” This is the funny part….my husband calls him….The Mayor! :)

  3. I live in Harlem and the “mayor” on my block manages to tick me off at least once a day. So does the mayor of our fair city, for that matter. Hmmm, maybe it’s not them, maybe it’s just me…Glad your mayor’s nice! xoM

      1. i’d hang with both of you weirdos anytime. so, there’s that. that and a quarter might get you a parking slot, for about 15 mins. ay yay yay. i’m tired. momma

  4. Nice to have a guy around like that, sm. He’s the one that always looks out for everyone, knows if a strange car or person shows up and lets everybody in on it. Maybe everyone doesn’t notice him, but it sure says tons about you that you did and do. That’s very cool. xo

  5. Your post about the Mayor touched my heart as I read it. I know he is a very special person there where you live. I’m betting you stand out as special to him, too… your personality. I’m enjoying getting to know you little by little as I’ve just begun reading your blog. Granny Gee/Gloria :))) It’s nice to meet you!

  6. I don’t know if I’m more jealous that you have Mayor to greet you everyday or that you live next to a Whole Foods. The combination of both makes your neighborhood pretty special. ;)

  7. That video helped me smile and today I needed that.
    I have a mayor in my neighborhood, it is two old ladies who watch everyone and then report the gossip to me, then ask me when I am going to mow the lawn.

  8. Touching post Mum. We lived in the ‘burbs for a long time and hardly knew anyone but since we’ve moved into almost-country we seem to know everyone. It’s a glorious feeling. People were meant to be friendly to each other.

  9. We call our “Mayor” William H. Macy aka: Frank in “Shameless”. These people are a valuable resource in any neighbourhood and should be celebrated.

  10. A woman in the 4-unit apartment building where I live is totally a Mayor type. She’s lived here the longest, always knows what’s up with the other tenants, and best of all, if you invite her to your party you can go as late and as loud as you like AND she brings a deeply alcoholic rum cake to the party.

    Mayor Rumcake!

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