Saturday, September 28, 2013

The wallet / The love of a brother / The cloud / Square Dancing

The Wallet

Something incredible happened this week. 

Very early Wednesday morning, for the first time in my life, I lost my wallet.  It fell out of my bag while I was riding my bike.  When the realization struck me I was beside myself and started the process of canceling my credit cards.  

Within two hours I received a call. “Mr. Felix, this is Jose.  I am a truck driver and I found your wallet.  Can we meet so I can return it to you?”  OMG!  “Thank you, thank you, Jose!!  Just tell me where and when.”  Before the morning was over, Jose drove his tractor-trailer to a meeting place actually convenient to me.  With a big smile, he handed me my wallet.  “Everything that was there when I found it is still there,” Jose said.  I didn’t even look inside, other to pull out some cash to show my appreciation. Before he went on his way Jose related a story about his own wallet loss and how it was returned by a teenager - completely intact.  

When I got back to my destination, I did check…everything was in the wallet! 

Later that day I called Jose’s supervisor.  He appreciated that the call was a compliment.  He said that Jose is a ‘good guy’ and that he would tell him about my call.  I offered to write a letter and the supervisor said, “That would be great!  I’m always getting grief from the higher-ups about something or other regarding our drivers.  This would be a good thing for me to show them.”

This still seems dreamlike. In New York City, I got lucky enough to have a man with integrity find my wallet and reach out to me and return it. The very same day.  With all its contents.  A truly noble act from Jose, which I will never forget.

Maybe there’s a lost wallet somewhere waiting for me to find and return….

The love of a brother

Central Park boasts a wonderful and vibrant tennis center.  The other morning, while having coffee at the courts, a friend and I were approached by a lovely older gentleman.  He handed us a piece of paper and said the information was about a book of poems written by his younger brother. He asked that we check out the sample, consider buying it and tell others about the book.   A few minutes later I ran into him in the men’s room. The full story came out.  His younger brother had died.  His brother’s poems including the ones that were previously unknown - even by the family - were published after his death.  I got teary.  

Later this week I did ‘check it out.’  The book is called, “Thoughts of Being.”  The author, Daniel Polsky, M.D.  

From the introduction written by his older brother (the one we met):  “This is a tribute to my brother, who always wanted to be a writer...After his death in 2008, many of Danny’s poems were found.  Some were handwritten on available pages of student spiral notebooks; many were typed on an ancient pica Underwood, some on an electric typewriter and more with a PC word processor.  Aware of the coming of the end of his life, Danny revised and made copies of the poems he loved…this selection is representative of Daniel Polsky’s lifetime endeavor.

As I have gotten to know many of you who read this column, whether you like or connect with the poems or not, I am fairly sure you will feel the same as I do about the post-mortem publishing of this poetry.  Oh, if only Danny had been around to see this happen.  But, perhaps he knows what his family has done to memorialize his life and his writing.  
Here is the link so you too can sample Danny’s poems.  (

The cloud

Last night, just before midnight, my friend and I were treated to a curious and wonderful light show in the clouds (Yes, the clouds in the sky.  I bet you thought I was going to share a cloud computing story...).

From a Manhattan rooftop we noticed four beams of light rising up from an unknown source hitting the clouds, forming ‘dot’ type shapes.  These lights moved, almost as if choreographed.  They moved quickly.  Then shut down, only to have more dots reappear a few brief moments later.  16 we counted, then 19, then 21.  Then gone.  Then back again, across a huge expanse of the night sky.  If it had been a clear night, this show could not have occurred as the clouds were the canvas.

Aliens?  UFO’s?  Young people at play??  We couldn’t find any mention of it anywhere on the Internet.  Perhaps we were the only audience for this spectacular and unexpected display. Could it possibly have been communication with beings on another planet?  We were not able to see any pattern or rhythm to the movement.  So, we stopped trying to figure it out and just enjoyed the show.  

Square Dancing

The sign outside the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42 Street simply said, “Bryant Park Square Dance.”  

Bryant Park is a wonderful space behind the library which, for many years, had been neglected. It is now the home to year ‘round activities including outdoor restaurants, movies, ping pong and a wonderful ice skating rink in season. 

My friend and I looked at each other and said, “Let’s go!”  So, the next day we returned to the park at 5:30 dressed in jeans and cowboy boots to listen to the opening band, The Boston Boys.  Hundreds of people started gravitating towards the stage for the start of the dance.  For the next two plus hours we had a wonderfully fun time learning and doing a variety of square dances to the music of The Remedies.  

Funny.  The last time I square danced was many years ago at summer camp.  When the ‘caller’ started guiding us through the moves, it all came back to me.  “Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, circle right, circle left, swing your partner, swing your corner, allemande left, allemande right, do-si-do and promenade home.”

There were all different levels of dancers amongst the 500+ people.  We had an incredible free, fun New York City evening, under a beautiful early autumn sky.  We danced in the light of the Bank of America building and under the stately, watchful eye of the Empire State Building.  One of those special times where you seize the opportunity and ‘Just do it!’  Yee haw! 
Check out what’s going on in Bryant Park. (

On the Road...

Oct. 10 – 11:  Cornell Real Estate Annual Conference, New York, NY. (Note: There are still a limited number of tickets available.  I’ve previously attended and it’s a wonderful event.  You can register here.

Oct. 16 - 18: Client meetings, Chicago, IL 

Oct. 23 – 24:  PERE (Private Equity Real Estate) Summit:  New York 2013, New York, NY

Oct. 28 – 30:  PREA (Pension Real Estate Association) Annual Investor Real Estate Conference, Chicago, IL

Nov. 13 - 15:  NCREIF (National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries), Fall Meeting, Miami Beach, FL

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