This is Mary

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Mary is originally from Pittsburg and has lived in New York City for over 65 years.  She originally came to the city because of her work as a documentarian for CBS TV.  She is now retired and declined to tell me her age.  She has never been married and has no children.

Mary said that she thinks Manhattan is one of the easiest and most interesting places in the world to live.  She said that everything she needs or wants is within walking distance or a quick bus or subway ride away.  She frequently attends concerts at Julliard or Lincoln Center.  Sometimes, she will walk to Carnegie Hall even though it is some distance from her apartment on the Upper West Side.  She has met many people by working Saturday mornings for Friends of Verdi Park and although she lives alone, she never feels lonely.  She tries to do something interesting every day and has lots of friends for companionship.  

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I saw Mary with her friend in Verdi Park on a very cold and windy Saturday morning.  What was so unusual about them was that Mary was carrying a shovel and her friend a bucket full of gardening tools.  I commented to Mary that it is not often that one sees someone in Manhattan walking down the street with a shovel in hand unless they are part of a construction crew.  She said that she is a member of Friends of Verdi Park and they come to the park every Saturday morning for about two hours and work on the gardens.  She and her friend, Delores, learned about Friends of Verdi Park after they noticed a tree pit (those little patches of dirt in New York City where trees and sometimes flowers are planted along with signs "Please curb your dog") that no one was taking care of.  The two women decided to fix it up, and have been working and cleaning the park with the Friends ever since.

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When I asked her what she dislikes about living in the city, it took her a while to think of something.  The best she could come up with is that sometimes it gets a bit too crowded in the supermarkets. But, then, she will just go at an off-hour when it is less crowded.

Getting out and being productive is important for Mary and it helps keep her spirits up.  As one can easily see by the group photo, she may live alone but she clearly has a large family of friends.  Mary is the first person on the left, with coffee in hand.  She is sure to be in the park every Saturday morning, come rain or shine.  Verdi Park is a much nicer place to visit for the good works of Mary and her friends.  Come by and see for yourself and say thank you to Mary and her friends

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