The Live New York Tamasha on City Streets

Manhattan in the summer

Manhattan in the summer – Photos: Lavina Melwani

The Live New York Show on City Streets…

As the last days of summer fade away I did one of my favorite things – buy a street lunch from a vendor’s truck in Herald Square in Manhattan –  and eat it while sitting in the public outdoor spaces which have sprung up in busy city areas. It’s hard to believe how these small parks have spruced up life and how easy it is now to catch a few moments of respite from the hurly-burly of Sixth Avenue with its endless crowds, its endless shopping and its endless drama.

I find myself a nice nook near a water fountain and my box of crunchy falafels over yellow rice with salad, dribbles of white sauce and hot sauce, decorated with four gigantic gorgeously greasy looking French fries. Best lunch I ever had as the high drama of the people show continues all around me.  And what a show  – the world clad in tee shirts, shorts, mini dresses and sandals, people dribbling ice-cream and soaking sunshine  – summer’s last hurrah!


Street foods in Manhattan

Street foods in Manhattan

A true city meal - Falafal over Rice

A true city meal – Falafel over Rice


Manhattan outdoors

Manhattan outdoors


Manhattan Show and Tell

It’s possible to sit right in the middle of the crowded avenue, surrounded by skyscrapers,  even as cars and buses and cabs whiz by and humanity overflows.  If car parking spots are a rarity in the city, human parking spots are at a premium too as people rush to get any vacant seat in the open. Once you bag a seat in the park,  you have ringside seats to the never-ending  free city show as  couples cuddle and fight,  people argue and hug, fashionistas trip by on six inch heels and the world moves on. It’s like a huge open-air film set, with no cameras rolling. And yes, sometimes real film shootings take place too in these frenetic surroundings.


Manhattan outdoors

Manhattan show of shows


You see humanity in all sizes and colors: you have the believers, the fanatics, the non-believers all proclaiming their ideologies on placards; you have tourists and chefs and grandpas and beauties; you have New Yorkers and people from all over the world.

The traffic lights change and there’s a complete turnover and new actors populate the crosswalk. Life goes on.



About Author

Lavina Melwani is a New York-based journalist who writes for several international publications. [email protected] & @lassiwithlavina Sign up for the free newsletter to get your dose of Lassi!

1 Comment

  1. Hi Lavina,

    I found the spin that you added to daily life quite interesting, and unique to say the least. I wouldn’t mind watching this kind of “movie”, and snacking on what you have pictured.