The fifth day of the month means it’s time for my 5 Favorite New Yorkers.
As always, choices are based on this dog’s opinion of each candidate’s dog friendliness, animal advocacy, good-eggishness, and general New Yorkitude. Honorees may be humans, animals, or institutions.
In no particular order and without further ado…
Albert the Dog’s 5 Favorite New Yorkers for March 2015
1. MTA Worker Charles Gaston: The Metropolitan Transit Authority operates New York’s subways, buses, trains, bridges, and tunnels. New Yorkers like to complain about the MTA, but I come today to praise one of their employees. In mid-February, Mr. Charles Gaston and other MTA workers found a small dog in a subway tunnel in the Bronx. Mr. Charles had her vaccinated and cleaned up, brought her home, and dubbed her Delta (after the D train). He fell in love with the friendly little pooch and even started an Instagram account for her.
That alone would have earned Mr. Charles a spot on this list. But after the story aired on the local news, he was contacted by a family whose dog had gone missing earlier that month, and soon he was able to reunite Delta with the Garcia family. It’s hard to give up someone you love, but he did the right thing. Bravo, Mr. Charles!
2. William Burke: I have never been to the theater because most theaters do not allow dogs. But apparently, dogs are allowed to be “in the theater”—as in, performing on stage. Playwright/director William Burke’s “Comfort Dogs,” currently playing inside a hurricane-damaged Brooklyn house, features a cast made up of dogs (and humans, too).
Dogs have appeared on stage before, of course, but we are usually supporting actors at best. Mr. William’s play is apparently different. As the New York Times’ rather critical review put it, “White Bluet, brown Bronco and black Gypsy stalk Carolyn Mraz’s deconstructed stage in their own time, in their own way — naturally, imperiously, affectionately. Their way of moving through the theater and the world forces you to look and listen differently. ” Now that a precedent for dog-centric performances has been set, I’m sure it’s only a matter a time before I have my own one-dog show.
3. Mix Diskerud: Like me, Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn “Mix” Diskerud is a “mix,” being half-Norwegian and half-American. Beyond that (and the fact we are both male), we don’t have much in common; I am a dog, while he is human professional soccer/football player. Having joined the MLS expansion team New York City Football Club this year, he is also a brand-new New Yorker. My little blog welcomes him to the city with this entry. Why grant such an exclusive honor to an individual who has lived here only a matter of days? Here are some reasons:
Exhibit A: His hair is so luxuriant it has caused me to reconsider my hatred of baths. Perhaps if I used shampoo more often, my fur would be this bouncy:
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) February 12, 2015
Exhibit B: He does tricks:
Exhibit C: He reads overlooked works of American fiction:
Exhibit D: Even though he is allergic to cats, he once took care of an intruder cat until it found an owner. I’m sure my friend Carol will appreciate this:
— Mix Diskerud (@MixDiskerud) September 12, 2013
I realize I have not said anything about his abilities in the midfield, but I will leave that to the experts. Since I am not allowed inside Yankee Stadium, I won’t be able to see any games live. Perhaps his employers will release that dog-sized kit I requested so at least I can watch from the sofa in style.
@NYCFC Is there a dog size available? I am a svelte 15 lbs.
— Albert the Dog (@albertthedognyc) January 14, 2015
4. Molly and Leo: Humans are not born with the ability to read. I did not know that because I do not spend much time around young humans. It turns out that this is an acquired skill, and for some, learning to read is difficult and can even provoke anxiety.
That’s where Molly and Leo come in. This pair of Havanese dogs volunteer at a public school on the Upper West Side, helping young humans become more at ease with reading by listening patiently. Reporter Emily Frost tweeted a video of Molly and one of her pupils at work:
— Emily Frost (@efrost1) February 25, 2015
You can see more videos and read Ms. Emily’s full story about the reading program here.
5. Patricia Clarkson:
And there you have it! If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for April, please let me know in the comments or by e-mail.
Photo credit: D. Shankbone, Wikipedia Commons