Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tuesdays with Terry

It was about a year ago I heard the rumor that New York Mets manager Terry Collins spent the seven or so months of baseball season residing in my neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. While I had no independent verification of this, it would hardly be surprising. Travis d'Arnaud and Ruben Tejada are also names I had heard as possible neighbors of mine and on multiple occasions I have seen Jon Niese and his wife on the subway, while once I had to hide my amusement at seeing how peeved former-Met John Maine was about waiting in a particularly slow line at the local Duane Reade.

This isn't so nuts. I live in a growing, trendy and, as my rent has indicated, increasingly expensive area. In the seven years I've called it home the luxury high rises have sprouted from the Earth and brought with it an influx of wealthy internationals, young corporate families and fewer youthful yuppies than it used to. I'm not so crazy about the older shift in demographics, but the easy access to Manhattan and a direct route to Citi Field have smoothed over that gradual transition.

Also, the restaurants are way better now.

Still, over the past few years I had seen nary a sign of Collins roaming Vernon Blvd or grabbing a late-night deli sandwich at the E&I Grocery. And Tuesday morning as I nursed my bruises and sore muscles from running this year's Brooklyn Half Marathon and then watching the Mets tumble throughout May, I entered the elevator in my apartment building en route to an easy swim at the pool and saw none other than the man who would be manager of the NL East leaders.

Collins leaned on the back of the elevator making eye contact with no one, and I tried to respect his personal space and privacy by not staring or bothering him. The catch with this, however, is that I always use a Mets towel when I go swimming. He must have seen it, and while owning Mets paraphernalia isn't enough to guarantee one could spot the team's manager in casual clothes in an elevator, there was the distinct possibility Collins saw me, saw my towel, and assumed I knew who he was.