Gina Rules My Street
When I got up this morning to go to the gym, a Meg Ryan movie had taken over my block. Orange cones, flatbed trucks, and blonde production assistants with headset radios filled the streets. Store fronts had been transformed overnight (Hipster bag merchant Soho Togs had been turned into “Maven Electronics” in the eight hours since I came home last night.) Thirty-foot squares of aluminized canvas, stretched across the street, altered the course of the sun itself.
Plus, Thursday morning is methadone morning at the Department of Health and Human Services office next to my building, so the sidewalks were jammed with a mixture of union carpenters, movie extras, and oddly-dressed people shouting to each other across the street and rooting interminably in their bags for no clear reason.
Ruling calmly in the midst of all this chaos was my super, Gina Ceccala, old-guard Little Italy resident and capo of my block. Gina was sweeping the cups away from under the craft service table, making sure that the cones didn’t block the trash pickup, keeping an eye on the Thursday morning vestibule-lurkers, and probably helping direct the movie. Gina is a full-service super in every sense of the word; when I get a package, it’s waiting for me on my desk —inside my apartment! Gina knows all about my Murphy bed, knows how it works, knows how to take it down — she figured all this out when she let the exterminator into my place. I’m sure she knows what’s in my DVD player (blush.) She’s the unquestioned ruler of my block, keeping chaos, disorder, and the celestial-body-manipulating forces of Universal Studios at bay.