Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 11th 2013 Contents A25
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Re: Death of Joseph Cyrus
LP 01B Lanse Mitan
Diego Martin A workman lately employed with B.H.
Compensation in the above matter having been deposited with me
under Section 8 of the Workmen's Compensation Ordinance, the
dependants of the said Joseph Fitzroy Cyrus are hereby required
to appear before the Commissioner on Tuesday the 21st day of
January, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in the forenoon at the Hall of Justice,
Port of Spain, when the Commissioner shall proceed to determine
the distribution thereof.
Proof of relationship of dependants to the deceased workman will
be required by the Commissioner to be furnished by claimants at
the enquiry. Such proof to be in the form of certificates of birth
and of marriage as in the circumstances be necessary.
A claimant for funeral expenses of the deceased must submit
and prove his claim to the Commissioner on or before the 21st
day of January, 2014.
Dated this 8th day of October, 2013.
Supreme Court of Judicature
"J oy" was her name, written
in red marker, with a sten-
cilled five-pointed star next
to it on the plastic nametag. A
surly New York November
evening, walking tiredly up 14th
St toward Union Square. The sign:
"Foot-rub $20," in a storefront
below street level was too surreal
for my aching feet to ignore.
The establishment was long,
rectangular; celotex ceiling, sharp
white fluorescent lights. Shabby,
but not seedy. To the right, a row
of oversized, high-backed faux-
leather armchairs, foot basins,
stools on casters, where the
Chinese, to my inexperienced
eye, but they could have been
Korean, Vietnamese, wherever.
Plastic aprons over black trousers,
white polo shirts. I spoke to the
middle-aged lady at the plywood
"Sure, have a seat."
Unshod, jeans rolled to the
knees, sinking into the chair,
looking down, a little uncomfort-
ably, at Joy.
New York has, my friends say,
changed under Michael
Bloomberg, mayor for three terms,
who recently demitted (term lim-
its) to Democrat, Bill de Blasio.
New York s most successful may-
ors have been Republicans with
authoritarian tendencies, like
Rudolph Giuliani. All that liberal-
ism needs a firm hand.
"You want chair massage?" Joy
touched a switch on the control
panel and the back of the chair
started undulating; knobs beneath
the upholstery pushed firmly into
my tense shoulders as she filled
"Hot," she said, blandly, pulling
on thick kitchen gloves, and
reaching for a squeezy-bottle,
squeezing out green, thick fluid,
applying to my feet, lathering,
scrubbing. Her face was expres-
sionless. But what expression
would have been appropriate?
A timer placed on the table, she
began massaging, talking to the
other women in what I assumed
to be Mandarin. (Cantonese?) My
discomfort clarified. Television
shows, human trafficking, over-
worked, underpaid exploited
women. Was she, were they, vic-
tims? My internal monologue
bifurcated and the conscientious
objection started to argue with
satisfied grunts of a foot-rub
Bloomberg (my friends tell me)
initiated controversial social poli-
cies, in fact, not-too-subtle social
engineering. He legislated that
McDonalds and other fast-food
chains put the number of calories
each item packed. He banned the
supersize option for soft drinks.
He initiated the Citibike pro-
gramme. All round the city are
racks of blue and silver bicycles,
which citizens use for a small fee.
Next to Joy sat Li. Long, flow-
ing black hair, jodhpurs, riding
boots, and her name-tag icon was
a pair of eyes and lopsided
smile---two circles with dots, a
semi-circle beneath. Li was a
beauty. The eyes, the plane of her
cheeks, the familiar, confident
extroversion in the way she tossed
her hair, the knee-high boots.
Joy was young, early 20s, I
guessed, and plain-looking. They
sat on the low stools, bored, chat-
ting, the pairs of feet in front of
them handled and dispensed with
clinically. Joy s hair was elaborately
coloured; subtle dark streaks of
black and light brown.
To my left was a really fat
dude---twice my size---wearing a
tracksuit, enormous fashion sun-
glasses, gold rings. His feet must
be like hams. The women s hands
were tiny. To my right, a small,
nondescript woman wearing sweat
pants. The engineering of space,
housing and zoning, affects not
just the environment but the way
people interact. It s all built on
constantly increasing police
sophistication and declining
crime, linked to heightened build-
ing and residential standards and
standards of public conduct gen-
About 1.6 million people live in
Manhattan, all efficiently protect-
ed, transported, serviced by utili-
ties. None of Trinidad s 1.3 million
can walk down the street, get a
taxi, a policeman, or WASA s
complaints department without
Seven minutes on the ticker. Joy
was competent, but mechanical.
But, I reminded myself severely,
it s more than you deserve. Who
knows where these women came
from? How they got here?
Humans trafficked in containers,
boats, trucks, like cattle, around
the globe, to deliver $20 foot
massages on 14th Street.
Bloomberg s engineering has
made New Yorkers more relaxed.
On a train, an old lady decided to
change clothes, and began to
strip. People just quietly got up
and moved to the other end of
Most are locked into a tablet, a
phone, even, occasionally, a book.
No one pays attention. No nerv-
ous crowd-scanning and Bernard
Goetz calculations. The zoning-
out is a kind of relaxation that
comes from the certainty you
won t be accosted, harassed, I
thought, enviously. Ten minutes,
Brooklyn s changed too. Cleaner,
gentrification spreading, new con-
struction, former city-dwellers
flooding in. The Barclay s centre
downtown. My friends live in a
brownstone near Prospect Park.
There used to be nail salons,
seedy Chinese restaurants, sneaker
and beeper stores. Now it s
health-food stores, stylish restau-
rants, coffee shops. Smiling white
people walk around fearlessly. The
gangstas still loiter on the corners,
but are now mannered, ironic.
The sociologist Sudhir
Venkatesh recently published
Floating City, a study of how a
massive underground economy
provides the air-cushion for New
York s new unbearable lightness of
being. Homeless people are still
on the streets, but they sit still
and offer hand-written signs
now---"I m HIV positive and have
no health insurance. Please help."
The buzzer. Twenty minutes.
Sighs, shoes, rolled-down jeans.
Joy wrote up the bill for $21.
"Tax," she said.
Not really, since the tax rate is
about nine per cent, so the tax
would have come up to $1.80.
And then I remembered, the cab-
bies, the waiters, none of them
were hostile about tips. The last
time I d been there, a cabbie had
asked me how he was going to
support his kid with a $3 tip.
So I left Joy a slightly larger tip
than the one she tried to extort
from me. It didn t make me feel
any better, anywhere except my
20 MINUTES, $21 IN NEW YORK
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