I’ve probably mentioned it before but I work in midtown Manhattan but I live in the suburbs, in the same small town I grew up in in Connecticut. The commute may be long, but I wouldn’t give up my “country living” as my co-workers put it to live in a gridlock of people and cement buildings. One thing that I have been observing in the jungle that is Manhattan is how people walk on the sidewalks.
When I was a little girl, my mom told me I’d never make it in the big city if I couldn’t deal with the commotion that is guaranteed to ensue on any given sidewalk in the city. I’m not sure if she was telling me this because I had a problem with something that happened or if she was just telling me so I’d know, but I know that what she said is true. If you can’t deal with the craziness that ensues on the sidewalks, you could become very miserable very quickly in the city. That said, I think I do a fine job at dealing with the craziness, but over time I’ve observed some interesting stuff on my foot travels around….
- Some people truly embody what the term “New York minute”. These people have to get from point A to point B as I their life depended on it and they don’t care who’s in their way, because they have the right of way.
- Some people like to play chicken with cars. Is it really necessary to cut across the road when there’s barely half a second before the car barreling down the road is going to be in the same spot you’re standing?
- There’s tourists that forget that all the sights they are taking in aren’t all that special to some of us when we see them daily. It’s the tourists that stop shirt in the middle of the sidewalk that cause the trouble. Either they block loads of people’s paths to pose for their group photo or they stop so short that whoever is walking behind them walks into them.
- There are those of us who work there that know where we are going and we stick to our path day in and day out. This encompasses most of those on the city sidewalks before-after work and during lunch hours. We weave in and out of people to get where we need to be, but it’s never necessary to knock someone down on your way there. We cut across streets whether there is a crosswalk or if its out right of way, but we do it when there’s no cars coming down the block.
- There are the people who want to stop you so they can get you to sign up for something or buy their product. They’re pretty harmless, that is until they stop you as you’re running to catch your train…
- There are street vendors, who for the most part are more of a backdrop to many of us. They don’t bother you and if they are selling something you want, like a scarf or sunglasses, you can get decent ones for less money then you’d spend on lunch.
- There are the chill people who seem to have no problems with the world. They go with the flow of traffic and they wait at the corners for the little white man to tell them to continue on and if they get stopped at every corner, so be it.
I’m sure there are more. And everyone can fall into different categories depending on the day, I know I do.