my love/hate relationship with New York City

To use a phrase I’m sure you’ve never heard before, “I love New York.” Specifically, I love New York City—so much so that it’s practically a main character in three out of my four novels.

I love New York City, but there are times when living here makes me crazy and I wish I could jump into a Calgon commercial and scream, “take me away!” I just aged myself, but it’s not like you thought I was nineteen anyway…

For my latest blog post, I’ve compiled a list of my most recent grievances about The Big Apple, although I’m guessing I wouldn’t be able to avoid some of these simply by moving elsewhere.

People who walk at an excruciatingly slow pace. Not children, the elderly, or the disabled, but seemingly healthy young adults-middle age individuals who choose to move at a glacial pace even when the streets are not covered with black ice.  Not tourists who are gazing at the skyscrapers, peering into store windows, or stopped in the middle of the street to take a selfie, but actual New Yorkers who should be accustomed to the average speed of walking in the city which is significantly faster than you’d expect in say, Charleston, South Carolina or Owensboro, Kentucky. Because the sidewalks are so narrow, I literally have to jog around slow walkers sometimes unless I want to be bound to their pace indefinitely.

People who walk with their heads buried in their phones and then look bewildered when they bang into someone else or almost get hit by a car. Put your phone away for ten minutes. Your texts will be waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. So will your friend’s boring Facebook updates and the silly but addictive quizzes on Buzzfeed.

The puddles that collect on the street corners after a rainy or snowy day that are sometimes so deep, I have to walk an extra block in order to cross the street to avoid getting soaked up to my knees.

The fact that very few people make eye contact in the elevators. The majority of people are too busy robotically checking their phones or staring straight ahead to acknowledge the presence of another person. It makes me sad.

People who have loud telephone conversations in public using blue tooth and are seemingly oblivious to the fact that no one else cares what a jerk her roommate’s sister’s best friend’s boyfriend was at the party or how she’s not going to take her boyfriend back this time, even though based on her side of the conversation, she totally is.

When the local 6 train runs on the express route between 42nd and 14th street and skips my stop—33rd. I especially hate this when the announcement is not made until I’m already on the train and on the way to 14th street. There was a time when this happened every weekend for over a month and I avoided making  plans unless they were in walking distance of my apartment.

People who stop at the bottom/top of escalators in the subway system because they are catatonically focused on their iPhones. (Do you see a trend?) And sometimes, because they are just oblivious to the fact that there are people behind them waiting to step off of the elevator.

There are more, but I’ll save them for another post  🙂 What about you? Any peeves about New York City or your own home town?

I will leave you with something positive. Despite what people say about New Yorkers being cold, rude people, it’s not true. Granted, we won’t necessarily initiate conversation because, let’s be honest, there are a lot of crazy people out there, but we are almost always willing to help out a stranger. For instance, over the past few weeks, I’ve struggled to find my way in an area of the city with which I’m not familiar.  Despite using Hopstop and Google maps as directional tools, I’ve found myself lost and needing the assistance of random strangers on the street. In every instance, the person stopped in his tracks and helped guide me to my destination. And in most cases, it wasn’t simply a matter of pointing me in the right direction. Most of the time, the person had no idea where I was going either, but instead of just saying, “sorry” and moving on, they went the extra step to help me figure it out. They get extra props considering how cold it’s been outside.

And that, my friends, is one of the many reasons I love New York City.

Advertisements

Comments

  1. The slow walkers (who also seem to walk three abreast at a minimum and make it difficult for folks to cut around them) and the people who stop at the top/bottom of elevators are a universal problem. Oh, I bumped into you at the top of the escalator because YOU STOPPED THERE? What did you *think* was going to happen? 😉

  2. Ugh- I just realized I said top of bottom of elevators. Of course I meant escalators. At least I got it right in the next sentence.

  3. So funny! I agree with all of this, especially how people need to put their phones away and focus on what/who is in front of them! Didn’t really enjoy the snow when I was in NYC last week either, although it made coming back home to the CA weather in the 80s that much nicer. 😉 One of my new favorite things to love about NYC is that my friend and fabulous author Meredith Schorr lives there and I get to see her sometimes when I visit!

  4. paulinewiles says:

    I loved the part about the puddles, and also the not-taking-her-boyfriend-back-although-she-totally-is. 🙂
    For my home town of Cambridge, England, I suppose my biggest dislike would be bikes on the wrong side of the road with no lights. And, yes, I think stopping immediately after stepping off an escalator might be a global menace. A great reason to take the stairs!

    • I agree that bikes on the wrong side of the road with no lights would be annoying. And dangerous! I’m always in favor of physical activity and taking the healthy alternative 🙂 Unfortunately, there aren’t always stairs in the subways and the escalator is the only option available.

  5. Slow walkers drive me crazy… And i totally agree with the cell phones. It is out of control! But then again I am guilty of being phone obsessed. Last summer I walked into the boardwalk rail because I was too focused on my phone…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: