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Extra-Credit Manhattan

Posted 04-11-2015 at 06:21 PM by Employable


What you can see with a perspective that transcends tour books. Some good. Some not-so-good. In no particular order:

Seeing so many leaves falling after a fall rain, amid so much concrete and brick.
–Lines of doormen standing at attention along Avenues.
–Massive piles of garbage bags and discarded furniture stacked along the sidewalks.
–People talking to themselves… no phone or earbuds visible.
–Watching the Staten Island Ferry slowly disappear across the Hudson River.
–Tourists petting horses along Central Park South. Police on horses. The smell of horse poop. Horses.
–Running into the Naked Cowboy and knowing he’s supremely evil.
–Seeing the shocking amount of dust in the air when the sun hits just right.
–Young people sitting on sidewalks, heads down, with cardboard signs announcing they’re broke and/or homeless.
–Seeing other young people in the same fashion, but having dogs for increased sympathy.
–Commuters on separate platforms, screaming at each other across the subway tracks.
–Witnessing rows of bicyclists taking up two lanes down Riverside Drive.
–Seeing the colorful Empire State Building at night, while walking miles away Uptown.
–Standing in front of a street cam and pulling up the Internet on your cell phone to see yourself on screen.
–Seeing the massive number of people sitting on the steps of the main branch of the New York Public Library.
–Witnessing police and EMT’s trying to talk a potential jumper off the ledge of the George Washington Bridge. (I'm not making light of this... it was gut-wrenching.)
–Seeing the occasional taxi cab driver patiently waiting at an intersection while pedestrians blindly walk against red lights.
–Manhattanhenge.
–Watching emotional fans pay tribute to John Lennon at Strawberry Fields.
–The Guggenheim “toilet bowl” Museum. (This is a regular Manhattan spot, but you HAVE to know beforehand that it looks like a toilet bowl.)
–Seeing that tiny, metal sign placed at the highest point of the Borough.
–Riding in the center of an articulated bus.
–Butt cracks.
–Lines of people sitting on metal chairs playing dominoes, slapping down the tiles with extreme gusto.
–The crazy number of head shops along St. Marks Place.
–Watching tourists who never really see the city because they’re too busy taking pictures.
–Seeing a store for the first time, even though you’ve walked by it dozens (and dozens) of times.
–The day you're at GCT and realize you finally figured out the entire subway system.
–People walking down the street, casually smoking joints.
–Feeling the sidewalk shake while a subway speeds underneath you.
–Noticing the wide array of animal parts for sale in a Chinatown grocery store.
–Being lost anywhere and realizing the new version of Google Maps won’t help you at all.
–Feeling the pretentiousness amid all the giant restaurant patios in Little Italy.
–Seeing a fridge-sized cardboard box in front of a church, knowing there’s someone sleeping inside.
–Sitting on a subway seat and having a standing commuter shove their ass in your face.
–Seeing couples getting married at City Hall, dressed in bridal gowns and tuxes.
–Standing in the middle of Times Square, happily knowing you’re not there on New Year’s Eve.
–Hearing a nanny sing “and down will come baby, cradle and all,” and seeing an infant in the stroller cluelessly laughing and smiling.
–The oppressive feeling of so much money oozing through every pore of the Upper East Side.
–Noticing the water marks on buildings, years after the flooding from Hurricane Sandy.
–Walking by a business and seeing more than 20 building permits taped to the window.
–Hearing drunk people hiding out somewhere in Central Park's North Woods.
–Standing at the high point of Inwood Hill Park, looking down on the tip of the island, the train tracks, Spuyen Duyvil Creek and the Hudson.
–Realizing you want to jump off the High Line because it’s so freaking crowded.
–Seeing a woman pushing a stroller while carrying a baby and a bag, while witnessing her husband, with nothing in his hands, refuse to find her Chap Stick.
–Almost getting side-swiped by a delivery guy on a bike.
–Seeing police confiscate a delivery guy’s electric bike while he’s helplessly standing there with someone’s food.
–Seeing a dog stop dead in its tracks at a sewer cover, then rolling around on it in sheer bliss.
–Standing on a sidewalk and seeing a Duane Reade down the street, then seeing another Duane Reade while looking the other way.
–Plows pushing snow and gradually burying parked cars.
–Lonely tires chained to poles after bike thefts.
–Stoops.
–Walking around Wall Street and practically running right into the Charging Bull’s butt.
–Seeing the giant Halloween decorations outside the American Museum of Natural History.
–Multiple blocks lined with trailers and trucks for a single scene of a movie or TV show.
–Desperate people looking along sidewalks for cigarette butts to light back up.
–Walking down the street, hungry, knowing you’ll find a food cart a block away.
–Trying to count the number of people playing instruments in Washington Square Park.
–Standing at a Midtown food cart, incredulous that a hot dog is 8 bucks.
–Hearing someone describe any area above Harlem as “Canada.”
–Watching someone fumbling with money while getting on a bus and hearing a line of exasperated sighs.
–Way too many costumed characters in Times Square.
–Panhandlers begging for change by shouting inside one subway car after another.
–Other pedestrians crossing your path, so close you have to “slam on your brakes,” and they don’t even acknowledge they did it.
–Seeing confused people who just walked up from the subway, trying to figure out which way they need to go.
–Getting stuck behind a slow-moving line of people with strollers walking side-by-side, taking up the entire sidewalk.
–People outside clubs puking in the street at 3 in the morning. (I love this one.)
–The vast number of water towers.
–Subway riders so engrossed with their cell phones that they miss their stop.
–Bicycle pedicab riders with “$5 per minute” signs. ($300 an hour??? That’s more than twice what an expensive horse-and-carriage ride costs.)
–Seeing a Starbucks every six blocks in Midtown.
–Drunk people passed out on the street.
–Mamouns. And the Mamouns 12 blocks away.
–That half-dressed guy who walks down Broadway on the Upper West Side, yelling at nothing and everything.
–That guy across the street from Madison Square Garden, holding a huge sign, loudly extolling the virtues of God and Jesus.
–Miles and miles of sidewalk sheds.
–Noticing celebrities and proudly ignoring them.
–Drivers constantly honking in a futile attempt to get a long line of traffic moving. So. Much. Honking.
–Turning the corner in Battery Park and seeing the Statue of Liberty.
–Traffic cops putting tickets on cars, just one minute after Alternate Side Parking rules go into effect.
–Waking up happy knowing there’s not a single Wal-Mart in the city.
Posted in New York City
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