New York!

by Berck

I decided to spend one of my last free weekends in New York. It’s a long way away. I left my apartment at 9am on Thursday morning and got to the law school at 7:30pm. I’m not looking forward to regularly giving up a day to get to and from work.

I like New York much better when it’s not hot. In general, I like New York. I’m not sure why. I feel like I should hate it, and perhaps I’ll learn to, but for now, I’m too amused.

On the subway back to Brooklyn after getting a beer with Kelsey, I remembered how many people you get a chance to see on a daily basis in New York. Quite a bit more than the half-dozen I’m likely to interact with in a less urban setting.

A group of people got on, and had a long discussion about which of them should sit down in the two spots on the seat next to me. Only one of them eventually sat down, and the others kept standing. A fellow behind them politely asked if any of them were going to sit there, and they said no. Uncannily polite for the Subway–you don’t ask, you just sit. It was obvious the guy was a New Yorker; out of the millions, there’s bound to be a few polite ones. After a little while he asked me if the C train stopped at Fulton. Since it goes down Fulton for a long way, there’s a dozen stops “at Fulton”, so I wasn’t sure what he meant. I told him I didn’t know, but pulled out my map and handed it to him. He laughed and consulted it. He asked if I were a New Yorker, and seemed surprised that I wasn’t, but allowed how that explained why I had a subway map in my pocket.

I manage to not stand out as a tourist, but I don’t look like a New Yorker. I certainly don’t dress correctly. BDU’s and a flannel shirt is just not acceptable attire. New Yorkers seem to put quite a bit of effort into how they dress. They wear double-breasted coats, not gore-tex shells.

Tourists, on the other hand… I walked down 42nd street today and heard two tourists talking to each other about catching a cab to Times Square, since they weren’t having any luck finding it. They were standing at the corner 42nd and Broadway. Apparently the billion watts of lights weren’t enough for them to catch on.

Sweatshirts. Tourists wear sweatshirts. I don’t think anyone else here does. Course, they also wear gore-tex shells and stand on street corners with streetwise maps, something I do often.

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