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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sharing the Sidewalk, 42nd Street

Outside Grand Central
Photo by myself outside Grand Central, at 42nd Street and Park Avenue.

The crowds during rush hour make the sidewalks tough to navigate.


Lately I've been encountering the New York equivalent to road rage.

Monday night I walked through midtown in the midst of afternoon rush hour. People were swarming around me, some sauntering leisurely, some stopping in the middle of the sidewalk.

I boarded a cramped subway that had no air-conditioning. Bad. Very, very bad.

At the first stop I scooted out onto the platform and into the next car. Better, but it was crowded and I had just a tiny space by the door.

The woman next to me (her elbow touching mine) was reading a book and drinking an iced coffee. Deeply engrossed and oblivious, she had her nose in her book and her iced coffee in my face.


Thoughts race through my head. Confronting her with a push, declaring that of course, her coffee and book must be made comfortable. Oh, don't mind me! Who am I? Just another fare-paying customer! Be oblivious and selfish! Stay in your little world!!!!

Miraculously, I got through the ride without an explosion or homicide. It's not like this kind of thing (crowds, discomfort, loud-talking people, space invaders, wholesale stress) doesn't happen every single day in various forms. There opportunity on the subway, on the sidewalk, in line. I should be used to it by now!

To those who make the journey to and from work stuck in traffic, take heart. It can always be much, much worse!

Related posts: Queuing up at Grand Central, Grand Central and Tall Tales and The View into Grand Central Station.


melly said...

This subway entrance was in "Taking Pelham 123" the movie! I saw it pretty recently so i'm a little excited :D

Olivier said...

en plein été à NYC, sans climatisation, le métro doit être totalement invivable
in full summer to NYC, without air-conditioning, the subway must be completely unbearable

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Jazzy said...

very busy and looks grand.

Vietnam War History said...

This confirms a certain theory of mine. In many cases where a person "suffers silently" that's just because the only other option available to them is to explode in a rage. Over the course of the years I've been learning to express myself calmly in certain situations. It's not a panacea, but it often helps. Doug

dianasfaria.com said...

Once I was on the LIRR, (standing for the 45 minute ride home) hoping someone would get up so my son & I could sit down at some point. when two seats became available, a teenage girl quickly slid over taking the empty seats next to her so she wouldn't have to sit next to her friends. I quietly said, "no, I don't think so, we were waiting for a seat." thankfully she quickly moved without a fuss. She too was in her own little world. LOL!
I love your photo Kitty. I love how the round lights draw you in.

Washington Cesar Takeuchi said...

Hi Kitty!
Nice picture and (sorry to say) funny story! It is amazing the ability that the person in front of you had to make her world as tiny as a coccon. Patience is the key!

James said...

I like the picture but thanks to this " cramped subway that had no air-conditioning" I'm affraid I'll get nightmares now.

Ken Mac said...

kitty do you agree with me that some lines are just better air cooled than others? A C and E are the best. East side 6 4 etc are the worst. Downright clammy!

Kitty said...

Hi Melly
I'll have to see the movie! I'm sure there are some wonderfully photogenic shots of NY in it. Thanks for the tip.

Hi Olivier
Yes, it's terrible. Lesson is never to run onto a train, because you might be trapped in a stuffy car against your will with smelly people!

Hi Bikebali
Thanks so much and welcome.

Thanks Jazzy. It's one of my favorite street corners.

Hi Lewis and Clark
Well I did shift positions with the woman after a minute. Couldn't take it.

I agree with you. Better to say something than explode. The trouble is small things build on top of other small things, and suddenly you can be very pissed off at the 10th small thing that you've run into.

Anyway, rant over.

Hi Lily
Glad your encounter ended peacefully. When confronted some people do back down. You have to pick your battles of course.

Hi Washington
Yes on the patience. You need a bit of it here, living on top of each other.

Ha James. Sorry to scare you off.

Hi Ken
The ultra-cooled cars are rare for me, but then, I so rarely take the 4/6. I'm more of a 1/9, N/R and F/D train girl ;-)