Chapter 5 – living like a New Yorker
Step one is learn how to tune the rest of the world out by putting on headphones and pretend there is no one around you. My problem is that I want to experience my surroundings. Sometimes it is an odd feeling to be surrounded by so many people on the bus or train and not a soul is talking. In addition, no one looks at anyone so people stare at the advertisements on the wall as if they have never seen them before. There are so many blank stares for such a highly populated area. There is also the person that closes their eyes so they do not have to look at the surroundings but yet they are far from tired to close their eyes.
Step two is only acknowledge your neighbors and not try to engage in any conversation. They are too busy to talk if they have walked out their door. But I work from home and the only live humans I could talk to are my neighbors or wait until church on Sunday. Try to ignore me as you will neighbors but I will talk to you and engage in conversation one of these days!
Step three is to make sure your shoes are set for walking. New York City is a walking city. Even if you own a car, to pull directly up to the location you are going to do not exist anymore. A typical day consists of walking three miles. If I go out for lunch or nightlife, it will be more than three and on average six miles for the day. This is not flatland Florida either! The typical amount of stairs briefly brushed by my sneakers presence is a rough estimate of four hundred per day. It is eighty six stairs just to get out of my front door.
Step four is do not purchase an expensive umbrella. Cheap umbrellas break just as simple as hundred dollar umbrellas. Something I see about twenty five percent of the time is one single person will be embracing an umbrella fit for a family of four. The umbrella has a wingspan of five feet easily. Do not buy one of these and pursue to walk through the busiest walkways of Manhattan. Also, if you see someone walking the opposite direction with an umbrella, common courtesy is for the taller person to lift their umbrella higher and the shorter person to lower theirs. Do not walk aimlessly on a crowded sidewalk as if you forgot there were others around you nearly taking a spoke of your umbrella through the eye.
Step five is enjoy the food and surroundings of the incredible city you help populate. Even Yelp nor Google Maps have every restaurant on the map so try something new every time you go out. We will soon participate in step five but we are waiting for Mar’s check to start coming through on a regular basis since she just started teaching this week. We have definitely been enjoying the surroundings since that comes at a cost of time instead of greenbacks.
Some of the New York dweller’s mannerisms I will never follow but I will enjoy this great city and work on opening people’s minds near me to be a little more selfless.