Tag Archives: summer

The Art of Walking

  • I was going to write a post about

    this book

    but then I got lazy.

  • So now I’m going to write about walking. Because that’s what I did this morning to get to work. And it was a fantastic sunny morning.
  • I just did a Google search of this post’s title and I found

    this book

    which apparently is only okay (according to the Amazon ratings).

  • But since I’d been mulling over the idea of writing about the former subject for today and had only switched topics about ten minutes before sitting down at my desk, I kind don’t really have much planned. So here we go.

Manhattanites, both residing and working, have a reputation for being some of the fastest walkers on the planet.  It’s so bad (or good, depending on who you are) that there’s a section of sidewalk somewhere dedicated to the idea.

I quickly raise the guilty hand on this issue.  When I’m at college and walking with my friends, I find myself having to slow down every five steps so that I can stay in pace with them.  Manhattan walking is best done alone, and with a scowl on your face.

But I kind of want to change that. First of all, this is a walk truly found only on people who want to look busy/important, and all self-humbling attempts aside, all the truly busy/important people probably aren’t walking down a busy street anyway. I’m not saying slow it down (we’ll never get anywhere), but maybe we should ease up on the hostile front.

Take today.  It was a bloody fantastic morning.  The sun was filtering through the trees in Bryant Park where white people were “doing” tai chi, specks of light bouncing off the layers of humid atmosphere (baahh I usually don’t romanticize humidity like this. I’ve always hated it.  But it can make a pretty picture.) and hitting the sides of million-story buildings like….like….like [heartbreaking simile].

I know people have places to go. But we kind of need to look around and realize how amazing the morning grind can look sometimes.

Why It’s So Freaking Hot in the Subway

If I were an investigative reporter, or if I had the mental energy right now to do some actual research, I’d look for some articles on air circulation in city undergroud rail systems.  However, I do not want to become an investigative reporter, nor do I have the energy to do some actual research on air circulation in city underground rail systems.  So I’ll just complain.

WHY ARE YOU SO HOT

Actually, it’s not some much complaining as an observation, because I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t complain (which makes me a hypocrite because I know full well I’m complaning).

The subway, year-round, but particularly the summer months, have the habit of being just nasty.  It’s warm (like, very warm), humid (like, very humid), and it’s probably just as clean as a keyboard (which is just as dirty as it is boring).

A few hotspots:

  • The 4-5-6 Canal Street Stop
  • The E-M 53rd & 5th Stop
  • That God-forsaken tunnel between the N-Q-R 42nd Street Times Square Stop and Port Authority

That last one is pokes itself it the butt sometimes (I think I just made that euphamism up; I’m going for a makes-fun-of-itself type figure of speech).  Once you start the journey through that tunnel and realize it’s particularly dank in there, you have two options: 1) turn around and get onto the street, or 2) continue on in the hopes that Good Lord will have mercy on you today and make the experience a shorter one.

Now I read somewhere this past week that the London Underground was designed so tightly that there was no room to install air conditioning when the technology became available in the second half of the 20th century, which means that commuters have to endure scorching internal temperatures day in and out.  Upon reading such truthfact, I felt ashamed for being so whiny about my own Subway, which at least has beautiful AC within the cars themselves. Then I remembered going to London last year for a family visit, during one of London’s “heat waves”. UMM, NO. During that heat wave temperatures “soared” to like, 75 degrees Fahrenheit. I feel no sympathy.

Most people (all people) have no choice but to just get on with it.  And these people are my heroes. And since I am one of those people, I am my own hero. #selfesteem

All this gets me thinking. AND SO. From the depths of the broiling New York Subway, a list of personal heroes:

  • MTA Information booth workers
  • Homeless People
  • Crazy people with homes but choose to prophesy in the Subway anyway
  • Musical performers for tips
  • People who miss their train and have to wait 20 min for the next one
  • People who can’t fit in a crowded train and have to wait for the next one
  • Classy ladies who insist on wearing cardigans
  • Suits
  • People who run the platform magazine stands
  • Workers who remove and replace the posters on the wall
  • That one guy with the old broom who picks up pieces of paper
  • That Chinese lady who sells baby turtles
  • Metrocard machine repairpersons
  • Christian Fundamentalists preaching against the walls

Here’s to you.