Wednesday, December 08, 2004

No, really...

I totally left the house the other night!

Not that I'm agoraphobic. I mean, I totally left the house by myself (i.e.: no small children or animals in tow), after dark, TO A BAR. Specifically, Sala, a tapas bar on the Bowery, for the 4th annual inspirational celebrational Sag Party. Which was fun, despite the fact that I knew about two people there, including one of the co-hosts. And despite the drunken pilgrimage I undertook searching for the subway at one in the morning (hey, did I ever CLAIM to have a sense of direction? No? Then shut up, TIM).

I came away with this strange, smug sense that I had escaped a terrible fate in the world of professional theater technicians. Not that they're bad people; everyone I met at the party was witty and creative and fun, and my invitation in the first place came from a great old friend who I met as a (gasp!) technical theater major. It was just that, of those partygoers who confessed that they'd like to find another line of work, very few had anything but gigs on their resumes. It seems that your specialized little niche has the potential to become a specialized little cage, and I'm glad that I was able to branch out from that despite the fact that I am reduced to professional undertakings that an entrepreneurial twelve year old might consider a decent summer gig (ahem - need your dog walked? Cause I'm still in business for a week or so...)


It rained yesterday. Terrible, cold, soaking rain that has pummeled me for two days now. Oh, and I was hungover (see above). It got me to thinking (blearily) about New York rituals that may or may not occur in similarly congested urban landscapes.

1. Umbrella Etiquette
Think about it. Hundreds of people are streaming past one another on any given sidewalk in NYC at any given moment. On a rainy day, that means they're maneuvering their umbrellas and shopping bags and various other crap past each other. In umbrella terms, this means one of the people passing has to raise their umbrella high enough to a) not bash the opposing umbrella, and b) not to poke out the eyes of innocent bystanders. My question: is there an unspoken protocol regarding this? Is it, say, the holder of the larger umbrella who holds the responsibility to raise it? Is it sort of like walk-on-the-right, pass-on-the-left? And what's the deal with the white point-protectors you see around town? Huh? What? Help me, please.

2. Subway Etiquette
Hey, GUY ON THE TRAIN, you're supposed to let everyone off first before you move your fat ass and your cart full of junk onto the train. That means ME, jackass.

3. The Bar Party
Nobody in New York has an apartment large enough to contain a party. Nobody you or I know, anyway. So people have parties in bars. And more often than not, it's not even private - it's just a bar, with a bunch of people you know. And you're paying New York bar prices for the food, drinks, whatever (did I mention I had a $10 Bloody Mary the other night? Cause I had a $10 Bloody Mary the other night. Stupid bar prices.) The parties are still fun - and probably a lot more atmospheric than most people's apartments - but, it's weird. Just weird.

4. The Elongated Real Estate Relationship
You know the couple. They've been together for a couple of years, they moved in together, and now they HATE each other. But they can't move out, because neither is prepared to give up the spacious one bedroom they found and either move to a cheaper neighborhood or a smaller apartment. These people will stay together for years, and never break up - at least, not until one of them finds a new significant other with a n equally spacious / appealingly located apartment.

5. Dog Walkers
Last I heard, Peoria didn't have a big dog walking business boom. I leave my own dog home all day while I go out and walk other people's dogs, and he's just fine. What do people do in the suburbs? Do their dogs just pee all over their house? No. They're fine. Hmmmmm. Closely related to:

6. The Delivery Economy
Food, of course, is a given. But everybody else - from grocery stores to the Home Depot to Petco to wash & fold laundry services - will deliver to your door, at least if you live in Manhattan. It's cool, but it's also like, "Can't you do anything for yourself?"

That's all I've got. Like I said, it was raining all over my hungover ass, and to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure my poor little brain has dried out yet. Anyone else have some urban weirdness observations to share? Send 'em in. It'll save me the trouble of creating a new and original post.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Curious Jane said...

I visited my sister-in-law in NYC (Manhattan) in Sept and I forwarded all your observations to her. Sounds soooo accurate to me!


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