View Full Version : "I was Walking in NYC and......."

February 7th, 2005, 06:31 PM
I'm a graduate student doing a school project on peoples experiences when walking in NYC.
Have you had a remarkable experience? Got any pet peeves?
What is proper etiquette for walking in the big apple?
Tell me about! The highs the lows the pinnacles and puddles!
Stories or feedback would be much appreciated.

February 8th, 2005, 12:23 PM
My biggest pet peeve is when people insist upon walking two or three abreast and block the sidewalk for anyone who would like to pass.

Walk quickly and to the right. If you need to stop, step to the side. Tourists, I am speaking to you.

February 8th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Thanks for the reply and the input! I hope more people will respond.

TLOZ Link5
February 8th, 2005, 12:58 PM
It's not so much the blocking the sidewalk that annoys me, but when really unaware people walk really d*mn slowly on crowded streets. It just reminds me of a Dilbert comic strip when he's trying to get the attention of these two "oblivious slow-walking women" who are blocking the hallway.

"Time stands still as I prepare to take my next step."

February 8th, 2005, 01:45 PM
Unaware and oblivious are good words. They drift from side to side as though they are the only ones on the sidewalk.
You mentioned the puddles - they are no doubt a nuissance, but like the garbage, the pigeons, dog crap, spit, gum and other obstacles, they become subconciously avoided without barely noticing.

However, there is much more to the sidewalks of New York that completely outshine the downsides. All the different people with their antics, art, pets, style and lack thereof, can be truly entertaining.

February 8th, 2005, 02:37 PM
One of my favorite things to do in New York is to just walk and around and take in the sights and sounds of the city.

February 8th, 2005, 05:21 PM
It's not so much an etiquette to walking in New York as an art. Both Schadenfrau and NYatKnight speak to the essentials of the experience. The oblivious and unaware miss out on the adventures unfolding around them, and unfortunately they add a dissonance to the harmonic ballet of crowds weaving and darting, shifting and slicing through the onslaught like a knife through butter. If I'm walking a few blocks in the same direction and I find myself behind one of these masterful walkers I simply fall in line like a dancer who follows the lead.

Now that one is in the flow, true art follows. As NYatKnight defined so succintly, the street IS theatre. One can weep, laugh and cry without ever purchasing a ticket. For indeed, the show is all around us! It is impromptu and unexpected. It is unrehearsed and not repeatable. It is the engagement of human to human, sometimes at very intimate and personal levels, yet fleeting. The moment evaporating even as it is unfolding. It is surprise and delight. It is the joy of being human and alive.

February 8th, 2005, 09:09 PM
Bravo Fioco, Bravo!

February 8th, 2005, 09:45 PM
Thank you for all the well thought out and well verbalized responses. This has been enormously helpful!!!

March 16th, 2005, 02:09 PM
An avid walker of New York, I am also researching an upcoming MCNY exhibit on the New York night. I found your posting and I'm curious about your project. I'm planning to devote a section to experiences walking at night in NYC. Perhaps I could present some of your work or collaborate in some way?

March 16th, 2005, 02:57 PM
It all depends on where you are walking.

In Chinatown, there is no way to get around teh old lady with the cart and the guy sitting outside the store next to his wares with only 2 feet of room between the barrel of live frogs and the previous days bailed trash.

In Midtown, the tourists are at play with the rushed working class. You have alternate absent minded people, and people who would brush you aside like so much chattle. I have had experiences there trying to get through where people were surprised that I am more solid than I look, or ones that deliberately braced themselves because they were not going to move out of their way while walking, only to stumble forward when they find no resistance from me....

A lot of areas in the villages and stuff are more friendly. Less stress, some actual trees and the like make a world of difference. For me, walking to work on the West Side (lower) is great!

But besides just the people, it is how much you SEE!

Everything from Haddad's lighting truch signifying that they are filming another [insert NY drama here], to bumping into celebs like David Byrne, gabriel Byrne (I was Byrned twice), and Famke Janssen....

NY can be as good, bad, or ugly as you want to look for.

March 16th, 2005, 07:34 PM
My pet peeve to add to the walking peeve is people who walk on the left side of a sidewalk, you walk the same as you drive, on the rightside, it makes things much easier.