Wednesday, December 21, 2011

crowd control

One of the things that gets on my nerves after too much time in NYC is the crowds.  Specifically, however, the crowds of tourists.  Sorry, friends from out of state, but it's true.  New Yorkers have considered passing minimum walking speeds on the NYC sidewalks (3 mph, to be specific), and creating, in Midtown, a New Yorker-only designated passing lane.  I have a friend who puts her shoulders in what she calls "football position" to walk home through Rockefeller Center.  And for god's sake, if you want to stare at the top of a building with your mouth hanging open, do it from the edge of the sidewalk, not dead-center.

Yesterday, my mom wanted to go to that icon of consumerist NYC Christmas:  MACY'S.

I diligently avoid Macy's year-round.  I find it's layout confusing, the lack of directories annoying, and, most importantly, the tourist-heavy crowd infuriating.  At best.  But at Christmas, the place practically gives me a panic attack.  But, in the spirit of giving and all, and considering my mom only comes to NY about once a year, I sucked it up, took the B to 34th Street, and herded my parents toward Macy's.  It was impossible to move from the crowds, and at one point, my dad and I had to physically drag my mom away from a shelf of 60% off nutcrackers.  She was in heaven.

It was at this point that the violations started.  As we left Macy's, we walked slowly, gazing at the scenery.  We took pictures in Herald Square Park and read the placards.  I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and pointed out the top of the Chrysler building as we meandered at significantly less than 3mph toward Grand Central.  At one point, we were linked together, walking three abreast, completely blocking the sidewalk.  In short, I was part of the problem, not part of the solution.

I have to admit, that when eye-rolling people in dark pants and jackets pushed their way past us, it kind of surprised me.  Where were they headed in such a hurry?  Oh right.  Home.  I guess I might be a little annoyed at me too.  But you have to admit, New York looks completely different at a slower pace.

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