It’s been exactly two weeks since I moved to my company’s New York office, and so far I’ve only noticed two things: 1) the Flatiron/Gramercy area is very nice and 2) Westchester commuters are very boring. Not once has anyone broken into an argument a la the Angry Engaged Couple. I haven’t seen one homeless person try to board the train with excrement (their own? I’m not sure) down his leg. And none of the Metro North conductors have just thrown me off the train on a whim.
I was starting to get fairly sick of this consistency.
Oh, until today, when walking a few blocks to get my ritual turkey sandwich became some kind of urban grail quest. I swear to God I almost died. And it goes a little something like this. Hit it.
So at lunch time I’ve taken to frequenting my favorite authentic New York deli, Cosi (Sbarro! “My favorite New York pizza place.” Ok so really, I need to buy a Not for Tourists book and really figure out the good places around here. But this is not the point of my story). To get to Cosi, I usually leave on the Park Ave. South side of the building. Figuring today – since the sun is shining and whatnot – I’d mix it up, I went out the Madison Ave. side. Wild. I had yet to walk through Madison Square Park, so there I headed.
I should have recognized it as a bad omen when the first thing I saw upon entering the park was a team of people trying to remove one the park’s sculptures from the grounds with a forklift. It was a sculpture of a woman (I’m using this term loosely. She had boobs, other than that, it was hard to tell.). And to move her, they had to tie a rope around the top of the sculpture, which just so happened to be her neck. I was somewhat disturb. However, not enough to stop me from taking a picture.
So I continue on, thinking about what kind if analogies I could make between the statue and the oppressive history of women’s rights, and I take a left turn past the Shake Shack to make my way out of the park. Only the Shake Shack line is like, all the way to the Upper East Side and it literally took me five minutes to navigate my way past some very, very hungry insurance brokers. Geez. Whoever did this much for turkey on a flatbread?
Once passed those frightening burger-lovers, I crossed 23rd Street and headed back over to Park Ave. Since it’s my usual route, I felt I’d be a bit safer over there. Not the case, because no sooner had I turned the corner and some woman with about 557 hula hoops came barreling toward me, with the entire quantity of hoops placed wobbly on only one of her shoulders. Oddly enough, she wasn’t selling them. They were all tattered and used and taped up and I began to wonder if there was such a thing as “professional hula-hooper.” Because if there is, Obama really shouldn’t be so worried about job-creation. Anyway, I dodged her and made it safely to the east side of the street.
I got my Turkey Light sandwich and headed back out for the intrepid trek back to my office. I got about 3 blocks north when I noticed a man in some type of bird-watching ensemble coming south on a bicycle. It appeared, to me, that bike riding was something he’d never done before. And so I started to feel bad for him. Until a delivery guy came up on his right and deliberately (DELIBERATELY) drove his front tire into the birdwatcher’s bicycle, sending him swerving into traffic. I have absolutely no idea what that was all about.
I picked up my pace and got another 2 blocks, outside of the Credit Suisse building. Sometimes I get confused and think this is my building, only because I usually feel like I’ve walked far enough and need a break. Fully aware today that I wasn’t back to homebase yet, I scampered past the building’s outside columns, only to be run into by an errant garbage can on wheels that was apparently making a break for it. You know? The one’s with the cleaning spray attached to them in some kind of holster-like device. Well, it hit me, and there were no janitors in site, so I can only assume that this garbage can was Al-Qaeda, and I’d like to think I broke up some kind of terrorist attack.
Now, this is the most that’s happened to me in two weeks, truly. So I think, oh, what an interesting walk I just had there. I’m a block away from my office. And that’s when I stepped on a grate and had my first, and hopefully last, Marilyn Monroe moment, the skirt of my dress totally up at my waist, for all of Park Avenue to see.
Embarrassed? A little. Exhausted? Very much so. I’ve never worked so hard for a turkey sandwich in my whole life. But New York is finally living up to its billing, and I really like knowing that anything can happen the next time I go outside.