I’m quick to attribute things that happen to happen to me in New York City as being somehow quintessentially New York. Really they’re just the sort of odd social ephemera that statistically are more likely to pop up from time to time in a place where the number of interactions you have with other humans is magnified by a large populous living close together. All the same, indulge me and listen to these four uniquely New York moments that have happened to me in the last 48 hours:
1) My doormat was stolen…immediately. I bought a new, multicolored doormat. I was excited about it. I left it in the hallway of my apartment on Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning it was gone.
2) While on my bicycle, I was pulled over by an NYPD squad car. Yesterday while riding my bike, I slowed at a redlight at a T-intersection. There were no cars coming down the one way street. I went through the redlight. This is illegal, of course, but I thought I was safe about it. I’m a defensive cyclist that errs on the side of caution. About three seconds after I was through the intersection, I heard to my left, “Hey, pull over” and looked over to see an NYPD squad car keeping pace with me, with two officers in the front staring at me. I pulled over (or whatever the equivalent of that move is on a bicycle). They parked. The officer driving slowly got out and sauntered over to me. Our exchange:
"Any particular reason you ran that red light?"
"Got your ID on you?"
I hand him my Colorado driver’s license.
"You’re an organ donor?"
"Well, you’re gonna be if you keep doing bonehead moves like that. Be safe, okay?”
He hands me back my ID and they drive off.
3. Shots with a
Polish Ukranian (thanks Charlie Todd!) barber. I just got my haircut at Freestyle Hair on 25th street and 7th avenue. I’ve been there a few times. They do $15 haircuts and I usually don’t have to wait. After the cut, my barber asked me if I wanted a shot of vodka. Our exchange:
(nervous laughter) “Oh, no thanks. But thank you for offering.”
"I’ll do one if you do one."
"Umm. Okay. Sure."
He fills up two plastic cups that are not large but are definitely larger than shot glasses to the brim with vodka. We drink the shots.
"I’ll do one more if you do one more."
We each take another shot. This man then picks up a pair of scissors and begins to cut someone else’s hair. I do not know how many shots he’d had before he cut mine. He didn’t cut himself or me during the process, so I guess the answer is “Not too many shots.”
4. NYC shriek. While walking on the sidewalk just now, a woman behind me shrieked. Other passerby in the vicinity turned to see what was wrong. It sounded to me like she had just broken her ankle in a pothole. Instead, I saw that she was pointing in the sky with her jaw down and her head craned upward. Quietly she said to the person with her, “The Empire State Building. Wow.”