Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sketchiness

Whenever I go on a trip, even a small one like this past weekend to Boston, coming back to New York is jarring. It takes me a little while (5 minutes) to remember where I am and that I have to get my New York on.

Today seemed to be a particularly sketchy NYC day. I was of course hanging around 14th Street quite a bit, which invites a certain, expected level of sketchiness all around...from Park Ave to 9th Ave...be on guard for the sketchiness. The most sketchy incident was a guy who approached me on the subway platform (and I am sensitive about anyone approaching me on the platform after the assault that happened to me a few years back), and he sort of demanded "just one dollar" from me. For some reason I felt like this was a good response: "You should not be approaching women about this, go talk to some men." He said @#$*& You. Nice. If I hadn't been completely back into my NYC reality already, this really jarred me back into my life. Great.

I also noticed a girl sitting one seat away from me on the subway, wearing a large black eye patch and sword earrings and carrying a large plastic, silver sword. Huh? I found out later today that it is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Oh...that explains it!

Then there were the elevators. Last week my back went out after I did some schlepping with the stroller. I decided to try to be smart this week and use elevators whenever possible. Riding in a subway elevator is one of the most disgusting things you can ever do in NYC. Most of the time it just reeks of urine. It is a small, enclosed, darkish, slow elevator with a smell to knock you out. It is too scary to hold your breath because of the enclosed, slow-moving, dark vessel, so instead you breathe out of your mouth and then you realize you are like breathing in someone else's urine in your mouth. Riding in an elevator has only one win: you don't throw your back out.

Today the elevators were particularly sketchy. First of all, no one was using proper elevator ettiquette. Nobody was honoring a line, or first come first serve, at one point I thought one lady was going to step over my stroller which I had strategically blocking the doorway so that I could enter the elevator as my being-there-before-her allowed me. Once we got in the nasty, heinous, horrendous smelling device, there was a crazy man with lots of bags talking to himself. And then I had the most horrifying scenario run through my mind:

WHAT IF WE ALL GET STUCK IN THIS ELEVATOR? I had never before weighed that risk in my mind when I rode the elevator. Being stuck in an elevator is probably bad enough...but THIS elevator with the stench and the mysterious wetness (not so mysterious), the dirt, grime, climbing horror of it all....STUCK. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH.

Needless to write, I made it through my day, all 4 or so elevators and everything. Even the baby booked the job she was seen for today, so tomorrow she and I get to go to a photoshoot for Talbots Kids. Hopefully we can avoid the sketchiness.

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