Saturday, September 04, 2004

Back to What Passes for Normal in the Big Apple

I got my city back. For the first time in a week, I got out of the train at 34th Street and walked down to work, getting my morning exercise. As long as the Republicans were in town and the streets up there were blocked off, I didn't want to be anywhere near the area, so I was taking the train all the way to work. And missing out on my dozen blocks walked each morning.

However, our phones at work were acting weird all day. We had a funny clicking noise, and everyone thought it was the person on the other end with the problem. Not until almost closing did we compare notes. And we couldn't call into the VoiceMail. It wouldn't accept the password. Last week, Verizon knocked out a lot of phones, including the library's, for 2 1/2 days when they were wiring Madison Square Garden for the convention. I hope the same isn't about to happen as they reverse the process (well, I'm assuming they'll be taking out the extra phones).

Otherwise, the day passed fairly quickly and I now have a 3-day weekend to myself to write, write, write, and maybe craft a bit, then write some more. And maybe sneak in learning a bit more about PhotoShop and DreamWeaver, but that might end up waiting until I finish the draft of my science fiction novel.

Thought I'd do this thingie, from the same folks who brought us the Year You Were Born thingie.





You Know You're From New York City When...


You say "the city" and expect everyone to know that this means Manhattan.

You have never been to the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building.

You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park at 3:30 on the Friday before a long weekend, but can't find Wisconsin on a map.

Hookers and the homeless are invisible.

The subway makes sense.

You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multi-lingual.

You've considered stabbing someone just for saying "The Big Apple".

The most frequently used part of your car is the horn.

You call an 8' x 10' plot of patchy grass a yard.

You consider Westchester "upstate".

You think Central Park is "nature."

You see nothing odd about the speed of an auctioneer's speaking.

You're paying $1,200 for a studio the size of a walk-in closet and you think it’s a "steal."

You've been to New Jersey twice and got hopelessly lost both times.

You pay more each month to park your car than most people in the U.S. pay in rent.

You haven't seen more than twelve stars in the night sky since you went away to camp as a kid.

You go to dinner at 9 and head out to the clubs when most Americans are heading to bed.

Your closet is filled with black clothes.

You haven't heard the sound of true absolute silence since the 80s, and when you did, it terrified you.

You pay $5 without blinking for a beer that cost the bar 28 cents.

You take fashion seriously.

Being truly alone makes you nervous.

You have 27 different menus next to your telephone.

Going to Brooklyn is considered a "road trip."

America west of the Hudson is still theoretical to you.

You've gotten jaywalking down to an art form.

You take a taxi to get to your health club to exercise.

Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.

$50 worth of groceries fit in one paper bag.

You have a minimum of five "worst cab ride ever" stories.

You don't notice sirens anymore.

You live in a building with a larger population than most American towns.

Your doorman is Russian, your grocer is Korean your deli man is Israeli, your building super is Italian, your laundry guy is Chinese, your favorite bartender is Irish, your favorite diner owner is Greek, the watchseller on your corner is Senegalese, your last cabbie was Pakistani, your newsstand guy is Indian and your favorite falafel guy is Egyptian.

You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.

You secretly envy cabbies for their driving skills.

You think $7.00 to cross a bridge is a fair price.

Your door has more than three locks.

Your favorite movie has DeNiro in it.

You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.

You run when you see a flashing "Do Not Walk" sign at the intersection.

You're 35 years old and don't have a driver's license.

You ride in a subway car with no air conditioning just because there are seats available.

You're willing to take in strange people as roommates simply to help pay the rent.

There is no North and South. It's uptown or downtown.

When you're away from home, you miss "real" pizza and "real" bagels.

You know the differences between all the different Ray's Pizzas.

You're not in the least bit interested in going to Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Your internal clock is permanently set to know when Alternate Side of the Street parking regulations are in effect.

You know what a bodega is.

You know how to fold the New York Times in half, vertically, so that you can read it on the subway or bus without knocking off other passenger's hats.

Someone bumps into you, and you check for your wallet.....

You cringe at hearing people pronounce Houston St. like the city in Texas

Film crews on your block annoy you, not excite you.

You actually get these jokes and pass them on to other friends from NYC.





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These are mostly true (and by the way, you can do other places), I have been to the Statue of Liberty. When I was around11, my aunt, uncle, and cousins from California visited, so we all went there, my family and them. The arm was closed back then, but the head was open so we walked up. I still can't believe I actually walked the whole thing (I believe my mother and aunt opted for the elevator about halfway and I don't recall what my sister or younger cousin did, but my father, uncle, older cousin, and I walked all the way up to her head where we looked out her eyes, or so my memory is telling me), which was something like 110 stories.

I don't drive so the car/horn thing isn't applicable and my husband hardly ever honks the horn on our car, even when driving in the city Manhattan.

I've been to New Jersey lots of times. My best friend and two of my stepsisters and their families live there.

Other differences are that I don't go to clubs and I actually enjoy being alone. I also haven't been in a cab in years. And while I don't have a driver's license, I am older than 35; 51 at the moment and not getting any younger.

But otherwise, there's a frightening accuracy to this.