Saturday, October 27

Covered walkways: Some guidelines

Where I'm from (the suburbs), people get pretty excited when there is construction. "What's going on here?" They ask. Or, "Is it going to be a GAP?" In New York City, construction is not a novelty. I discovered this when I started going to my new internship in The Village. When I left the building for lunch or a bitch errand, I noticed that every block or two there was scaffolding and makeshift sidewalks, made out of plank wood and about two people wide. "I guess this area is doing a lot of renovations," I thought.

My bitch errands soon took me to various other Manhattan locations, where I noticed there was also plenty of scaffolding and ogling construction men. These walkways were everywhere, and I really liked them. Every time I walked into one, I imagined it was leading me somewhere other than the next block. You can't see where each tunnel is going to take you, with its walls and sharp turns. And the best part was the temptation to slip into the often open doors, the construction site. I could hide out and eavesdrop on the contractors arguing over salary and deadlines.


So it really bothers me when other pedestrians ruin my walkway experience. In response, and in keeping with my rabidly passive aggressive tradition, I have come up with some rules of etiquette that I think ought to be posted at each of these walkways.



  • New York is a busy city. When coming around a corner, it is often the case that someone else will be travelling in the opposite direction (!). Do not glare at them just because they happened to be in what you thought was your way. Remember: your presence is just as unwelcome to them as theirs is to you.

  • If you are walking next to somebody (and thus taking up the entirety of the walkway) on your merry stroll, remember that other people actually do exist and might also need room. Again, try not to glare at them: their walking in the opposite direction is not meant as a personal attack.*

  • When it is raining, I understand that there is a dilemma: do you close your umbrella for a single block or do you keep it open? This, I cannot help you with. But if you decide to close it, remember that most people generally do not enjoy being showered with your umbrella water while you are doing so. If you opt to leave it open, do not be so surprised when you see that someone walking the opposite direction has also left their umbrella open. Do not be so entitled as to think that you needn't make an effort to avoid hitting them in the face.**

Remember, people don't like you as much as you think they do. Also, your mom lied: you can't really be anything you want when you grow up. I, for example, wanted to be Native American.*** Now do you see why I'm so bitter?


*Except when it's me. I knew you were coming, and I hate you.
** I did a poll. People don't like this.
*** This is actually true. Pre colonialism, of course. Eventually I moved on to some thing more realistic. Japanese.

2 comments:

Dropout! said...

Whoa. Yesterday I was going through a covered walkway and a bunch of heavy crap fell off the side right by me and I jumped out of my skin. When I first saw this post I thought you had had the same experience and were writing about it. You weren't.

lessake said...

all the bitterness just kills me! is it wrong that I somewhat like it?

and my mom said I can do anything I set my mind to ... I think she lied too cause there's this one certain "thing" that doesn't seem to get done .... and I use it as a excuse to not move on with my life. aaah how I love doing nothing, my lazy-ass is in heaven!