Friday, September 07, 2007

Crazy Big Apple

It's somewhat amazing to me how much absolutely crazy stuff happens in this city. Let's just discuss a few of the major disarming/intense/ridiculous things that have happened in my one year in NYC.

1) This week there was a taxi strike. Let's just talk about what it means when the hundreds of thousands of taxis are reduced to a tiny tiny number. Insanity. Frustration. But also remarkably clear streets. I mean seriously, you want to make life difficult for a whole lot of people? Well, you succeeded Mr. Taxi men.

2) As most people are now aware, a steampipe exploded in midtown during rush hour this summer. Better yet, it happened near Grand Central Station. I have a slight idea of what 9/11 must have been like, because when I walked outside (it's only about 5 blocks from my office) it was insanity. People in the streets, no cars moving, everyone on cell phones, people covered in a dusty debris. Confusion, but an odd New York sense of apathy permeated the air. Just another day in the Big Apple.

3) Also this summer there was a big rain storm that caused almost literally the entire subway system to breakdown and cease running. Want to cripple a city where 7 million people rely on the subway each and every day, well, that's the way. It was madness, and the stories from friends about taking 3 hours to get to work, being trapped underground for hours, and all kinds of frustrations are endless. I mean, seriously, there has to be a way to prevent these kinds of things, right?

4) Last fall NY Yankees' pitcher Cory Lidle crashed with his plane into a building on the upper east side. Now, the shock and alarm factor of any plane crashing into any building here in NYC is enough to send people into freak-out mode. It was an accident, but seriously, planes crashing into buildings? Where else does that happen? Adding to this was the fact that a former EAer lives in the building, and so there was certainly a higher level of concern around our office.

5) Power outages. They happen sometimes here randomly. So, it's generally acknowledged that ConEdison sucks at life, but really, when several hundred thousand people are without power, it's a problem. And it just... happens.

6) Buildings being blown up. Sometimes people just get angry and set fire to or otherwise blow up their apartments. Or their ex-wives apartments, or whatever else. Come on now people, let's find more productive ways to manage our anger.

I'm sure there are more, but these are the major ones. It's funny because when I lived in Philly the biggest news-making item was the one-a-day murder rate. You don't hear much about crime here, which is definitely a good thing, but instead we just get really random and bizarre and crazy stuff. All. The. Time.

Just one of the many reasons that NYC is and continues to be a distortion of reality in my mind. Not so much like anywhere else, but altogether so much more than everywhere else, there is never a dull day around here.

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