Thursday, June 24, 2010

stranger times

I have found in my two years living in New York that if I want to have a conversation with a stranger, I am generally going to have to be the one to initiate it. Unlike in Minnesota or Mississippi or wherever, where people just accost you on the street to say hi (love how easy/acceptable it is to generalize like that on the internet...), New Yorkers just aren't friendly. This has been written about, parodied and championed elsewhere, of course, but this fundamental element of New York is what made yesterday such a weird day for me! So weird. From the time I left my friend Sarah's apartment to the time I got back to my own yesterday afternoon, three different total and complete strangers initiated (or at least tried to initiate) conversations with me. In a 45-minute time period! It was amazing.

1) In the elevator of Sarah's building on the Upper East Side, a woman with a long sleek braid and wearing a white pantsuit (Kathy Bates meets Raquel Welch, kind of) gave me a bemused glance. (I was wearing a V-neck and sunglasses, slurping down Diet Dr. Pepper.)

Pantsuit: "Dr. Pepper... how Southern of you."
Me: "Oh, yeah, uh... they were out of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi at the deli..."
Pantsuit: "Well that's a deli to be avoided, isn't it?"

2) On the subway back to my apartment, I was standing up against the door when this little businessman - who was standing dangerously close to me (pretty common subway occurrence) - yawned loudly (slightly less common) and then looked at me, shifted his stance slightly and announced in this low-pitched drawl: "I'm tired" (doesn't happen ever).

3) On the walk from the subway to my apartment, I noticed this large group of people gathered on the street. I stopped to figure out what was going on and this woman standing there who was eating something that looked like a protein bar said to me, "It's not, like, a celebrity or Gossip Girl... there was a bomb scare so they evacuated the building." "Oh, thanks," I responded, wondering if my "OMG IS THERE A FAMOUS PERSON NEARBY?!?" face was really that obvious.

1 comment:

*~Dani~* said...

I totally would have thought there was a celebrity as well and when I found out there wasn't, I would have had the damn-I-thought-there-was-a-celebrity-but-there-isn't-and-bomb-scares-are-boring look on my face.