The New York Weave

Aditya-Wardhana Unsplash

Crooked Views

By Joseph Anthony

These Blogs are “my truths!” I stake no logistical claims, nor research to support my opinions and experiences.

Ever have a stranger enter your space when they had plenty of room to walk elsewhere? If so, you are probably not in New York.

On an overcrowded city street, such as in New York, you might seem pervy or strange (but then again — it is New York — so no one will care/take notice), but you must watch the hips, of the people in your path. Much like judging if a motorist will stay put at a Stop sign, or race into traffic, by observing any tire rolling — you must anticipate movement. This avoids bumping, “excuse Me’s”, shortstops, or quick changes in your walking rhythm. Void of this skilled artform, none would ever get to their destinations on time, in a Metropolis.

When I first moved to New Jersey, I could not understand why people in a strip mall parking lot, just walked out of the stores, into the moving traffic, without looking for oncoming cars. At first, I made many people angry, by not instinctively stopping for them. “Why are they not looking for me, in this 3,000-pound vehicle,” I would wonder?

Without the unspoken assumptions of “the weave,” you are destined for delays. I once could navigate lunchtime in Midtown Manhattan, on a weekday (as crowded as a sidewalk can get), and still, never, brush up against one person. Therefore, how would the Suburbanite ever survive, if they cannot manage to stay clear of me in a large gas station parking lot? After all, we are the only two people walking anywhere near each other. Maybe it is another literal rite of passage/self-importance, such as examined in New Jersey Drivers Avoid Poop? In the following average scenario, I might be returning to my car, after grabbing a cup of coffee, while my car is at the pump. I am walking in a straight line for my car and another person is approaching, from 20 feet away. I can hear the Jaws theme music, as with having all the room in the world and 360 degrees of pivots available, they are still coming straight at me … and they are not even on their cell phone! I just do not get it! A quick self-check, “I left my skin magnet at home, I’m not wearing Brut by Faberge, I do not owe this person money, and I certainly did not just yell, hey you, come here.” So then, why is this alien gravitating towards me, as if we are on an escalator in the mall, and we are both going up, when suddenly, they must run down from the top, to retrieve their child at the bottom? That would make sense, but we, however, are in a football field-sized lot!

I can only chalk these situations up to be, environment programming. Central New Jersey, for example, is not a desolate farm town in the middle of nowhere. There are plenty of people, commerce, and distractions here. Moving about, whilst keeping to yourself, seems it would be the lay of the land. I guess New Yorkers just pick up early on of the dance, the Pedestrian Tango of coexistence if you will. It is not taught to us, but coexisting in small spaces, while maintaining our own invisible shell, emerges from conditioning. We learn young, the courtesy of respecting each other, silently in our own tiny pods of the atmosphere. Although our reputation, is completely the opposite of “a courteous place,” by outsiders. We are not nasty! We are millions, managing our time, in a Roach Motel. The underlying theme is, keeping the flow and getting to where you both need to be, uninterrupted! Weave, shuck, jive, do not make eye contact, and we shall all live in harmony! That should be the slogan, hanging up at every entryway into New York.

That, my readers, are my self-coined, “New York Weave.”



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Joseph Anthony

Joseph Anthony’s comedy delves into the evolution of the whole human experience. Though not always hysterical, these are his “Crooked Views!”