Seven Things I Learned In New York.

If the title wasn’t clear enough, I should tell you that I recently accompanied my daughter on her latest excursion to the Big Apple.

And spoiler alert: I didn’t get into a fight with any New Yorkers in the Broadway district this time. Though it’s kind of a shame; I’ve been watching a lot of Daredevil on Netflix and I was really looking forward to trying out some new moves. And if that failed, to shove some effin’ son of a gun into the streets where he’d be sure to be struck by a taxi cab driven by someone named Achmed, who, coincidentally, moonlights as “Ted” from US Air customer service.

I call that my “New York State of Mind Style” of fighting.

And by the way, that wasn’t a racist joke; it was a segue-way to my first lesson…

ONE)  There is a caste system (sort of) among the NYC labor force.

It’s true – as far as I’m concerned. Every time I’ve been to New York we’ve used cabs once my daughter’s engine ran out of fuel and every single time the driver was East Indian. Most restaurant workers, movie theater personnel and street cleaners were African-American. Latinos also staff many of NYC’s fine eating establishments and they’ll whisper, “Thanks for nothing, puta.” if you don’t tip them well. White folks can be found staffing theaters that host plays and musicals, along with the occasional minority colleague.

All of these individuals have treated my family with respect and decency whenever we’ve visited the Big Apple and I value and respect them. (Mostly so they won’t call me a puta, but it still counts.)

TWO)  No one actually says, “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!” while crossing the street and narrowly avoiding being run over.

I tried it and people just muttered, “Crazy-ass Canadians!” I was so disappointed. Speaking of near-misses on NYC streets…

THREE)  The average New Yorker (and the odd not-so-average-tourist) avoids being hit by a motorized vehicle at least three times a day.

Yes, I’ve double checked my math, thank you very much. What blows me away is how often people step in the path of cabs, buses, delivery trucks, rickshaws (which as it turns out, aren’t actually operated by guys named Rick) and other vehicles. People are either fearless or stupid.

How any pedestrian survives a stroll through Times Square is beyond my capacity to understand.

How any of these people avoid becoming road pizza, I’ll never know.

FOUR)  Times Square at the Witching Hour is as bright as high noon.

Seriously, we made our way through the iconic NY landmark at midnight and it was lit up like Judge Kavanaugh while partying with Squee and PJ. I can’t even begin to imagine how much power it takes to keep everything from the Disney Store to the streetlights people puke up against powered.

Which brings me to my next point…

FIVE)  Certain businesses in NYC believe in “mood lighting”.

In stark contrast to TS (I use “TS” instead of Times Square because I’m that cool) establishments like Applebee’s and Regal Cinemas use five watt bulbs that make you think you’re about to get lucky rather than chow down on a burger or watching the latest Kevin Hart flick.

Which is hilarious, by the way.

I guess I’ve become spoiled living in Niagara Falls, where power is as plentiful as bullshit at a White House press conference. Apparently they have to be extremely careful where they use wattage in NYC, but it’s all good.

SIX)  Real estate is at a premium, so be prepared to be cozy!

If you’re like me, you prefer to spend your travel budget on merch, food and comic books, not lodging. Granted, I can take advantage of steep discounts on hotel rooms by using my team member status at the hotel, but even those rooms are a little, shall we say, snug?

Yes, New York is a tad crowded, but in some establishments you can’t even go outside the room to change your mind, you have to wait until you get home; that’s how tight the hallways, lobbys and front sidewalks are. Hot and tight is great when you’re being romantic, but it can suck when you’re on vacation.

The view from our room on 41st street. If these water towers had been closer together the innuendo would’ve been inescapable.


SEVEN)  Where are all the hookers?

I’m not saying I was looking for them but there were zero hookers to be seen during my NYC trip. Period.

As I write this, it is seven am in Niagara Falls, Canada, and a young, gorgeous, tight (told you tight can be good sometimes) hooker just strolled by my desk. Granted, she was wearing a parka… but that’s beside the point.

NYC authorities have gone to great lengths to clean up Times Square and surrounding areas, but come on, man, it’s called the world’s oldest profession for a reason! Tourists need lovin’ – and STDs – too!

I think that’s enough learnin’ for one day, right, Poindexter?

I hope you’ve enjoyed these musings/observations/ravings, I prepared them just for you.

See you in the lobby and on the not-so-mean streets of New York, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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15 Responses to Seven Things I Learned In New York.

  1. Quite an adventure into the zoo, Hook. Cautiously feed the animals.
    (Wondering: If sleep deprivation is causing suicides and violence as studies say, will healthcare mandates insist on lighting changes? Or is the plan to let super-lit city tunnel and cave dwellers to just kill each other off…or will that happen with or without the lights going dark? Hmmm)
    (Oh, architectural photos/city scapes are always interesting – you can see how artists got into Cubistic painting. )

  2. Worked in NYC for several years and you nailed it.

  3. Still Waters says:

    Was in NYC once and that was enough for this country mouse.
    I noticed the theatre sign for “Come From Away”. Did you get to see that?

  4. List of X says:

    I think the NYC hookers have been replaced by the politicians who perform essentially the same functions as hookers: you pick them, you pay them,and they screw you.

  5. Sounds like another learning adventure. You should go often… we should ALL go to NYC more often. I believe we could learn a lot! 😉

  6. I love NY! I know, I know, not exactly original. I use to go once a year and I was never disappointed. There was always an adventure and always something new and different to discover that I had not discovered before. Next trip, try and get to Patsy’s Pizza in Spanish Harlem. The food is amazing and there is a lot of history on those walls. Your daughter would love it.

  7. My first trip abroad was to New York. The idea was we’d spend a couple of nights there, then go up to New England for the fall tree show
    . Within 6 hours of hitting New York, we decided to just stay put. Listen, when your hotel overlooks the Lincoln Center (I can’t tell you how much it pained me to type that) what are you going to do but go head over heels with the city?

  8. curvyroads says:

    Good to hear from you, and hear that you have been ripping up the big city with your daughter! 🙂 I have to get back to NYC again one day…

  9. Tara says:

    I’m in that percentage of people nearly killed by a cab. For reals. I stepped off the curb and my roommate pulled me back and a millisecond later there was a cab where my foot was. I miss my city, though. I wouldn’t live there again without a million dollars in the bank, but I do miss it.

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