We first started coming to New York a couple of times a year back in 94' when our daughter and her husband decided to call it home. As typical laid back Californians, my wife and I were amazed at the energy and excitement of "the city so big they had to name it twice". The place was like a cage full of Guinna pigs on crack and it was unbelievably LOUD! (That loud part comes in handy for covering up embarrassing old guy noises that my body increasingly makes.)
Everybody in New York was in a hurry. It made other cities seem like they were on Ritalin or something.
As I sit with my feet up in California, resting up from days spent impersonating the "careful quick and kind" man from Bekins' Moving as Linda and I attempted to help "the kids" move from a fifth floor walk-up on the Lower East Side to a nice new condo in Long Island City, I have concluded that the Apple has slowed down. No, really, it has been a gradual slowing, but a slowing that is palpable and pervasive.
Cell phones. People are on cell phones; all the time. New Yorkers are so damn busy yakking that they have slowed their pace to a point where the whole place resembles a mental institution featuring millions of rambling nitwits gesticulating wildly as they carry on disjointed, though still loudly modulated, conversations at all hours of the day. It is a marked change in behavior that now has me passing the natives on sidewalks, escalators, and subway platforms where I was once Manhattan roadkill. It's a distinct advantage. Yay me!
I gladly warn those of you who may be planning a trip to New York sometime soon. Be careful, as you now have a very good chance of running over the locals as you check out the sites of this fabulous metropolis. (If you're from Iowa disregard this advice and pick up your pace.) It is in your best interest to simply leap over or step around the natives and be on your way, otherwise you'll be yelled at. New Yorkers may be slower these days but the place is louder than ever. All those phone conversations, you know.
By the way...How do you like the picture of the Manhattan skyline I snapped from the kids' new balcony in L.I.C.? It's beautiful in daylight and spectacular at night and there is even room for our pup tent.
Yep, that's the Chrysler Building on the left: not a cell tower.