Sunday, May 16, 2004

It’s amazing how hot it can get in New York in just one week. I swear that I was wearing a light jacket outside here last week before heading home to the ever-so-humid Virginia Beach. This morning on my way to work, I found myself wearing capris, a tank top and – you guessed it… flip-flops!

And here it goes:

If you listen to only one thing I tell you, this is it!

A person can not wear flip-flops in New York City. Trust me on this one. Don’t think: “Oh, I can do it. These flip-flops are just so cute. My feet are just so cute. I’ll be just fine.” Because the truth of the matter is: You won’t be fine. Your feet WON’T be FINE! I learned this today when squeezing on to the 6 train on 51st Street and Lexington heading uptown. This morning while getting ready for work, I thought, “It’s Saturday. It’s 9:15am. My feet will be fine because the trains won’t be crowded!”

My toes have been painted now for a month. I thought it would only be right to show them off to the crazy people on the subway. Why not? But people didn’t care about my polished pink toes. And THEY SURE AS HELL DIDN’T CARE ABOUT MY FEET. All that happened was chipped toenail polish, stubbed toes and a lot of “Oh, I’m sorry” this morning while standing shoulder to shoulder on my 6 train. Each time the train jilted, people went moving, and my poor feet were abused.

The trains usually aren’t crowded on a Saturday morning because most people in New York aren’t going to work. But I failed to realize that it’s May and there are those early-morning tourists that annoy the shit out of me with their stupid subway maps and their “tour books.” Blah blah blah. It’s all calm on the train when all of a sudden I hear: “THAT WAS OUR STOP!!! WE MISSED OUR STOP!!” Then out of nowhere, my feet…. my nice comfortable feet… my feet that were enjoying being in the open air… my feet that were free from the constraints of closed-toe sneakers… SMASHED. Isn’t anyone here FROM here? Fucking tourists!

Since I’ve moved here, my feet have been through absolute hell. I seriously don’t know why they are still getting me from point A to point B. First the cockroach killers, now the flip-flops!?!

What does a girl have to do to get a decent pair of shoes in New York?

Monday, May 03, 2004

There is nothing that touches me more than seeing a blind person making his way in New York City.

Last week, I heard a man singing on my subway car while I was reading my magazine and I thought it was just one-of-those bums who are always singing on the train for change. When I looked over, I saw that it was a blind man standing in the middle of the subway car - singing. How did he even know he was standing directly in the middle of the subway car so that everyone could hear him?

About once a week, a see a blind person on a train alone with their walking sticks and I can’t help but think to myself, “How do they do it?” I couldn’t imagine being blind at all living in any city in the United States – let alone being a blind person in New York City.

But some people aren’t as fortunate as others.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed my stop on the train because I was too busy reading my magazine to realize where I was. When I walk in areas I’ve never walked in before, there are times I have to make U-turns because I’ve walked down the wrong street. And I see these people with walking sticks and wonder “Do they ever get lost? Do they ever miss their stop?”

People are always in a rush here in New York. There is always someone running to catch a train. There is always someone running across the street before that red hand starts blinking telling pedestrians they need to stop walking or a car is going to run them over. How does a blind person know when that light is going to change?

They might run out of time to catch their train. Or run out of time to cross the street. How do they know where the door is to the subway car or where to cross at a cross-walk?

What amazes me most is that these people never ask to sit down on the train. They never ask for help getting up stairs. They never ask what street they are walking on or what subway stop they are at. They never ask for help from anyone.

And why is that? Do they have too much pride to ask for help? Do they REALLY know where they are going? Or do they just take their time, slow down, take deep breaths and just make the best of their days?

I just thank God everyday that I have eyes to see with.