Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Crossing the Street

It could be considered a mundane task, unless you live in a walking city such as New York. It then becomes a very flavorful experience with each changing of the block. There are multiple ways to cross the street in the Big Apple. With each crosswalk the proper option presents itself clearly, and choosing which way eventually becomes instinctual to the New York City walker.

I now present to you the multiple ways in which one crosses the street in New York City:

1) Follow the Rules: Do not cross the street until the crosswalk sign turns from a red hand to a white walking man. This option is best used when the traffic is heavy, and crossing the street equals death.

2) Dare the Hand: When walking up to a crosswalk and seeing that the hand blinks red, quickly walk or jog to the other side of the street before the hand becomes a solid red hand. This option is best used when the walker must make an appointment and has not the time to stand and wait for the white walking man, or if the walker is just too cold to stop walking.

3) Double Dare the Hand: Notice the solid red hand on the sign in front of you, but because there are no cars coming, jay walk. This option is the most used in New York City. The likelihood of using this option interestingly does not decrease if an NYPD patrol car or officer is in sight. In fact, the New York City walker rather enjoys staring the police officer in the face as he or she walks to the other side of the street on a red handed sign. The NYPD officer does nothing.

4) Red Traffic Walking: If heavy traffic ensues so that cars line up across the crosswalk of the intersection, and if the hand is solid red, walk across in between the idling cars! This is the most satisfying of all walks, because the walker feels that in some way he or she beats the system.

5) White Traffic Walking: If heavy traffic ensues so that cars line up across the crosswalk of the intersection, and if the sign turns to the white walking man, walk across in between the idling cars, even if it means one car gets stuck in the middle of the intersection, unable to move forward because of walkers. This is also a satisfying walk, because the walker knows he or she has every right to go first.

6) Running: If one decides to jay walk, and in turn misjudges the distance of the approaching car, run as fast as you can to the other side. This option can be the most humorous because most walkers look funny running.

7) Walk Rage: If walking at the appropriate time under a white walking man sign, and a car, most usually a yellow taxi driven by a glassy-eyed Arab, turns into you from another lane at a rapid speed, remember that you have the right of way, stop right where you are, turn with all hostility, arrogance, and spite toward the driver, and yell whatever obscenities naturally arise from the gut. A simple, "HEY!" will do, at times followed with whatever sort of gesture the walker feels comfortable giving. With this option it is important that the walker stop directly in front of the car, daring the driver to run him or her over, just daring the driver. Oh, you wanna run over me, buddy? Do it, then. I dare ya. Do it. We'll see how you feel then, is an appropriate subtext occurring within the mind while gesturing.


Chaotic Hammer said...

I love it!

Anonymous said...

You scare me now.

cool mum said...

Great post. On my one visit to the city, I was wondering about these "rules" the whole time!

Joanna Martens said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanna Martens said...


you and seth are out of control. I love your blogs.

Seth Ward said...

One more: "The daydreaming ipod listener who almost kills the zoning nanny and child by crossing without looking." Self-explanatory.

FancyPants said...

Hi Joanna! Glad you're here.

Seth, absolutely. Forgot about that one. "iPod walking." Very deadly, indeed.

**Quick explanation, just in case. Ya know how when you're in a car at a stoplight and you see out of the corner of your eye the car next to you inching forward. So without thinking you step on the gas, only to realize you're about to run the red light and kill yourself? That's like iPod walking, kind of. The lady with the stroller isn't paying attention (which is awful altogether because if you're gonna push a baby across the street, ya might want to zone in) and because the iPod walker walks across the street, the nanny follows. This is dangerous when the iPod walker doesn't notice the oncoming car.

FancyPants said...

Cach, how can you be scared of me when you're friends with Forky?

This Southern Belle said...

Wow! I don't often find myself crossing the street here. In fact, the only time I can recall doing so is when I walk our 90 lb lab "puppy" who enjoys pulling me across the street by his leash when he deems it necessary. So, do the dog walkers fall into a separate category in NYC as well?

Niels said...

How about Dutch Crossing!