Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sidewalk RAGE

Sidewalk RAGE syndrome is an annoying, chronic condition suffered by many people native to NYC that often results in the following symptoms: brusqueness, impatience and rude behavior. Think road rage for pedestrians.

My husband and I experienced a recurrence of the illness yesterday when we attended a Broadway matinee. We left enough time to get to the subway, enough time to wait for a train and travel 3 stops downtown and what we thought was enough time to walk from the 42nd St. subway station to the Broadhurst Theater on 44th Street. Wrong! We encountered a Times Square area packed (and this is good for the city's economy!) with people, none of whom seemed to know where they were going.

Instead of slow-moving traffic keeping to the outside (either the curb or building lanes), these people (I know that sounds terrible) meander, sometimes two and three abreast, in the center lanes! They window shop from the center of the sidewalk. They buy hot dogs and pretzels from street vendors and proceed to stop and eat them in the center of the sidewalk. Then they turn and give you nasty looks when you bump into them or say, "Excuse me!" to get around them. I am not talking about elderly people.....I am talking about young, vigorous people who should be able to walk, gawk and talk at the same time! But NOOOOO!

In our efficient and practiced way, my husband and I snaked through and around these living obstacles and got to the theater on time. Just as were recovering from our sidewalk RAGE by reading the Playbill and discussing where we had seen the actors before (besides on Law & Order), the lights went down and we started to watch a wonderful production....only to begin to experience theater RAGE.

Someone in our row started removing the noisiest something from the noisiest plastic bag in the noisiest way imgainable to man! If I could have reached the culprit, I would have bloody throttled him or her! (We were seeing a performance of Mary Stuart, imported from the Donmar Warehouse in London!) The cheek! Someone two rows in front of us, despite the fact that her cellphone was turned off, had to check periodically for messages during the entire first act, illuminating her face and attracting the momentary attention of everyone nearby for just enough time for us all to lose our train of thought.

Is it any wonder New Yorkers are icy and abrupt with everything we have to put up with.....? By the way, I highly recommend this production...wordy but topical with magnificent acting and a minimum of pomp of circumstance. Bloody brilliant!


Starla said...

lol...i'm sorry but you sound like me. i try to avoid times square at all costs because i have ZERO patience when it comes to that silliness. i mean, i get that you want to stroll and gawk at all the lights and stuff, but must you do it right in the center of the the side people, to the side!! :)
yes, i definitely suffer from sidewalk rage. although, a british woman (about my age, late 20's) bumped into me last week while walking home from work and she said "i'm sorry darling" in the sweetest british accent that just melted me instantly. :)

Anonymous said...

Blergh... pedestrians. I've lost count of how many times someone has walked into me because they were on their phones or they were talking to the person behind them. Behind them!