Last time I was in NY I stayed near Time Square. After talking to a few New Yorkers, they confirmed what I felt during my stay there—big mistake. That’s where tourists go to mesh and create a blob of consumerism and chaos under flashy lights and advertisements. This time, I am here for a job. I was taken to Harlem. I stepped out of the taxi and felt like I was in a real NY town. There were regular people around me, regular city smells, regular streets, and I felt instantly happy.
This must be the real NY, I thought to myself. Well, in my two days and 3/4s here — I’ve come to realize that there is not ONE New York. In fact, there are many New Yorks…let me explain.
Today a friend told me that she walked around the city feeling like a character; this was after I told her about all the interesting people and things I saw on my way to the Central Park Zoo.
* The woman with a turquoise coat and red blush.
* The man who walked with an emphasis on his right knee digging into the ground.
* The teenage girls behind talking about art as we passed the Guggenheim, rather than boys.
* The shameless rats in the subways…etc. etc. etc.
“Yup,” she said, “it’s like you become part of the story when you move here.”
What a beautiful concept. A city being a story that you are written into when you move there. Have you ever looked at yourself and thought, Wow, I am such a weird character! I suppose that happens to some New Yorkers, and my friend is a fresh one.
She added, “There’s one thing about NY. You can be who you want to be, but people will always judge your feet.” I started laughing. Why? Well…because, it happened to me a bizillion times to me today. I’d be leaning on the pole in the subway and turn to find some old man scorning at my get up. I will be the first to admit that my style is kind of lax and shaggy, but this man was wearing sweatpants in the middle of the day! And he had a cane with tape on it! I didn’t understand why he scorned at my feet.
But my friend confirmed it. Feet Judgement is at an all time high in NY. All day I walked around the city with a bleach stain on my left shoe. I could care less, really, they’re still good shoes! You know, …except the one with a nice pink spot in the center of the top design. I have never had so many people look at me feet and scorn at me, as I did today. And the judgement always began at my feet.
New York is amazing, unique, and a judger of feet.