back in the mid 90’s, when i was a budding teenager, i used to hang out in “the village” (that’d be the east village, although the west was sometimes ventured into as well). i used to go to astor place, meet up with my friends at the cube and stroll around aimlessly. okay, well not fully aimlessly… sometimes we’d stroll straight into ian’s. if we needed body jewelry or wanted a new silver appendage, we’d go in and be greeted by the fantastically chipper guy at the counter. he let us slide being young, so many times (thank you, good sir).
(left: ian’s storefront photo cred/new website i LOVE ♥ nycgoth.com (RIP NYC) // right: me, getting my tongue web pierced at ian’s back in them olden days…)
anyways, when my best buds and i were 15-20, these were our stomping grounds. around washington square park, tompkins square park, st. mark’s place, astor place, broadway, etc. it was full of us punk rockers, ravers , metalheads and of course, the weirdos. by weirdos, i mean the talk to yourself, strung out, drunk, pissed off human beings (sometimes doing gross stuff). i’ve always just ignored these types. it’s best not to try to get on their nerves. no one likes getting spit on, snot-rocketed on (this has happened to me on the subway), sandwiches thrown at their heads (this has happened to my mother), peens waved at them, or poo thrown at them. this is NYC… anything can happen.
as a native new yorker, i feel like there’s very little that really shocks me, especially hanging out downtown for so long. however, when you’re in midtown, shit is just WEIRD. not often gross, but wtf, fucking WEIRD.
everyday between 2-4PM, my coworkers and i head over to hole in the wall cafe, and then we people watch in front of our building for a few minutes.
some of the people/things we’ve encountered:
- these gadgets (at least 3/4 different people around the same time, every day).
- normal looking people going through our building’s outside ash tray’s.
- people that just walk up our faces us and say nothing.
- people walking around with their butt cracks showing (without bending over).
- endless fashion faux pas (mainly tourists).
- the people with the posterboard jesus signs.
- half naked vagrants, or about to be half naked vagrants.
- the screaming empire state building ticket people (one once wouldn’t move the fuck out of my way and then proceeded to express to me that if he didn’t have a gf, he’d propose marriage to me).
other people/things we’ve encountered:
this week, we got to witness a man facing a 5th avenue shrub with his hands in front of his body, so that it looked like he was peeing for about 10 mins straight. he wasn’t shakin the bacon, either. no movement aside from him looking around. he was standing in-between the bush and the sidewalk, with about 6 inches of room in between the two. mind you, no one witnessed this but my coworker ricardo and i.
last week, with only an additional 5th avenue bush between us, my coworker nico and i were interrupted by a woman that randomly vomited and walked away.
today, there was a car “accident” between a cab and a minivan. the altercation ended with a “pull over” hand signal, not much english between the two very different people, and within 3 mins… problem solved with cold hard cash.
i really have to start logging all of the shit that happens on a daily basis, i feel like i’m missing stories.