Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Personal Space: Another Note from NYC

I find that people in NYC have extraordinary body awareness, and not the kind your yoga teacher talks about. They practically swim down the sidewalk, like the sardines at Monterey Bay Aquarium. They float up and down subway stairs, lugging suitcases and babies on the hip. They have mastered the dance of a grid - they don't slow down at intersections and yet, I never see anyone walk into each other.

This, apparently, is true of Midtown Manhattan - where Grand Central Station is, where the business people are. I visited TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal, thank you Lin) for the first time over the weekend. (The island of Manhattan is so small that a girl from Montana has a hard time grasping all this. First, how can I have been to SoHo but not here? Second, how can TriBeCa be so different from Midtown from the Village from the Upper East Side? The whole thing is less than 2.5 miles wide and less than 13.5 miles long... and those neighborhoods don't even mention Wall Street, the Financial District, Harlem and the rest of this tiny island!!)

But certainly better and funnier writers than I have marveled at how small the Capital Of The World really is. So, back to TriBeCa.

These people have NO body awareness! I did the left-right-left-right dance a few times. I got bumped into every five or six minutes. I was leaned on in the theater by my neighbor. My feet must've grown -- they got stepped on a bit.

And while I would like to claim an understanding of this, it was Lin who explained it.

See, TriBeCa is full of hip under-25ers, and they're gonna live in the city for a year, or two, or six, and then get out. If they stay, they'll have to get a real job and grow up pretty fast, and gain the skills for the eyes-scanning-but-never-settling and body-awareness-walking required by this city. (Oh, and an iPhone. They don't let you into Manhattan or Brooklyn without an iPhone anymore.)

So while I loved the skinny jeans, the dyed hair, the beautiful people and the short film fest screening we went to, I have to say that I like the adults in Midtown better. But best of all? I like the winding, quiet, rainy, romantic streets of the Village on a Saturday night at 10:30 PM and sitting in the window of this place, eating seared scallops, corn chowder, dijon tuna and shiitakes, and a truly killer strawberry-rhubarb crisp with almond streusel topping and a scoop of gelato.

Admittedly, yes. I like that the best. While an argument could be made that a meal like that is not exactly consistent with "body awareness," it's my blog and I'll eat like I want to.

1 comment:

  1. oh, that restaurant looks divine. i bet you were aware of every bite.

    i couldn't get over how people stand half way into the street when they're waiting to cross, and are absolutely unfazed by the cars inches from their toes. i looked like a tourist because i stayed on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street.