At what point does one officially become a New Yorker? Many long-time New Yorkers say you must be born here, or put a time-frame on it (5 or 10 years). Others say you have to have some quintessentially New York experiences. Does getting hit by a car count?
Yesterday in my neighborhood, I was crossing the street , in the crosswalk, in broad daylight, white walk signal showing, when a car came whipping around the corner (one-way to one-way street turn) and just kept on coming. I backpedaled, yelled, jumped and he hit me just below the knee and I fell back, ripped up my coat, and sat stunned in the middle of the street. Thankfully, several people witnessed and stopped and offered help—I wish I could have thanked them. Someone called an ambulance and another guy acted as a kind of buffer between the driver and me. The driver was a young guy, perhaps Latino, and scared out of his mind, especially when the fire truck and ambulance showed up. Now, I was not seriously injured, but I was shaking and in a little bit of shock, so they went through the full nine yards (back board, neck brace, head strap) and took me to the ER. Better safe than sorry. I was fine, nothing broken, no head injury, no blood, but I’m certainly sore today.
I know this could happen anywhere in this country, but what do you think? Official New Yorker?
Having lived in the city for more than a year now, it's truly a shame that today marked my first visit to the American Museum of Natural History. It's gargantuan. I spent nearly five hours there and didn't see much more than half the exhibits, and some that I did see I barely glanced at due to a crush of kids or the room temperature (they must keep different exhibits at different temps for preservation purposes, because it was blazing hot in some rooms and downright chilly in others). What a treasure for kids (and adults). I can only imagine how many careers in the natural sciences, anthropology, and archaeology were launched from multiple trips as a youngster. It left me a bit nostalgic for the time before I abandoned science as a course of study. Biochemistry certainly would have suited me, since I am a pretty solitary person...perhaps if I'd made it through that period of intense boredom with science ten or so years ago. Then again, I might be a miserable lab rat today. Ah well.
I was running across the Brooklyn Bridge just before noon today, tourists everywhere, weaving in and out of people, when I bit it. The pedestrian crossing of the Bridge is made up of hundreds of one or two inch boards, so most of the crossing is literally a boardwalk. And some times there is a bulge or warp in a board, and as I just happened to hit one at exactly the wrong angle, down I went in right in front of a group of European women. I literally saw the word "humiliation" in big neon lights as I went down. I popped right back up and went on my way with a smile and a wave. I've a nice purple bruise on my palm and a scratch and bruise near my elbow and kneee, but the biggest injury was definitely to my pride. Ah well, we all need a hit to the ego from time to time. At least it wasn't on the pavement.
Someone was jackhammering outside my apartment last night at 2am. I thought there were noise laws here, but aparently not, as a call to 311 (the city hotline for everything NYC) the next day revealed that the city allows such work to be done after hours to prevent disruption of traffic. I hope the drivers who were spared such inconvenience as a five minute wait appreciate the hours of sleep I will not get back. Sheesh.