A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

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Day 52: Overcrowded

August 17th · 7 Comments

It is 1 a.m. and Joo and I are eating mozzarella sticks outside at a burger joint called Jackson Hole when I feel woozy all the sudden.

There isn’t enough air to breathe. The miniskirt girls clomp down the sidewalk, talking too loud, and 2nd Avenue is a yellow river of taxis that are moving too fast. Who needs to get anywhere that fast? Slow down.

Across the street is Josie’s Kitchen, and a few doors down is Tony’s, and eating, that’s all New Yorkers ever do. That and going to bars. They eat a lot and grab a taxi for the urgent trip to the place they go to drink too much, and along the way they smoke. I have had enough of Josie and Tony and Jackson Hole and drinks and mozzarella sticks and fast taxis and the damn never-ending noise.

Looming up behind Josie’s and Tony’s is a big apartment tower. Good Lord, think of all the people in there. Imagine the building behind it, and next behind that, humans packed in like cordwood, wrapped in reflective glass and piled thirty stories high. So many people, so many walls … there can’t be enough oxygen down here to support a life.

I want to stand up from the table and sprint the three long blocks to the East River, fling myself into the fast-moving current and feel the cool water carry me swiftly away to someplace, anyplace, where it is quiet and I can see the sky.

Tags: Dining · Sights & Scenes · Why I Hate This Town

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 anne // Aug 17, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Yikes Ferris!
    Go to the North Woods. 90 acres of woodlands.
    You cannot see the city skyline or hear the traffic,
    only sounds of birds and waterfalls.
    Pack a picnic, good book, and a bottle of wine and hopefully you will stop pondering the east river.

  • 2 Bev // Aug 17, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    OK, my trash auto-emptied itself, so I do not have your email address. If I did, I’d send this comment there instead of here. So, pardon me for making it public. Hopefully you have the power to delete comments of your choosing.

    This uninvited editor is back. Sorry you were suffering a mini Manhattan meltdown. It so affected you that it caused another two typos and an awkward sentence one in paragraph three. If you want to tell ME to pop off and jump in the East River, feel free.

  • 3 Chris Sidner // Aug 17, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I think that is why they have Central Park. It might be a normal thing you have to go through before you can ignore all the noise and crowds. Hang on to the vine (Pink Martini).
    Chris

  • 4 Sulley // Aug 17, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    At the precise time you were rabidly drooling and wanting to destroy something Incredulous Hulk, I was in Utah marveling at the success I had finding the most desolate and powerful place I had seen to date. Let me draw you a map to The Valley of The Gods before you spontaneously combust.

  • 5 Bill // Aug 17, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    I believe you’re on to something with this Manhatten oxygen shortage. This, no doubt, is a serious public health issue. You need to alert Mayor Blomberg right away. If you’re right, and I’m sure you are, you could be a hero. Or, isn’t it a little more likely that something in that mozzarella stick caused this hallucination?
    Take two aspirin…

  • 6 RizzoJ // Aug 18, 2008 at 12:52 am

    David…
    remember what we would do whenever I felt anxious?
    Sun Salutations.
    I will do some with you in my mind and I send them with a big hug.
    just breathe…

  • 7 mohi // Sep 8, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Y’all are forgetting a crucial irony: The East River is a CESSPOOL!! http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V6N-4B1X4KV-3&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=170ac3f8145d95e4fd5bbb2d928bba4c

    Jump in at your peril and beware the toxic fish.

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