NYC: Hurry Up and Wait… and Like It!

I’m not too sure why people say that New Yorkers are among the most impatient and rude people in the world. I know that mine is just an outsider’s view, but to this outsider, being a New Yorker seems as though it would be a constant exercise in patience.

Immediately upon our arrival to NYC at the Staten Island Ferry—which would carry us swiftly across the New York harbor, depositing us at the southern tip of Manhattan—we waited.

First we waited to board, then we waited to de-board, next we waited in line to purchase unlimited subway passes and then we waited on the platform for the train that would take us to our hotel. We waited to board the subway, to get off the subway, to walk up the stairs to street level… and of course we waited for our turn to cross lest we be run down by a cab, bus or bicycle messenger on a mission.

Welcome to New York City. Home to over 18 million people in the metropolitan area — it is an overwhelming, endless rush of humanity. And believe me everyone is rushing somewhere, everywhere, all the time. Hence, the “hurry up” part. Hurry up to get a place in line. Because this tidal wave of beings can only move as fast as transit and commerce will allow. Transit and commerce (I might add) that are also operated by and reliant upon other human beings. Thus, the “wait” part.

I quickly learned why Lee, my fearless-and-informed tour guide, told me to quote: “… travel light and wear comfortable shoes.” By the time our visit to the Big Apple concluded we had waited in line(s) not only for constant transport around the city, but for coffee, bagels, hot dogs, beer, pizza, pastrami and pickles. We waited in line for events, for elevators, for escalators, for public attractions, for bathrooms, for boats, for shopping, for a cashier, for a good view, for a good picture and even for a bench to sit on and rest from all the waiting.

Perhaps the “impatient” brand that has been seared upon New Yorkers only comes into play when they are, say… forced to deal with thousands of versions of some clueless tourist (like myself) on a daily basis who may or may not know the exact and proper ordering procedure for a pastrami on rye. For they are not afraid to show you their displeasure with your non-new-yorker ignorance.

I can’t blame them. That’s just the way it is. Therefore, you’d better like it. Take your $20 deli sandwich, your $7 slice, your $5 dog or your $12 cocktail and drag your bumbling-photograph-taking-aimlessly-wandering-map-studying @$$ and get out of the way. Quickly. After all… someone else is waiting.


9 thoughts on “NYC: Hurry Up and Wait… and Like It!

  1. And they say there are people who thrive on this way of life???? Sure, Robert DeNiro loves NYC. He doesn’t have to wait for ANYTHING,
    I am sure it was a great experience, though. I think I know now why I prefer the beach.

  2. So are you saying that after you and Lee get married, moving to New York would not be a topic for consideration? 🙂

    My Love has been to NYC many, many times and loves it, but he’s also toured all over the world with his band, so NYC is just another city to him. I’m glad that when we go, I will, like you, have an experienced tour guide. I’m sure that makes a huge difference!

  3. Let’s see when we went, and by we I mean my son and daughter inlaw and daughter, we waited to almost get hit by a bus. Yes after we waited for our turn to go the police office who was directing traffic said to go so we went. A bus was coming at the same time. Oh yes a car full of screaming hokeys. There were several other misshaps of the same kind but amazingly enough I can’t remember them. I do know that we went around the block about five times trying to find Central Park. Everything was blocked off by firetrucks and we couldn’t find the right way amoung all of the one way streets. We didn’t have a map but who could read one while going through that nonsense anyway! During our tour of the block it rained, sleeted, snowed and nothing. I should mention that my son and daughter in law made this round trip without stopping, from SC. So about halfway home it really became a nightmare. I was so glad to get home.

  4. Oh you are too right!! I couldn’t agree with you more. The last time I went to New York I spent most of the time on my iPhone playing on Facebook because I was constantly waiting in line to do something! I love the city, but dang sometimes I wonder how anyone puts up with it!

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