News Flash: New York is still weird.
When I was 16, I occasionally cut school to take the train into the city with my friends. These jaunts entailed various adventures around the east village in carefully-selected outfits we considered cutting edge, though I’m sure they clearly illustrated to the city at large that we were from the suburbs. I recall knocking on the door of a Bleecker St. basement apartment, above which read the sign ‘Psychic Palm Reader’. A small, attractive woman opened the door. Facing us from the back of the dark room was a sea of neon-blue emanating from a wall-sized aquarium. In front of it was the only furniture in the room, a king-sized bed in which lay two sleeping sumo-wrestler sized men, and a small crumpled dent in the middle where she had been 20 seconds prior. She asked me to hold on a second, and when she shut the door, my two friends and I ran.
We ended up down the block at CBGB, and back then the front of the store was a record store. As I was flipping through some LPs, I happened upon a dead mouse. The dude working there walked over, picked it up by the tail, opened the door and threw it out on the sidewalk.
In the past 16 years that I’ve been living here, common complaints are that the city is no longer interesting, too safe, Disneyland, etc. So imagine my delight the other day, when, having to kill an hour in midtown-east of all boring places, I saw a large man walking two expensive, pure-bred looking dogs. In the middle of a Park Avenue traffic lane, one of the dogs was busy doing his business while its owner and the other dog waited patiently amidst hysterical, swerving, screaming, honking cars. When the squatting dog was finished, it politely took a seat next to the other one, while the owner/walker guy responsibly pulled out a bag, scooped up the mess and tossed it in a trash can.
While I was busy speculating on the ‘why in the middle of the lane?’ aspect of this scenario, a man walked past me pushing a hand truck with a single pork roast on it.
So you see, NYC can still be weird.