Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Keesha B2
Vyne 9: 9 Things I Heard While Walking the NYC Streets
By K. Boyd
I’m just going to put this out there. No disrespect to other wonderful cities in the world but…there’s no place like New York. It’s this self-sustaining ecosystem of defiant cool, that seems to feed off of anything weird, interesting, alarming, exciting, gritty, tough or just plain different. To that end, I was in New York for business the other day and decided to walk from Grand Central Station on the East side to Penn Station on the West side (instead of taking the train). In that one mile journey, I heard nine random things that pretty much sums up the spirit that is New York:
9. “Yo, dawg…for real…I’m proud of you” – Yelled one young black man to another, who was clear across the block. Despite the chorus of “side eyes” and “shade” being thrown by everyone in between this shouting scene, something about that heartfelt sentiment, yelled unapologetically at the top of his lungs was moving…in a New York sort of way. New York’s way of saying, “I am my brother’s keeper.”
8. “You look like you care about people…do you care about people?” – Said the Amnesty International guy to me as I tried, sheepishly to avoid his gaze. My response, “Of course I care about people…daaanng iiit” (that was me whining)…”how else was I going to answer that question? All right…give me your pitch.” I appreciated his approach and I listened…really listened. New York’s way of saying, “have a heart.”
7. “Did Ray Ray eat all the fried chicken? Really?!?! No really?!? That was a LOT of chicken!” – There’s a brash lack of embarrassment on the part of New Yorkers to have random cell phone conversations…loudly. I don’t know who Ray Ray is but, he’s in trouble for eating all that chicken….apparently it was a lot. New York’s way of saying, “don’t be greedy.”
6.”Yo, let me holla at you ma’!” – As a woman, you pretty much can’t walk down the street without this being said at least once a day. It’s New York’s way of saying…”lookin’ good girl…lookin’ good“.
5. “4 pounds for twenty dollars! 4 pounds for twenty dollars!” – I haven’t got the foggiest idea what it was that you could get four pounds of, let alone why it only cost twenty dollars. I figured it was best not to ask…maybe it was completely innocent…or maybe it was an undercover sting just waiting for a mark to approach. It’s the whole “Forrest Gump-Box of Chocolates.” New York’s way of saying, “you never know what your gonna get.”
4. “Hot Pretzels Here! Get cha’ Hot Pretzels!” – It was cold…it was snowy. No one was thinking about hot pretzels. But you couldn’t tell this guy that. His energy was on 10…like it was a bright sunny day and the only food left to eat was hot pretzels. New York’s way of saying… “do you, in spite of everyone else”.
3. “It’s not like we’re in Italy or somethin’!” – I have not a clue what the beginning of this conversation was but I imagine they must have just come from the Olive Garden and someone in the party was complaining about the food they just ate, to which this woman replied, “It’s not like we’re in Italy or somethin’!”. New York’s way of saying… “get over it, already.”
2. “Hair braided? Hair braided?” – I took a quick detour to Harlem earlier in the morning. You pretty much can’t get off of 125th street without someone wanting to braid your hair. New York’s way of saying, “hey… change it up a bit…live a little.”
1. “Awwww come ooonnn already! You see me standin’ here buddy!” – This was uttered by yours truly after being mercilessly splashed by the truck going break neck speed to beat the red light. New York’s way of saying, “hey…don’t forget where you came from.”