Getting By in New York

On one side of the argument, there’s the contention that New Yorkers are not friendly. On the other side is the reality that they are to friendly so shut up already.

I hear enough of the reality (in person, in print and in conversation) that I think the contention is actually a straw man standing in for the fact that New York, as a city of enormous physical size, can be intimidating for the newcomer. Also, New Yorkers can be aggressive, even with their friendliness. But I don’t see why you’d have a problem with that. Or why you would even bring it up. What’s the matter with you? Don’t you like friendly?

Last week was a case in point.

  1. Situation: Me at the Bernard Jacobs Theater half an hour before the performance starts. No tickets available, even though there were a ton that morning online. I stand in line with five or six other people (including someone I thought was Jon Tenney but just realized was actually Carlos Gomez) hoping someone cancels their seats.

    Woman with weird hair: Is this the line for tickets?
    Me: Yup.
    Woman: Are you alone?
    Me: Yup.
    Woman hands me a ticket for the first row of the mezzanine and walks away.

  2. Situation: Me at the Public Theater less than an hour before the performance starts.

    Me: Do you have any rush seats left?
    Dude behind the ticket window: How many do you need?
    Me: One.
    Dude: We have one. Last one. $20.
    Me: Sweet.

    Strictly speaking, this is math + luck, not New York being excellent, but you know, positive experience and all.

  3. Situation: I show up at Studio 54 at 9:45 in the morning, stand in line for 15 minutes and snag a seat for the newly opened, high profile, Tony-nominated Waiting for Godot for $21.65.

    Again, math + luck. I feel a pattern coming on.

  4. Situation: Me at the Barrymore Theater half an hour before Exit the King starts.

    Me: Could I get a seat somewhere in the middle range?
    Ticket dude: Well…[points to $116 seats in the mezzanine]…I can give you one of these for $74.50.
    Me: Yeah you can!

    (Looking at all this, I’m wondering about the whole showing up late = karma thing. That can’t be a healthy behavior re-enforcement, can it?)

  5. Situation: Me at JFK mid-panic attack. (I don’t like to fly or do anything associated with it, like be in an airport.)

    Me: Excuse me, where is the water fountain?
    Cleaning girl: Right there.
    Me: Thanks.
    Cleaning girl: You don’t want to drink that though. [Goes into her supply closet, pulls out a bottle of water which sells around the corner for about $97 and hands it to me.]
    Me: Wha…? Thanks!

New York is a wonderful town. Especially when you’re running late.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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2 Comments on “Getting By in New York”

  1. Ramon
    May 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Just re-read this again. This is seriously the best even karma I think I’ve ever seen…

  2. Em
    May 11, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    Ah, but you must have done something smashingly good recently.

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