Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reading minds

After 15 years of driving, I received my first traffic ticket. 7:00am, making a right onto Riverside Drive. Silly me. "Everyone knows you can't make a right onto Riverside Drive up here," said the cop. Well, I guess what she meant to say was "everyone (who's a mind reader) knows you can't make a right here." No sign. Not even a hint that this wouldn't be allowed. There's even a light at that intersection.

I left the ticket on my desk all day long - $90! I was steamed. What a way to start a morning. On the way to work, I started wondering if there are other things we are expected to know in NYC, even if they aren't explained to us.

Streets and Avenues run perpendicular to one another. The subway map. Broker fees are a way of life for renters (actually not true given the great deal I found on Craigslist sans broker, though the brokers will tell you it is near impossible to get a place without them). Dropping off your laundry is cheaper than doing it yourself. The Upper West Side is so much cooler than the Upper East (I don't know if everyone knows this or not - consider this an insider tip from me to you!)

We magically expect everyone, tourist and resident alike, to just "know" things that they couldn't possibly know. NYC is unique and part of the responsibility of living in this city is to help other people find their way. If you happen to be here and a bit lost or confused, just tap the person's shoulder right next to you (and in NYC, there is always someone right next to you). We take a great sense of pride in flaunting our innate knowledge. Just make sure to avoid taking a right off of Riverside.

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