Episode 5 – RITC /Traveling with the flow (2006)

by Thursday, September 20, 2007

This may seem silly to you but New Yorkers walk faster than the average American. Its like they all have a little motor in their pockets. I just applied for the motor so I haven’t yet mastered the art yet.

While walking in Manhattan there are several things you need to consider… None of them being your final destination. First you need to walk with the flow of people. Speed walking if you will. The city is a hurried enhanced pace. It doesn’t matter how tall you are or how much advantage of stride you have over the next person. Intrigued with speed I found myself walking next to a woman a foot shorter than me. We were both wearing the same type of shoes and she was out walking me easily.

That brings me to my next point. The shoes! Now I have been able to sort through my hefty collection to find 4 or five pairs that have heels and are easily maneuvered in. So if I need to kick up some leather and make a mad dart I can. The ones I picked have solid thick heels and have a decent amount of rubber on the sole. This is all well and good but Manhattan can work a girls pumps… Leaving heels withered and beaten in a few weeks time. Already I’ve had the bottoms of 3 pairs of my frequently worn work shoes replaced. The little Asian man all but laughed at me when he saw the silver stud protruding out of the bottoms.

Next thing to consider is the oncoming traffic. Not the cars… The people! Just as your in a hurry to get to your non-fulfilling job their in a rush to get to theirs. These people even spurt into a jog walk just to get to Starbucks. You need to navigate through the dense throngs of swinging arms and kneeing legs. Its worse than an urban club… There are no grudges for stepped on Manolos or crushed loafers. As fast as everyone is charging on a shoulder collide is enough to shift your whole direction. Without looking back you redirect yourself grin and bare your contact with fellow New Yorkers.

The last thing to consider is the weather. Previously I described the hundreds of people mobily interlocking creating Manhattan human traffic. Now picture all of them with umbrellas! When the rain is fierce there are more procedures to acquire. I imagine from above the city looks like a black plaque quickly devouring whole blocks at a time. Everyone with the standard corporate black umbrella all shapes and size. On the occasion you see a tourist with a bright pink or polka-dot umbrella… But that sets them apart as just what they are. Tourists are a whole other topic. Anyway, to survive the rain at least being dry above the chest it’s a matter of timing again. You’re doing a series of arm exercises the entire time. Oncoming traffic – raise the umbrella so the tips don’t collide and shake more sky cry on everyone, only raise it high enough so the humongous four person Nautica or Polo umbrella can get by. Then the wind blows… Now this is true in any city, point your rain doodad toward the wind as a shield. The trick is, if going forward you won’t be able to see where your going. Ladies and gentlemen. Look for feet! Secure a at least a foot distance in front of you by slowing your pace. This enables you to keep your hair, makeup and new Channel or Burberry bag dry. On the down side you could end up a little late. Late but dry.

The Week End

So Wednesday I had the opportunity to experiences a few more core NY things. I took my roommate up on an offer to check out a talented black fashion designers new line. The gallery was uptown. So 1st I had to find my way there… From the only train I know… The F. I had to walk a couple of blocks but I got there, the worst part was the humidity. Being a VIP at such events gets you a press pass as well as free drinks and food. All industry people so I was a little intimidated to network as much. Being that I am un-established and considered corporate, it’s harder to collaborate with industry folks – even though I “look” industry.

I learned that industry people hang out during the week because they work later apparently. Industry refers to fashion, music and PR. and us corporate folks hang out on the weekends because we work early. I don’t think I’d like to be titled in either group even though, anyone who truly knows me can guess accurately to which group I belong.

The fashion designer specialized in means suits and of course the “now” color is white. To me this meant – White men’s suits… And nothing more. While I was there PF guy called to let me know about a movie release party for “Little Man” at a club called “Quo” that just happened to be a street over from the gallery I was at. Unsure if we were going to go the roommate pulled some strings at “Soul Fixens” a soul food restaurant in the city a few blocks from were we were. It hit the spot and made up for all the sweating I had done earlier. Afterward we made our way to the movie release party… in the rain. I was excited to see PF guy, considering I hadn’t seen him since we’d gone out. He’d called me numerous times asking me to attend events, but being a corporate girl… During the week of course I declined. PF guy is the ultimate industry guy and does it all so nonchalantly. He tells me to mention his name at the door to gain admittance. After were carded we do just that. I walk in, a little wet but still fresh. He’s just beyond the door gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. He’s so suave at this moment and I wonder if he remembers if
seen him in weaker moments. It’s funny and entertaining at the same time.

While were there the attention he pays me is nice but not nice enough for me not to notice an admirer he has, “industry groupie” she was titled. I watched the interactions and took note. I repositioned myself in another part of the party just focusing on being seen. This always works well for me. He probably noticed that and repositioned himself as well. The spot was nice and the crowd was decently attractive. While I was there I ran into another industry guy I met a while back who’s a sales manager at Ackademics. Not an attractive but very much attracted to me. He’s sooo short among other things but he has it for me. Of course I’m cordial because I don’t need to burn any bridges before they’ve been made. After a short stay we headed out… After all I’m a corporate and I have to work in the morning. I said a sincere goodbye to Mr. PF guy and kissed him on the cheek. He asked me to stay (of course) and I let him know I knew he had plenty of company to tend to. Nonetheless I left feeling quite invincible. The experience had been good but it was also a long long day.

It’s Friday and I need a drink. I hit the regular Friday after work spot “his” spot, for drinks. I wasn’t alone this time I invited a modest but very nice industry girl to go. Gradually I learned I need to find a new spot.

BSG was there, of course as well as “him” “he” wasn’t the issue BSG was. This man would NOT leave alone. I had spotted him not long after I had arrived. I declined to speak before I had a drink though. We solidified seats at the bar and the fun begin. While we were conversing amongst ourselves I noticed the weekly crowd. Attractive and professional for the most part but I saw no one there remotely intriguing. We laughed and drank enjoying the fact that the week was over. Truly TGIF.

Then I guess he spotted me and came over I half hugged him because of my seated position and introduced him to fashion industry chick “FIC.” This was no regular greeting, he didn’t want to leave. He wanted me to take a walk with him! Was he serious? Indeed. I was trying to be as civil is possible considering the atmosphere. He put his arm around me and was too close for my comfort, I’m pushing him away and telling him to chill out then he starts with the “tell me what you want” schlep. He continues to whine about me not acting like I like him and how he wants to be with me, he’s then telling me it’s probably because he’s Spanish. Ummm this was getting more pitiful by the minute. “Dude, I just met you, you want me to decide right now, in a public lounge if I want to be with you?” LOL, No deal! By now I’m convinced this guy is nuts. Or maybe he’s drank too much, but it’s only like 8:30. This is too too heavy for me. I proceed to tell him to call me later so we can talk about it just for the sake of getting him out of my face. That’s when the man went in for the kill and tried to kiss me… I’m shaking my head at this very moment in embarrassment for him. I palmed his head away from my face and told him that was enough and to leave me alone. He walked away. Man! That’s not even the end. His boy “short Spanish guy” that he had introduced me to earlier proceeds to come over and let me know how much he loves black women and how beautiful I am. Huh? Did you see what your boy just did? Man. For the sake of it I told him I liked his boy. I guess it doesn’t matter what profession your in our what state guys are idiots and only reliable to mess up.

Ladies and gentlemen I’m thinking I might be single in the City for quite sometime. Until then I’ll flow through the scenarios and deal with the ridiculous amounts of trash and rain through the way.

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