Two of my three daughters live in the city of New York. It’s a nice place to visit if experiencing chaos theory in action is one of your fetishes. Now I know that view may sound unfair because I realize that if you transplanted all the residents of New York City to my small town of Berryville, Virginia that half of them would die of boredom before lunch and most of the rest of them would just believe they had been placed inside an isolation chamber for experimentation.
Those city dwellers that lived would be sure they were one of the few survivors of a nuclear holocaust since they would only encounter another human every hundred feet or so; a distance occupied by at least fifty or sixty people when you are in the Big Apple.
In New York everyone crosses the street at a pace that makes a turtle look like it’s traveling at a hypersonic velocity. They space themselves so that they block anyone in a car from turning during the entire change in the stoplight. Only someone who is sneaky enough to run over some of the smaller pedestrians can ever get through. The taxi drivers, of course, all have their eyes closed when they drive so they go speeding around the corners without a care in the world. New Yorkers seem to know that fact and the line of slowly strolling people magically opens up for just enough time for the cab to get through and then snaps closed.
When you finally get to where you are going, at first, you think you have succeeded, but the city has another surprise for you, and that is the Russian roulette of on-street parking.
New York prides itself in keeping its streets clean. Every morning legions of street cleaning machines, all that look like fifty year old, rusting Zamboni’s with a big toilet brush mounted on the front, fan out all over the city. Those machines are preceded by another legion of people who ticket every car still parked on the side of the road the street cleaners plan to clean. They alternate the sides of the road that they clean so that every evening the residents of the city do their version of musical chairs and try to get all their cars lined up on the other side of the road from the one scheduled for cleaning the next morning. If you can’t find a space you lose the game, and your punishment is a parking ticket or your car being towed.
Of course there are not enough spaces on one side of the street for all of the cars that want to park so if the music stops before you have a space, then you have the choice of getting up early the next morning and driving around for two hours or getting a ticket.
You know it’s a crazy place when you feel good that you only received $105 worth of tickets for a five-night stay.
Now it is not that I begrudge New York the money …Well I do but that’s not the point I was planning to make. What I don’t understand is why they don’t send that legion of ticket providers out to give tickets to those people that litter the streets. And while they are at it they could give them all cattle prods to get everyone to cross the street faster.