The car barely touched me, the driver obviously having no regard for pedestrians that attempted to cross the street. To him, arriving at his destination was far more important than the safety of those outside the car. Most New Yorkers were impatient in this way, including me. I grew up in the Bronx, the ghetto, but, despite how close it was to Manhattan, I rarely went there. Now, because I am much older, I go down a lot and enjoy just getting lost in the crowd.
I’ve never felt so alive getting lost in the cramped crowd that wandered around Times Square. It was so packed there on most days that I could barely even move. Sure, I got impatient and would push people out of my way on occasion, but I still enjoyed being a part of a crowd of a variety of people. Spanish, black, Native American, Indian, bums, bag ladies, bag men, cops, crazy people who followed you for about two blocks… call me crazy, but I absolutely adored it. To me, seeing and meeting people that are extremely different than you was a beautiful thing.
The night life was just as amazing. The lights were absolutely gorgeous and even more whacky characters showed their faces. Once, I went to a comedy club with my two uncles and two of their friends. It was late and the “adult humor” was going. To be honest, I find this type of humor much more amusing than general humor. It’s more real and never dull. Sure, it got a bit stereotypical and focused a good amount on race, but there was no doubt it was funny. I especially enjoyed it when the Spanish comedians went up and spoke, me being of latin descent and all. They spoke of girlfriends and people they encountered and trips to fast food places… little things like that, REAL things like that, tend to be much more enjoyable than the little kiddy innocent jokes. To me, when you find humor in what is real, you can laugh in the face of adversity and eventually overcome any feelings of self-consciousness you may have. When it’s out in the open, people learn to accept and appreciate things a lot quicker than when it’s hidden. You can’t exactly get rid of what you know is there, you know?
That night, we walked quite a few blocks back to my uncle’s friend’s car. Parking was hard to come by in Manhattan, but I’m sure that’s quite obvious. It was so dark and a significantly lesser amount of people were out, but we did encounter a good deal. Drunks, mainly. My uncle was asked by a drunk guy to give him a light for his cigarette and his coordination was so poor due to being intoxicated that it took him almost 6 minutes to light it. It was a bit amusing.
To some people, it’s scary and unthinkable to be around so many different people in a large city. They think of it as dangerous and are afraid that they might get shot or something. Personally, I love the city and the vast amount of people. You meet so many unique people. Whether they lead positive lives or not, I think it’s just fascinating to meet and learn of someone who leads a completely different life from you. I guess I’m somewhat of a people scholar, if you want to put it that way. Never have I met someone that I don’t wonder about, especially in the best city in the world (in my opinion).
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