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Sunday, September 27, 2020
Home Column It's a Mad, Mad, Mad and EMPTY New York City

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad and EMPTY New York City

A Newborn Neurotic Man in a Mad, Mad, Mad and Empty New York City

Soooo, I had something important to take care of downtown and what a day.

You know, a week after the city’s shutdown I went downtown for a drive and a walk. The streets were already mostly emptied out by then. Old ladies, just like the pigeons, had gotten used to the lack of traffic and a false sense of security. Crossing as if my approaching car was nothing more than a figment. So much so, that a honk was sometimes needed.

Walking through midtown? I’d sight the occasional suspicious looking character and not too many homeless. But then, it was much cooler back then and the fun had only just begun.

Today? The homeless have taken over parts of Hell’s Kitchen and Midtown. Sometimes it’s pretty easy to tell which one’s mentally off. As for those dodgy looking people? More…lots more.

On the Streets? What I figured to be a loss of caution weeks ago is more like an emboldened sense of rebellion today. As if to say, these are our streets. WHAT ARE YOU DOING DRIVING DOWN MY STREET ! ? ! ? ?

Up Park Avenue, not one, not two, but a few groups were walking side by side taking up a full lane. Yeah sure, I can understand wanting to avoid the sidewalk. But the sidewalks were empty! What the heck was going on! I honked every bit of the way and one fella gave me the finger. Honestly, they all looked so respectable. So much for first impressions.

My friendly migraine would usually have come from a day dealing with crowds and tourists. Those days are gone. In this new world, I found myself half paranoid wondering who I can trust.

Will I be the victim of some random or intentional cough in my direction? Will I get mugged on a quiet empty street? Is it safe to take my off mask down this one path? That door! That railing I just touched! My sanitizer … WHERE THE HELL DID I PACK MY SANITIZER???!!!

Have I now become a neurotic New Yorker? Am I the only one? Maybe I’m nuts for not being in the park alongside the countless others? I don’t know. I’m not sure.

I came home to learn about the taser brandishing cop in the East village who punched out a bystander getting too close to a social-distancing breakup. Then I thought: Hey, Alphabet City! Why haven’t I thought of walking through Alphabet City yet!???

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