Friday, April 6, 2012

Random Observations

I am a very observant person. I feel compelled to tune in closely to the activities going on around me, and I love people watching.

New York is the people-watching capital of the world. Since I've been here, I've observed a number of things about mankind:

1. Runners like to stare at other runners. 
I notice this whenever I run along the Hudson River path. I've come to the conclusion that they are sizing each other up and guessing how many miles the other person is putting in that day. Then, they are either complimenting themselves for running more miles, or they are silently yelling at themselves for running fewer miles.

Me? I assume that every runner I see is training for the Boston Marathon, and I voicelessly berate myself for the entirety of my meager 3 to 5 mile journey.

2. Everyone becomes invisible on the subway.
No one pays attention to anything that anyone else does in those mysterious metal trains. Subway riders  are immune to weird outfits, loud phone conversations, and unpleasant odors. They, in fact, ignore all of those things. They just want to get to where they're going without suffering mental and emotional scarring.

I rode a train with a man who freestyle-rapped loudly about exotic dancers (before 11 a.m., mind you), and no one made a single comment ... or even looked in his direction. I also witnessed a man running from car to car of the train while it was in motion. I thought it was odd and potentially dangerous. No one else noticed.

What man in a pink camoflauge body suit?

3. People go to Dave and Buster's to boost their self-esteem.
On Wednesday, I went to Dave and Buster's in Times Square with Megan, Sarit, and Sarit's boyfriend. We had a few drinks, played games, and enjoyed each other's company. At Dave and Buster's, people receive praise for tossing a ball into a hole and for pressing a button. To add to it, people can cash in the tickets they win as a result of their mastery to get incredible prizes -- like a mustache key chain or a giant banana. Nothing screams "hero" quite like facial hair-themed accessories and stuffed fruit.

I stuck around the trivia table for most of the night. Here's why: In the real world, knowing the number Barry Bonds wore in his 2003 season or where the majority of the U.S.'s pineapple supply is grown (Hawaii, by the way) simply makes you a pineapple-lover who knows the number Barry Bonds wore in 2003. In trivia, it makes you a champion. At Dave and Buster's, it makes you a champion and a beholder of 78 tickets. After a feat like that, everyone else at the trivia table looks at you with both jealousy and admiration. You are their hero.

All that random knowledge finally comes in handy

So, there are a few of the random observations I've made since I moved to the city.
... Maybe I should've majored in sociology.


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