MANHATTAN MOSAIC | Satiated by My Surroundings, Not Situations

Manhattan Mosaic

by Rachael

Eleven weeks in, and I’m finally feeling like I live here instead of simply feeling like one of the 8.337 million inhabitants of New York City. I’m navigating the subways (my ears have stopped popping once I pass under the East River). I know where to eat (and where not to eat). And I spend more time out of my apartment than in it. (Though the environment still makes me break out.) All acclimated, just in time to go back home for Thanksgiving.

Appealing to the wanderlust, frugal artist that I am, the Pop International Galleries SoHo are currently housing an Andy Warhol and Peter Max show. As a printmaker (and current human being) I have always been an admirer of Warhol, and although a lot of Max’s work is better in concept than execution, I was excited to see them both. Also happening this week (but ending today) is the ARTPOP Pop Up: A Lady Gaga Gallery housed in the space where Alexander McQueen once owned a store. Each gallery was a bit of a trek from Gramercy, but they were both also free and enticing.

And always, just when you think you have finally found your footing, some jerk has to pull your feet from right under you. In this case, that jerk didn’t have feet of his own. Or calves. Or knees.

As Mandy and I were walking to a Warhol exhibit, at a fairly brisk pace, a legless man in a wheelchair asked if I could push him to the bus stop. We were in a hurry, but not too much of a hurry where I couldn’t spare a minute to help a handicapped man on his way. There are obviously bus stops on every corner, so I asked him several times which stop he had meant, and every time he sloshed his beer around and gestured in a different direction. Then he became rude.

He was shouting to slow down, to hurry up, that I was going the wrong way, that I should know exactly which bus stop he meant, about everything. With every comment I was nearing my breaking point. When we arrived at the bus stop he had gestured to the most frequently, his shouts became not simply rude, but aggressive.

“Jesus Christ do you not see the bus stop I’m pointing at?! It’s right there! Jesus Christ how can you not see that bus stop?!”

When I looked, there was no bus stop on the block he was facing. Mandy can attest to this, there was truly no bus stop. He continued shouting a variation of those sentences at an increasing volume. At that point, I left him.

I let go of the handles and left him sitting alone in the middle of the sidewalk. He had ruined not only my mood, but dampered my entire view of humanity. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you, and if you ask a stranger for a favor, don’t treat them like dirt. Or simply put your beer down and push yourself.

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