Sunday, April 27, 2008
Something happened to me today that would never have happened anywhere else other than Manhattan. I was walking with some friends on Broadway near 30th street trying to find a good place to eat brunch, when suddenly we saw hundreds of people running and screaming from the west side of the street to the east and 2 blocks uptown. Women in heels didn't stop to take off their shoes. There was no time to think, no time to look back to see what they were running from, it was 'just go and don't ask' time. I came to accept that in New York, although seldom, this situation can exist. In those ten seconds of following these hundreds of people, just reacting to change as any animal would do, I was questioning in my mind what I was running from. Was a building falling over? Was there a man with a gun on the west side of the street? Was there a policeman being generous with mase? Was the Cloverfield monster throwing flames to the west side of the street? I had no idea. I just followed the crowd as Scottish sheep follow each other off a cliff. Don't ask, just go. When the ten seconds of running was over, we found ourselves against the wall, out of breath and in a line. The line wasnt as confusing as the people in business suits, on a Sunday. I soon realized that these people, who all worked for the same company, were waiting in the street until they found out where the line to their event began, and right before we turned the corner, it was announced where they had to wait in line. Additionally, there was some major incentive to get in line early, hence the screaming and intense rush. After I found out, I jokingly hit one of the guys in line and exclaimed in all seriousness, "You scared me!" And as if that wasn't embarrassing enough, we lost one of our friends in the sprinting dash and had to sift through the line to find him. The people in line were laughing, but instead of laughing at us, I assume they were laughing at the extent of hype that they had succomb to, and how it was perceived to strangers outside of their environment.