Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Brella Jockey

Forgive me if I've lectured on this topic before, but every time it rains I find that it's such a uniquely New York phenomena that I can't help but notice again. On the sidewalks of New York which are usually busy with people going where they want to go at their own pace whether it be fast or slow tourists quickly learn to treat the sidewalk like the highway. Get out of the fast lane or you'll get run over. This problem is compounded when everyone has their own umbrella which can add an extra foot or five of mandated personal space. I always wonder if you can judge a person by their umbrella. I do notice that a lot of big wall street type men tend to carry the golf umbrellas that take up the entire sidewalk. Seriously, do they need to carry their tent with them? Anyway, you have people with huge umbrellas, people with colorful umbrellas and people with no umbrellas. If you're ever unfortunate enough to be in the latter category you will find no sympathy, because people will not get out of your way so you can walk under an overhang and they will walk right by you letting the water pouring off their umbrella stream onto your head. Even if you do have an umbrella and it's a small one you've got to jockey for space. Are you going to hold steady? Will you raise your umbrella up, tilt it or hunch down? You have to do that dance that happens every once in awhile with strangers. You know the one, where you both try to get out of eachothers way by going the same direction? With umbrellas you can't put yours higher if they're going to do the same. I hope this makes sense. It helps if you picture a sidewalk with say 6 people holding umbrellas trying to walk past each other at once. There's a lot of overlap and intricate manuevering. If you don't do it just right your umbrella could end inside out or maybe it just smacks into someone else's and showers you with the water resting on top. It's just a funny phenomena that I never though of before I lived in the city.
You can also tell when the rain started by the variety of umbrellas in the afternoon. If it was raining when everyone left for work, they were sure to bring an umbrella. One that they probably took time to select and purchase, so there is a lot of variety, pops of color or clear plastic dome shapes, all kinds. If it only started raining in the afternoon and people didn't check the weather report all the umbrellas are black and lots of people are wet or running for shelter. The guys that come out on the street corners like rats out of holes when it rains sell a standard cheap black umbrella with a curved plastic handle that will last you through approximately 1.5 rain showers before it flips inside out, rips and the handle falls off. It's fine in a pinch, but you'd be better off going to the nearest Drugstore and buying a real umbrella. I always think that would be a great marketing scheme for a bank or some business. Print your name on a big bright umbrella and give them out with any transaction while it's raining. Or maybe rainboots, since the people in the picture obviously could have benefitted from some.

1 comment:

  1. I would like to make the request that there be no rain for our trip, ok? Readygo.


Recap Defined

ri•cap 1 (rē-kāp') Pronunciation Key tr.v. ri•capped, ri•cap•ping, ri•caps
1. a summary at the end that repeats the substance of a longer discussion
2. To replace a cap or caplike covering on: recapped the camera lens.
3. Ri - a female given name: derived from Adrienne.