Walking Cross-Town. Just Magnificent.

10 a.m., I’m heading for a morning meeting in Manhattan.
I exit Grand Central station onto Madison, and head down 47th.

Light mist turns to a sprinkle.
Then drizzle.
Then, Wow! Rain in sheets.

Sidewalks are filled with Suits, morning shift shop workers, and tourists, loitering. Umbrellas spring open, mushroom caps blossoming in a time lapse video.

Walker in middle of sidewalk, sheltered with a giant golf umbrella. He does not shift left or right. His umbrella clips me in the shoulder as I try to pass, tipping his umbrella into mine, rain soaks my pant leg.

Walkers, giggling, three a breast, each carrying an umbrella. I tuck into a store front to let them pass.
Seriously people?

Walker, approaches me directly ahead. Mid sized umbrella. I walk on right side (This is America!) He refuses to shift lanes to his right. I slide left to avoid him, and dodge oncoming foot traffic – glaring at him as he passes.
Hey Man from UK, Etiquette! Drive on the right side of the road!

Walker, dead ahead, 10 steps. Smartphone and umbrella in his left hand, cigarette in the other. I slide between him and the building on the right, when he lifts his cigarette, the embers catching my coat. I jam my umbrella into his to brush off the ash, and he’s jostled into another walker.  He shouts “Excuse me!” as I pass.  I glance back. Cigarette hanging from his mouth. Light build, short. A Ferret. But who’s judging?

I smile, shake my head, turn my back to Ferret and keep walking, my right hand scanning my coat searching for the burn hole.

I stand at the stop light and wait, lifting my face to the sky. The rain has let up. The Walk sign turns, I step off the curb onto the crosswalk. I don’t see the puddle pooling in front of the street drain. My foot sinks into the cool, filthy, rain water which fills my right shoe.

Damn it@!*$

I limp into the building.  The wet sole of my shoe squeals with each spongy step on the marble floor. The wet sock and foot slide back and forth inside the shoe.

I step into the elevator. Breathe DK. Breathe. Amazing. You’ve managed to work yourself up into a full lather in a 12-minute walk across town. You’re Elmear McBride’s Magnificent:

Magnificent, somehow. To give in. Wreck yourself so completely. The beauty of it.”

Photo: Metro.US


  1. There doesn’t seem to be any umbrella etiquette. Don’t seem to have that problem here in Spain.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Trying not to laugh! 😂
    McBride has a good point, somewhere along the way we just gotta give in, otherwise we may all go mad! Keep dry Mr K ☀️🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  3. amazing the quick turn our demeanor/life can take.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry you got wet, DK, but enjoyed your morning perambulation. And this sentence? “Umbrellas spring open, mushroom caps blossoming in a time lapse video.” Love…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Nothing like a soggy foot before going into a meeting. It reminds me of an old, Steve Martin skit where he says when he wants to be funny, he puts a slice of bologna in each shoe, so he feels funny

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    A very wet New York City ‘adventure’ … ‘Light mist turns to a sprinkle. Then drizzle. Then, Wow! Rain in sheets.’

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hey, don’t knock the height of the smoking ferret. I’m bummed you got soaked, but you know NY in inclement weather – there are no sidewalks wide enough ( and would undoubtedly result in larger umbrellas)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just another reason I would never want to live there. But you tell it very well, DK. I was right there on the sidewalk with you (you didn’t even notice me in that crowd, did you?) No wonder people take drastic measures and do insane things.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Omg!! I can’t remember laughing so hard in a long time. But, I then ask myself, am I too, a ferret? 🙂

    Although your description of the sidewalks of New York are so vividly true, yet very much first world, it’s the world we live in, navigating ever so slowly, just one ferret among the many.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a standard line that I use in Chicago when the ‘umbrella people’ take over the sidewalk: “I haven’t yet learned to hover so please move.” (*sigh* cannot take the politeness out of the Canadian no matter what!) 😉 Cher xo

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You painted such an amazing, engaging journey among the city scape…sounds like life on the wild side…I like others can see this unfold in our minds eye…/// I think you might need to carry a pack with weather related gear when you encounter sidewalk combat…ps: including non conservative socks /// we often look at NYC and other cities photos from the early 1900’s and the sidewalks are so crowded…can’t imagine being swept along shoulder to shoulder in mass…Costco’s parking lot is the closest we come to a crowd… (there we’re many available parking spots Tuesday at lunch time)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is great. Know why? Coz on that very same day, my friend and I were walking across Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan towards Brooklyn in the sprinkle, then drizzle, then sheeting. Gave up on the umbrella once the rain slowed back down to a mist… Made our way to Grimaldi’s for a fabulous pie and a laugh at our adventure…

    You know these are my favourites of yours… and I shall be tipping my hat to you when I blog my story… especially my return 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oy Vey what a day! I’ll remember it for some time …. with a smile.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Your post today reminded me of being caught in an absolute deluge in London this past June, especially the part about your wet foot and sock sliding back and forth in your shoe. And, I recall now, when we finally arrived back to our VRBO and I pulled my own soggy shoes off, the emanating odour seemed as if I had had a slice of bologna in each shoe … TMI I suppose!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. When you write as ‘you’ David, you’re the BESTest…. (as a German friend tends to say, followed by ‘worstest’)…. I have the problem being too small to even keep up with the bigger people. If I try to hold my brolly high enough to pass, I might as well not open it at all, I have curly curls curling even more (and very unsightly) in humid weather and if I put up a hat I have a flat head afterwards – one cannot win. And I know the feeling of rain-filled shoes only too well – in England I must have bought some 6 pairs of rubber boots in all fashionable and funny-uplifting forms and decors…. THEN at least it was a bit of fun to go out – but mostly I left the brolly at home and just popped into the nearest store or coffee shop or bought (yet another) a book and 5′-10′ later all was well.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I cannot imagine trying to find peace of mind in a city setting. Kudos to those of you who make the attempt! Holy shitballs, Batman! 🤣💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Yes, the beauty of it. Breathing. And your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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