The art of walking (A HOW TO guide for walking in a city)


It’s been a while since I got a nice , ill tempered rant off…Summer is around the corner and my hatred is high right now, so, lemme go in.

Have you ever seen a toddler walk? It erratic. It’s like like a drunk person on roller blades. The great thing about being human and being on this planet is that, eventually, we learn to do things like walk. In fact, I wouldn’t even say we learn to walk as much as human nature leads us on the path to figuring it out. So, let’s be clear: walking is pretty fucking easy for most people. I’d like to think that, once you’re past toddling, you are a pure bred walker (barring physical defects or disabilities). With this in mind, it’s staggering (no pun intended) how so few adults have mastered the art of walking.

New york City is nothing if not a walking city. People don’t drive unless they have to. Because of this, the streets are extremely busy. Even side streets are often a traffic jam of people. However, like most car based traffic jams, there is always a reason for the back up. In the case of people walking around the streets, it’s not a jack knifed trailer or a 4 car pile up. No, it’s some dumb motherfucker who never learned to walk right.

I’m not the most patient person in the world. When I walk around, I plow forward. I don’t look at my immediate surroundings as much as I do the distance , as a means to plan my rout better. I’ll often walk right by people I know on the street without seeing them cause I’m simply not in that mode of thinking. This has led to occasional run in’s with a pile of well placed dog shit but, for the most part, it’s served me well as someone trying to get from point A to point B. But isn’t that the purpose behind walking anywhere? Getting from point A to Point B. Even in a casual stroll through the park, there is always a final destination.

Over the last 15-20 years I’ve noticed the ability to walk correctly amongst the typical NYC civilian has been in a state of regression. Add on the popularity of cell phones and it’s pretty infuriating just trying to get to the corner store without dodging some dickhead lazily texting while he sway-walks down the middle of the street. So, I’d like this to be a rule book for those of you out there…A HOW TO guide for people who have yet to master their stroll. Let’s look a little deeper.

The rules for walking in any city where people walk

1)If you’re texting, stop walking. Slide your ass over to the nearest wall of the nearest building, lean on it, and finish your typing. DO NOT saunter with your head down while you type. Of all the walking offenses, this is the most common. God forbid you get stuck behind a group of teenaged girls who are all tweeting/facebooking/instragramming/texting. You might as well just be walking behind an elephant.

2)If you are with a friend/friends/significant other , do not interlock hands or arms on a busy street. I take great joy in red rovering you motherfuckers cause you’re basically forming a roadblock for all people you pass by. The funniest shit is watching couples hold hands and act as , if they lose grip on the other , they will be sucked away by the undertow. I’m not a fan of hand holding in general but, if you gotta do it, do it when the streets are lightly occupied. Trust me, your partner does not love you less just cause you’re hands aren’t touching.

3)If you run into a friend on the street and start a conversation, do like the texting guy and push it to the side. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve had to walk around a crowd of people having a jovial convo on a heavily packed street like it with their backyard, I’d have enough money to buy a blow torch to fix the problem.

4)Respect the corner. NEVER stop and chat on the corner. It’s bad enough to do it in the middle of the street but the corner is crucial to all walking traffic. I see this the most with tourist groups who don’t have a clue where they’re going. Listen, I get it…new cities are big and confusing. I’ve certainly been to many places where I had no fucking clue where I was going. But there is a reason why benches and stoops exist. One of those reasons is for a group of lost people to get their bearings. If you’re in a group of people standing on the corner for more than 5 seconds, blocking off 4 directions of people, you deserve to be barreled through with minimal regard.

5)Don’t be Mr. indestructible street crosser. This is the guy who has no regard for the well planned traffic light system. More often than not, it’s accompanied by a smug layer of self importance and they ALWAYS walk as slow as humanly possible. As if they’re challenging the cars. It’s guys (it’s almost always guys) who , even though the light had changed, walk across the street with no care for the on coming cars. The cars slow down (cause hitting him would be an issue) and honk but, no matter how in the wrong he is, he just maintains his slow stroll across the street, holding up traffic for no other reason that being a total asshole. By all means, he deserves to be run over by all those cars…but he never will be. This may be the only case in which I, personally, side with cars over people. It’s just one of those selfish acts that is as much a product of disrespect for a system created to keep order as it is a sure shot sign of being raised poorly.

6) if you’re gonna talk on your phone while walking, treat the street like a highway. Get out of the passing lane. I don’t know why people seem to become whimsical drifters when they are forced to both walk and talk at the same time, but it happens to all of us. So, you know, just stick to one side of the street so others can pass you without having to do that thing where they’re shadowing you cause you’re cell phone strut is so unpredictable.

7) Watch where the fuck you’re going. It’s so simple yet so difficult. Think of how many altercations are started by people bumping into other people. Maybe I’m just a pussy, but I’m hyper aware of this. I duck and contort to avoid any sort of direct contact with other people on the street. The craziest part is , in general, the biggest culprit of this are tiny women. Little head full of steam ass bitches who think they can just plow through anyone if they don’t get out of her way. This ultimately ends how you think it might with the tiny girl barreling into a grown man and losing the battle to a person who didn’t even know he was a part of it in the first place. Hell, even just grazing these types tends to knock them off balance and it’s 100% their fault.

Pretty ranty, huh? Well, whatever the case, i feel much better. Feel free to add on if I forgot anything. I’m sure i did, as there is no end to lengths people will go to be shitty walkers.

Also, if this all sounds familiar I may or may not have written something like this in the past. I honestly don’t remember. Regardless, my apologies if that’s the case. If anything, it’s just solid proof of how truly annoying people , who don’t know how to walk , are.