Friday, February 8, 2008

Observant? Not so much

Yesterday morning, I was awaken at 6:30 AM by what I thought was construction. "Please, no..." I moaned sleepily. "Aren't there laws against this shit?"

After a minute or two to wake up, I realized the noise was more a whirring than a clank clank boom construction noise. I went out into my backyard, looked up and confirmed - one of the network news helicopters was hovering over my block. The sound was echoing off the skyscrapers, funneling down to the brownstones and echoing back off the different levels of backyards.

I was so not interested in why the copter was there. I just wanted it GONE. It was so strange. Every once in awhile the noise would go silent, as if the helicopter had left but a few seconds later it would be back louder than before. Finally around 7:30 it left. I settled back in for a snooze just as my alarm went off. No more sleeping for me. Later, as I made my way to the 6 I noticed four fire engines and a bunch of ambulances down 3rd Ave. from me. I realized that was what the news channel copter was tracking.

In the evening I was catching up on local news on Gothamist when I read about a big fire on 3rd Ave. As I read the address I realized that my occasional lottery ticket stop, State News, had gone up in flames. Total bummer. But I also had an odd epiphany -- I'd been in the area earlier to go shopping and hadn't even noticed the leftover fire remnants.

To be fair I was across the street and it was dark, but still. When you become a New Yorker you learn to draw yourself into your own little cave when on the subway, walking around, or generally when you're outside. I think that's why you see so many people talking to themselves. They don't even realize they're doing it. Still, it also gives you a case of tunnel vision. I wonder what else I'm missing by not being observant.

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