18 September 2012

New Yorkers don't like straight lines

I don't know what it is about New Yorkers and the way they walk down a street.

I have never seen so many people that cannot walk in a straight line.

My mind has tried to come up with logical reasons for this occurrence.  Here are a few of my guesses:
  • New Yorkers are so used to walking through big crowds in certain areas of the city that even when they are walking on a sidewalk with only three other people occupying the super-wide sidewalk with them, they wander in a zigzag motion out of habit.
  • The city is has so few nearby parks and outside play areas that people don't learn coordination at a young age. 
  • Along the previous note, I cannot for the life of me understand how so many people in a city lack the ability to turn their head to look at something and not have their body move in the same direction.  I knew a girl in college who did this when she drove, and it was frightening.  When walkers do it, it is not as much frightening as it is annoying as hell.  
  • Another guess is that the advertisers in New York are so good that they really do create magnets that draws people to whatever they see.
  • Some of the people I have seen will suddenly start walking from one side of the sidewalk all the way toward the store side, as though they are about to enter a store.  It is always to my chagrin that the person is not going into any store on either the current block or even the next five blocks.  There is, again, some sort of magnet drawing the person toward a store.  I guess the magnet is not strong enough to make them go inside.  Instead the person continues to walk close to the storefronts for  at least a block and them, of course, migrates back to the other side of the sidewalk and back again since it is impossible to continue to walk in a straight line.
  • My final guess is that the people who walk in s-formations on the street actually really do have eyes on the back of their head.  When they see me coming behind them, they immediately start to walk in whatever direction I am moving to try and get around them.  When I finally do succeed, they proceed to laugh behind my back.
Kid Sis #1's dog is so 
incredibly cute and friendly!
I was in a Rite Aid the other day picking up some dog treats for Kid Sis #1's super-cute, new, Chihuahua dog she adopted.  While in the store, I saw a phenomenon that I have never witnessed before.

When I finished gathering the dog treats and a Snickers bar so I would not act like Betty White during the bout of hunger I was suffering, I went to get in line to check out.

I have never been in a store and had absolutely no clue what was going on with the checkout line.  I started to get in line behind a man who looked to be in the line.  Then I glanced to my left and saw three people who looked like they might also be in line and was totally confused.

Why was I confused?

WTF is up with the long break in the line?
Because the three people who looked to be in line were super far from the man who looked to be in the actual line.

I had to take a picture of this ish!

Help me understand what the reasoning was for this man to be standing so far back from the start of the line.

It's not like the man in blue was at an ATM and required some privacy so no one stole his pin number.  I have never even seen people at money machines give people this much room!

I asked the man in red twice if he was in line - I hoped that the second time I asked he would realize that he was too far back to make any sense, but he just stayed where he was until the man was finished.

When the man in red went to the counter to check out, the two women in front of me only moved forward to where the man in red had been standing.

Fortunately, a new checker came to the front about where you see the 75% off sign and I went into that line and no longer had to deal with the madness.


  1. There are a few stores here where people line up like that. I understand a pharmacy line like that for privacy reasons, but oddly enough - the other 2 stores I can think of are the bookstore and the crafts supply store.

    1. I could see it in a pharmacy... but we weren't in the pharmacy section. the first guy looked to be buying junk food and a card, and the guy in red was buying a 12/24 pack of beer.

      I'm going to be on the lookout for more lines like this.

  2. I would be totally lost in NYC - - You are adventurous and brave!!!

    1. Thanks!! I'm sure you could adjust to the enormity.

  3. Oh dear, there's nothing worse than bad queuing etiquette!

    1. Seriously annoying. I understand some space (and would appreciate if people gave me more of it when I'm at an ATM), but this was strange to me.

  4. This is funny! Perhaps it is more funny for me to imagine you fuming as you navigate through all of these nuances. And, for the record, the new puppy is adorable :)

    1. When I walk through the streets, I try and put a semi-smile on my face otherwise I'm sure the stank face would come through when all the people criss-cross my path. Hopefully, I don't look too crazy!

      That dog is the cutest!! And super friendly, and just adorable! Hope yours are well!

  5. Sorry that queing is just weird! I guess that is big cities for you ;-)

  6. That queuing is just weird
    Regarding walking in a straight line....same here. I guess we are always looking for a small space to maneuver and walk faster

    1. I am the queen of finding small spaces to help move through tight crowds, but these people are walking on sidewalks with, sometimes, only 2 other people walking.

      I just don't get it. Perhaps they are practicing for when it does get crowded and they must maneuver through small spaces.


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