Friday, June 25, 2010

A Day in the Life of New York City

Thursday morning I saw some action, and learned that sometimes running is a really really bad idea. If you allow me a reprieve to speak of something not related to my vegan quest:

On my way to Green Symphony for some oatmeal I saw a man in T-Shirt and shorts sprint down 43rd Street. A van blocked my view so I could not see where he was running to; I paid it no mind. Then I saw a cop running after him. And then another. I hopped out into the middle of the street to see if these less than lightening fast officers needed the assistance of a 42 year old with two bad knees. Oh, no need at all! About 20 yards away I saw a cop tackle a man I had not seen earlier, and then the man in a T-Shirt and shorts (I quickly saw was an undercover cop) joined in the open field tackle of the "perp"  (perpetrator) as well. The under-cover speedster then introduced his knuckles to the tackled man's head over and over and over again as the perp struggled to break free of the ever growing collection of NYPD officers joining the fracas. Now this was not a movie, it was better than movie! I was now standing 5 feet from the life and death gymnastics of police work as more and more of New York's finest dove into the scrum while the perp struggled about. Even when it is 7 on 1 it is very hard to place handcuffs on the 1 if he is determined for it not to happen - it was quite a long struggle. I heard the first cop I saw running say to a Lieutenant, "I asked him to come over and speak with me and he just took off running!" I then looked at the man on the ground, who surprisingly looked in his early 50's, with a canvas briefcase next to him screaming, "I can't breath!" Hmmm, I thought. He is putting up a helluva fight for having no oxygen. You can breath. It is rather simple actually. When you are in the middle  of one of the top targets of international terrorism just 8 weeks (and 2 blocks away) after a terrorist tried to blow up as many people as possible and a police officer asked to speak with you it is probably in your best interest not to take off running down the street carrying a bag - if you don't run you'll end up breathing quite well. But what I loved is this all took place right in front of the large stage doors where the Local 1 union guys are building the sets for the upcoming Broadway production of Spiderman. True to New York City form, all the hard hats came running out to assist the cops if necessary. One hard hat came running out with a drill in his hand! I really really love this city! Just when you think this brotherhood and unity was dissipating, something like this re-energizes you and you happily remember we are all in this together.

If I appear less than sympathetic, and callous towards the man on the ground, I apologize. But when I pass men in riot gear and machine guns most mornings as I walk to work in a building at the heart of a giant bulls-eye, I sort of loose sympathy for those whose actions exacerbate an already tense life and death situation. Now, maybe he just missed a few parking tickets, but if you want to run and fight do it at the gym, not with the NYPD.


Vegan Epicurean said...

You definitely had some excitement that morning on the way to work. Your story highlights a huge difference between men and women. I would have made no attempt to see if I could "help". That thought would have never crossed my mind. LOL

Living near DC I can relate to your lack of empathy for those that don't listen to the police. The events of 9/11 are still very fresh in my mind as well.

enjoy your weekend,

Anonymous said...

great post, T.

erin m.