Monday, May 9, 2011

Please, guys, just use a cup.

There are several great things about living in Chinatown. It's walking distance to the Lower East Side, TriBeCa, and Soho. All the subway stations are close by, N R Q, 4 5 6, 1 2 3, C E, the J....nearly anything I want to get on to go anywhere is here. And the apartment is as cheap as you can get in Manhattan, otherwise known as the burrough that will bleed you dry for rent and then ask you if you could maybe try the other vein.

Some things aren't so great about living here, though.

On my way to work, or on my way home from work, or walking out the door to go to a street fair or go to a movie (ha! at $15 a ticket, who am I kidding, I never go to the movies. That's what Netflix is for), or to go to a bar (far more likely...) I inevitably encounter this scenario:

A Chinese man walking in front of me. This sounds like an OK situation, right? Let me elaborate. 

These men invariably walk with both hands behind their backs, like they tell you to do in choir practice. Also, fine by me. Even a little endearing. Additionally, they typically roll their own cigarettes. Economical, right? I can appreciate that.  They stick these hand-rolled cigarettes into their mouths and smoke them, while walking with their hands behind their backs.  This, I find impressive. I can barely walk and talk on my cell phone at the same time. To walk and smoke hands-free? That's nothing short of Olympian. But, there's more. 

They walk, hand-rolled cigarettes between their lips, not ashing, for blocks. The stench is pretty powerful. Which annoys me, but only slightly, because although the smell is awful I understand (and appreciate) that we live in America, where it isn't illegal to smoke in the great outdoors, and if you don't want to hold your cigarette and would rather walk with a stick of ash 2-inches long dangling precariously from your mouth, that's your prerogative.

No, no. That's not what gets me. What annoys me beyond all reason and to a point of near insanity is that, probably because these men have been smoking hand-rolled cigarettes for decades upon decades now (God bless them), they often feel the need to spit. And not just little, lady-like pit-uey's either. BIG HAWKING LOOGIES. Loudly. And longly. It can sometimes take half a minute to get all that phlegm deposited onto the sidewalk where it belongs.

My issue is that I often happen to be walking on said sidewalk, and, crazy me, I sometimes prefer my walking space loogie free. 

In all fairness, this blog post is just a response to me completely, utterly snapping over this issue after having lived in Chinatown nearly a year and, tonight while sitting on my roof, my sacred, quiet (aside from the occasional siren and airplane overhead) place, my only outdoor escape in the city, hearing a man SPIT on the ground 6 stories below me. In the middle of my rooftop quiet time. How rude!

So really, I'm being unreasonable here. In all likelihood tomorrow I will realize this and will apologize for my outburst, but for now I will speak out with the fury that only comes from those who have had ENOUGH.

I don't ask for much. But I do ask for a community that's spit free. It's just disconcerting to have to gauge how quickly I should walk against what trajectory I think someone's spit-path will be... Guys, remember all of those out-of-date laws we used to laugh at for different states banning public spitting. Now I see they are quite practical. Spit in the privacy of your own homes, people. Like decent folk.


In other news, went to the Hester Street Fair last weekend with my new roommate and had an awesome time. There were lots of cool restaurant vendors and artists, including this one girl who made the most ridculously amazing terrariums. One of them incorporated a sea urchin. I want to buy one on a day I have money.

That's all for now.... trying to keep posting weekly but it is more difficult than it sounds. 

Word to the wise: Avoid puddles on the sidewalks at all costs. Could very well be a loogie.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed!!! Spitting on the sidewalk is one of my biggest pet peeves, only barely beating out spitting in public gym showers (which, I must add, is only done by the hoards of elderly Asian women who share the public gym showers at my pool). Spitting publicly is acceptable only in the grass and only if one has been undergoing strenuous exercise for over fifteen minutes. No exceptions.