Thursday, 16th September, 2010
I’m at 6th Ave., at 36th Street, or thereabouts, midtown for the first time: gritty, brown monumental 1920s skyscrapers march in line uptown, the Empire State so massively “there” that there’s nothing more to say: it’s massive, ten blocks or more away, feels like I’m almost right under it, and it terrifies me. So, this is midtown: a different city to Greenwich Village’s easeful cruising around in 2nd-and-a-half gear. Here, it’s definitely cranking into 4th on the gear stick, and it isn’t even rush hour yet. Wait a milli-second too long to cross when it’s walk time, and someone behind you is already pushing impatiently at you with their passive-aggressive energy bubble. Among the amped-up, purposeful sea of humanity, I spot another multi-tasker, who comes out of the crowd to claim his olive branch of multi-tasking glory: a slim man with slicked-back hair and an Italian complexion, like the main character in Mad Men (what’s his name?), in a dark mustard suit, crazily running down the cycle lane, a lap top rucksack snug as a bomb, or a jet-pack, on his back, holding out his arm for a taxi. When no taxis stop, he runs on, and as he runs he’s texting on his Blackberry. Respect, homes. Taking it to another level.