Friday, January 15, 2010

12960 New York Minutes

So for the last year or so we med students have been pondering our futures. Where next? Stick with OSU? Go East, go West, go back home, become a hobo. So many options. I’d imagine a hobo with an M.D. would be some kind of hobo royalty.

I’d planned on going to NYC for med school, but OSU was just so darned cuddly. So when decisions about residency came up, I again defaulted to New York. When I indicated such to some friends I was greatly shocked to discover their analysis. “Chris, you’re not a New York person.”

I repeat.

I’m already, technically, a New York person. The Chester is in fact part of the state of New York.
In what way am I not a New York person? How did they come to this conclusion?

Turns out they had no specific reasons why I wasn’t a New York person. One went so far as suggesting that I’m a Chicago person. I spit on her. In my mind. Imagining that she herself was Chicago personified.

But this certainly got me thinking. As I spent a week in NYC I tasked myself with some careful observation. Am I a New York person?

I watched the people walking down the street.
Was I a member of the Peacoat Mafia?
Yes. Check
Did I have my earbuds firmly in place.
Yes. Check
Did I largely ignore other people, with a permanent semi-scowl?
Yes. Check
So far so good. As far as I could tell, I blended in with the people on the street. For the most part. I didn’t have a hat or scarf, and I seemed to get some stinkeyes because of it. What? I’m a Viking. I don’t need your hats or scarves New York. I also had a copy of Not For Tourists hidden in my pocket. But I attempted to keep it hidden at all times. Only reading it hidden in phone booths and skulking in the shadows.

So I think I look like a native. Do I act like one? I was a bit hesitant to jay walk within eyesight of policemen, but eventually I got it down. My homeless dodging and street performer ignoring was up to snuff. I didn’t try waiving down a taxi, but I got pretty good at Subway hopping. I’ll discuss my culinary adventures in another post, but I feel that I excelled in that arena. Due to early morning meetings and a general lack of knowledge of late-night festivities, I didn’t really exemplify the City That Never Sleeps ethic, but realistically I’m not going to in residency either.

Did I feel like a New Yorker? Admittedly, I was initially annoyed by my decreased control over transportation. I like hopping in my car and getting from A to B with little muss or fuss. There can indeed be muss and fuss in New York. But, I feel like I got much less annoyed by the end of the trip. The lines and crowds every which where were also offputting at first, but I acclimated pretty quickly. It took more planning and insider info to get things done, but it could be done.

I’ll go over more details of the trip in future installments. I think it would be difficult to prove in any reproducible fashion that I AM a New York person. But at least I proved to myself that I was not NOT a New York person.


Anonymous said...

The Chester? I don't think so.

Amy-Alisa said...

I like it better than Rocha-cha (sorry Lindsay). I'm surprised that you seem to WANT to be a NYC person. I definitely do not qualify, nor seek to. But nobody likes to be told that they are not a certain thing.