Where do all these people go?

Where do all these people go? I understand the tourists and the people going and coming from meetings like I do, but where are the rest of them going? I watch them enter and exit stores and buildings and on sunny days just sitting on park benches reading or chatting. Why can’t I do that?

I know that observing them while I dash to and fro is not really going to give me that answer. I do feel, though, that there is a whole other world out there of people who get to enjoy being “outside” as opposed to cooped in an office or stuck in board rooms all day. Then again the grass is always greener, right?

When I see people who (seemingly) are not engaged in business dealings I think back to my Senior Cut Day in high school. We were a pretty smart class because we took some teachers and the college counselor with us to avoid repercussions. It was a Yankee-Red Sox home opener and I couldn’t give a crap since I’m a Mets fan. The entertainment, as always at baseball games, came from the fan interaction and the stands. The insults, the taunts and the drunken rants. All of which reinforce my feelings for the Mets, despite the heartache. But I digress.

The day we wandered around New York aimlessly before that weekday game was one of the few times that I got to see the city in a different light. Maybe I had always imagined that the streets were fairly empty and people were at work and kids, like me, were in school. Instead there were streams of people going this way and that way, many just strolling without any purpose (if we define purpose as moving from point A to point B and forgetting what exists in between).

I recently had a meeting outside the office and had some time to kill since I got there early. I actually left my cell phone in my pocket and just took a few minutes to look around the street. A teenage girl with shopping bags was headed somewhere with a look of smug satisfaction on her face. Maybe it was Senior Cut Day. In November? Then there was a middle-aged couple walking with their dog. A few groups of nannies congregating with their charges. A family with balloons. And the list goes on and on. What I noticed about them all was how much they were all smiling. I cannot guess the reasons they were out walking the streets during the day. Nor can I know if they were truly happy and carefree as per the image I was projecting on them, but whatever allowed them that “luxury” I was mighty jealous.

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8 thoughts on “Where do all these people go?

  1. Barbara L says:

    Ha, I used to wonder the same thing on those rare days when I was off work during the week or maybe had a dentist appointment. Now I am laid off and totally understand there are lots and lots of people who are laid off, who are retired, who work nights, who have someone who makes enough money in their home that they don't have to work or are homeless and trying to find a hot spot for their laptop. It is definitely an odd mix of people who walk around on weekdays!

  2. HumbledDad says:

    I used to wonder the same thing during sunrise surf sessions. I knew how I was coping, and I knew I was taking something of a risk — I'd be in the office by 10, and if anyone phoned or was looking for me, my secretary knew to tell them I was in a breakfast meeting… So, as 8:30-9:00 would come and go, I'd be wondering 'what the hell are these other grown-ups out here doing? Don't they have jobs? They can't all be playing hooky.'

  3. Chopper Papa says:

    New Reader here, and I still think that most every day. While not a New Yorker, residing in Atlanta does provide ample opportunity to ask "where are all of you people going, as you surely can't all live in my part of town?!?!"

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