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.