The New York veneer

If you live in New York (and possibly other big cities) you may have noticed how people de-animate when they are in public. They walk with purpose, look straight ahead, and ignore everything and everyone around them. I think we all do it to varying degrees in this city. I suppose you have to. Essentially, we delete 99.99999% of humanity from our world view. How would you ever get where you’re going otherwise? Conversely, and this is the bit non-New Yorkers maybe wouldn’t get, when we see someone we know, arms are outflung, voices raised and eyes widen as we smile and hug and remark how truly amazing it is to see someone on a sidewalk on a Tuesday at 4:15 in the afternoon. We say how great it is to see each other, and it is, because up to that point we really hadn’t perceived a single soul.

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