Thursday, May 20, 2010

New Yorkers | Tourists

New Yorkers woke up this morning with a surprise on lower 5th Avenue. Overnight, while the city that never sleeps rested, a street artist took a road marker and put a divider on the sidewalk.

I think it's genius. New Yorkers walk with a certain efficiency; most of us aren't out there to window shop or nibble hot dogs purchased from street vendors while gazing at the architecture, we're on our way "somewhere." Tourists, well, they're out there to question the symbolism of the Empire State Building's current lighting scheme and ponder the differences between Corinthian and Ionic columns. I'm fairly certain that locals would vote to ban tourists from the busiest (if not ALL) sidewalks if such an ordinance was feasible. Alas, it is not, and my comrades and I are stuck sharing these sidewalks with hundreds of tourists going nowhere slowly. This division is an ingenious solution to the sidewalk sharing situation. It would allow New Yorkers to take the express route to their destinations, while the tourists could amble along, pausing to munch, study and photograph their surroundings without disrupting the hustle and bustle of the city. Unfortunately the Department of Sanitation didn't agree because the line was removed by noon.

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