Some years ago, before my daughter became an honorary resident of the Lower East Side, she was actually a little scared of that area. I wasn't aware of that until we were taking the subway to Houston St. to meet up with my wife and her brother's family at a restaurant.
"Do you know where we're going?" she asked with great concern, as we walked up the subway station stairs and out to the street.
"Of course, don't worry," I replied confidentially, "there's nothing to be afraid of here."
As soon as I finished that sentence, one of the locals walked by muttering, "I'm gonna kill somebody. I'm gonna kill somebody!" Pay no attention to the homeless fellow, my child.
Recently, I decided to start paying attention to the random comments made by New Yorkers. None of them have been as good as that from the gentleman on Houston St., but all of them stuck in my mind.
E. 86TH ST. One 8 year-old boy to another: "Would you rather be killed by lava or drown by water?"
YORK AVE. 4 year-old boy singing: "Boys are greater than girls, boys are greater than girls...", before asking his parents, "Are boys greater than girls?"
EAST 91ST. 8 year-old boy to father: "Hey dad, you know that new field? I really hate it!"
YORK AVE. One guy in his 60s to another: "...that's the schmuck who fucked up the pre-industries!" (Note: I have no idea what a pre-industry is.)
YORK AVE. One 70ish guy to another: "I almost dropped dead yesterday!"
E. 69TH ST. 70ish woman training her dog: "Goddammit, walk!"
E. 73RD ST. Mother to her 10 year-old son: "Don't think the police are going to let you slide just because you're a kid."
E. 84TH ST. Middle aged man on cellphone: "Steve, when doctors start giving you that doctor shit, you can't do it."
1ST AVE. Elderly woman with a walker, to woman going the other way: "Evelyn! Evelyn, is that you? Evelyn?... (to herself) I guess it's not Evelyn."
ST. 30ish woman outside a daycare center, speaking on cellphone: "I'm going to
court on Tuesday and this shit is just crazy and I'm ready to kill
Yes! Another random death threat. Thank you, New York!