People Of NYC

John Buday, Visual Editor

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Given the chance, I would definitely take another trip out to New York in the future. My most recent trip to the Big Apple was by far the best compared to the other times I have gone, but would I consider living there? Honestly, I’m unsure at the moment. The bright lights, various attractions and sights, and surplus of opportunities are all tempting, but there are also some unappealing aspects. Let’s just say you meet a lot of … interesting characters on the streets of New York.

 
I’ve decided to make a short list of the characters who stood out to me the most on my recent trip, no names or pictures included, of course.

 
5.) The No. 5 slot goes to the person who pulled aside my friends and me while we were walking and tried to give us his hip-hop mixtape. He quickly introduced himself by his stage name, but not a second later he was firing off rhymes and rhythms faster than a caffeinated Usain Bolt with a tank of nitrous strapped to his back. While most of my friends looked annoyed, I thought he sounded pretty good. Then again, I know absolutely nothing about rap or hip-hop, so take that with a grain of salt unless he somehow becomes the next Jay Z or Eminem. Overall, he came off as a nice guy, even though he was asking for donations. Still, it was kind of weird. I didn’t exactly wake up that morning with a craving to hear music that’s not my style from a person I don’t know.

 
4.) Next on the list is a salesman who almost got me separated from the group I was traveling with. We were on our way to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner when I was stopped dead in my tracks by a man wearing a suit. He was holding these red, beaded bracelets and also what I assumed was some kind of card or coupon; it was gold in color and oval shaped. The next thing I knew, I had a gold card in my hand and a bracelet on my wrist, and I hadn’t put either of those things there by myself. Meanwhile, the man was talking to me in a very rapid-fire voice, and while I didn’t exactly pick up on everything he said, it wasn’t that hard to figure out what he wanted. Half of the words he said consisted of, “Donation? Donation? Donation?” At this point, I knew I just needed to end the conversation and move on. However, as I tried to leave, he practically flipped out at me, taking the bracelet off my wrist himself and snatching the card from my hand before I could walk away. Yeah, it kind of got on my nerves. I’ve seen homeless people on the streets of Boston show far more composure than him when asking for money, and they probably can’t afford a suit like he can.

 
3.) Anyone else who has ever visited New York has seen them: literal armies of people dressed in superhero, Disney, and video game costumes. Now for little kids, that may look like a fun time, but for me, it was kinda creepy. They were everywhere: legions of fur suits staring at me as I passed by. That’s not even the half of it. I got a good look at some of those people on their breaks, and some of them were middle-aged men. Yeah, I know I’m being paranoid, but honestly that seems like a hot, steamy recipe for awkward. Speaking of which, the last time my parents were in New York, they arguably fared worse than I did. The costumed people my parents were posing with for pictures were very unrelenting about getting money in return. Granted, I know they have to get paid somehow, as this is what they do for a living, but they didn’t have to be sleazy about it and ask my parents for money only after the pictures were already taken. Word to the wise if you ever visit New York: Unless you have a kid or little sibling who is seriously about to drop dead if they don’t get a picture with Mickey Mouse, just keep walking.

 
2.) This next encounter was a bit short-lived, but pretty funny considering how out of the blue it was. Our group was standing in line waiting to go on a tour of the Lincoln Center, and in the middle of our conversation, I noticed a man wearing a green hoodie with dreadlocks making his way toward us. He did not even introduce himself. He only said something along the lines of this: “Man, if I saw two naked old men getting it on, I wouldn’t know what to think.” He immediately walked away. Everyone in our group was looking at him at that point, and we were all bowling over with laughter. Just the sheer randomness of that comment was hilarious to us because it wasn’t even close to what we were talking about. While I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with homosexuality, the comment was still hilarious because it was completely out of context. It would kind of be like if I were out buying a new washing machine and the store manager approached and asked me how I like my burgers cooked. If you’re interested, though, the answer is medium, and I usually prefer bison if it’s available.

 
1.) And finally, the grand prize, the No. 1 spot, the Olympic gold medal for the most interesting people of New York goes to a group of religious protesters. It truly was a … sight to behold. I was exploring the streets when I saw their group–apparently of Christian faith–holding up signs with some rather interesting messages on them. Many of the signs said something along the lines of, “The power of Christ compels you” or “Would you rather go to Heaven or to Hell?”, among other things. And like the stereotypical protesters everyone sees on TV, they were yelling at the top of their lungs about their faith. They seem pretty ticked off about something, but I suppose that’s to be expected with controversial topics like religion. It can either inspire hope, or it can fester disagreements between parties of opposing faith. Or, in cases like these, it can also get weird. You see, I also came across those same protesters later that day, and they were handing out, of all things, Spanish Bibles. Considering how much I hear about stuff like this on the news, in retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by what I saw. But it still threw me for a loop.

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