Thanks to a particularly harsh flu season this year and a new window seat I purchased for my NYC apartment, I've been spending a lot of time snuggled up by the window with a hot cup of tea. As a way of paying homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock and in true Rear Window fashion, minus the intrusive camera lens peering into homes, I've had the opportunity to observe a great deal.
Again, I don't look into people's homes (sorry to disappoint Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly). I've watched people walk their dogs and go for their morning jogs in insanely freezing cold weather (get a treadmill people!). One thing about New York is that it is never boring. Even the most mundane tasks have flair. My neighbors take their dogs for "walks" but bundle them up in elaborate outfits unlike any I've ever seen. One neighbor had a pug in a fur coat. Now, I love dogs but don't they have fur? Do they really need a fur coat? Pink fur with a hoodie no less! Also, I use the term "walks" very loosely because even the most rotund dogs are usually carried. The owners will undoubtedly end up with a hernia, but Fido's chubby little paws will never know what it means to touch concrete.
In my part of the city, the other thing you will find during the day is young moms with their kids. That can be very endearing. The new mom clubs seem to gather at the local Starbucks nearby, so they bundle up their little angels and head down the street. Mostly you will see nannies with kids in my area -- which is not as heart warming, I've noticed. They are usually on the phone and ignoring the child as the kid raises holy Hell. This has disturbed me to the point that I have called my friends that have kids and told them to review the background checks on their babysitters.
In the winter time, the streets are primarily filled with delivery guys on bikes. Dangerous little fellows on those bikes at times -- but more reliable than most postal workers. Rain, sleet or snow, these people are out there on their bikes pedaling their little hearts out to bring people their food (so tip them well because they deserve it). As hard as I have worked in my life, I've never worked like they do and, now that I see them regularly, I have a new-found appreciation for them. They look frost-bitten by the time they get to the door and they never complain. So, if your food is five minutes late, suck it up! At least you didn't have to go out in a snow storm to get it.
I don't know about you, but this flu has kept me up many a night. Now, in the city that never sleeps, that is when the fun is just beginning. I have seen the cute guy across the street bring a different girl home every night -- I won't be flirting with him anymore. I have seen my very demure and innocent looking neighbor do a drunken walk of shame. I saw a couple of college kids smoke pot on their fire escape. I've watched an old lady blow cigarette smoke out her window to hide it from her husband.
While I don't think that is what Hitchcock had in mind, I have gotten quite an education about my neighbors over the last few weeks. Thankfully, I am feeling better and it is time to get out of the apartment! This is more information than I wanted to have about my neighbors, but it was a semi-interesting way to pass the time while I was stuck in the house. Sorry Mr. Hitchcock, but the first thing I'm going to do is close the blinds!
Follow SidneyAnne Stone on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SidneyAnneStone