By Chana Weinberg
This is by no means a set of rules📃- just suggestions based on observations that I had while I was in a walking boot. I was discussing my discoveries with my friend, and it was recommended that I share my thoughts with Perspective so others too could have a more efficient walking experience. I would call these 14 things to be aware of on your walk from Brookdale to 245. 👀🚶♀️🤸
- To start, when you walk out of the building with your phone in your hand, glance up for a moment and wish security a nice day. Who doesn’t love well wishes?👋🙂
- When you walk out of the building and see that the light on Park Avenue is still red🚦, hope with all your heart 💓 that it stays red until you get to the corner, when it will instantly turn green and you can continue without stopping. 👍
- If the light turns green🚦 when you are still 50 feet away from the corner, your stomach may drop like you are in a Brookdale elevator. 🤢This feeling is likely caused by a subconscious fear of being stuck on the Pesky Park Avenue Island🏝️, which will only happen if you start crossing Park too late into the red blinky numbers.
- The Pesky Park Avenue Island is not as bad as one of Dante’s circles of hell. 👹 After all, there are nice Christmas decorations to light things up a bit, but it is certainly not the most pleasant Island to be stuck on, especially during lunch time in Manhattan where it can get packed with hangry lunch-goers and office drama. 🎄Still, I recommend making friends with your fellow victims. You will be on that Island for a while. 🆘🙄🏳️
- Keep in mind that zero on the red flashing does not have to mean stop, especially if stopping gets you stuck are on the Pesky Park Avenue Island. That giant red zero 🔴 really means you have two seconds to run, and hey – the cars don’t really want to run you over anyway! 🏃♀️🚖
- Then one must consider if when you get to the Park Avenue corner and the light is red. 🚦If it is red then the light to cross 34th street is green; cross there at your own risk, I have reasons to believe that the North side of 34th Street should be avoided.
- A friend who also has walking boot strongly believes that the North side of 34th Street between Park and Lex is steeper than the south side. You can feel it while walking down as well as upt. I suggest you avoid it.👍
- Additionally, if you cross 34th Street at Park Avenue, you will miss the Fruit Stand Dude! Who could pass up the opportunity to get some delicious fruit?🍊🍓🍒
- Staying on the South side until Lexington Avenue is recommended also because on the North side, you will have to pass the Christmas trees. These “religious bushes” take up almost the entire sidewalk, forcing you to choose between getting scratched by tree branches or walk really close to that guy wearing AirPods and a sweater vest.
- After overcoming the Pesky Island and other obstacles you will make your way east towards Lexington Avenue. The Lex and 34th intersection is complex. I feel there are four stages:
- NW Corner: so close, yet so far because you hit a red light. To pass time, count the windows of 245 to find your classroom.
- NW Corner: Green means go, go, go! The light is green or a reasonable red blinky number and all you must do is speedwalk across.
- SW Corner: If only I could walk diagonally. When you are stuck at a red light, thinking if I could walk diagonally, I would be on time to class.
- SW Corner: Cross with an internal (or external) fist pump. You arrived right on time! The light is just starting the 14 red blinking seconds which means you get to the other side just as the next light turns green. Score! 🏁
- A friend revealed to me and I confirmed in my research that you should NEVER cross 34th Street at the East side of Park Avenue. 🙅If you got across Park on the South side of 34th, I know that the light is green to cross 34th and it is very tempting but walk down the block in all likelihood you will be at cross with an internal (or external) fist pump.
- You have finally reached the North-East corner of the Lexington and 34th Street intersection. Now I can’t help but ask: what’s with that Mount Everest incline leading up to the building? 😰
- Revolving door or push door? This choice, especially for someone in a walking boot is critical.☝️ I always go push door, especially with the boot. Have you ever tried to lug a clunky foot through a revolving door? 🤔
- As you finally make it through the door of your choice to start your day, remember to say good morning to the security guard as you pass, because who doesn’t love well wishes?👋🙂
If you take all of this into account then you may get to school in five minutes,+/- 5 minutes. ⌚The error bar is there to account for all factors I did not address, such as, time of day, weather, shoe type, test day nerves, high concentration of Citi Bike riders, and numerous other outside forces that we may, or may not, have control over. I can’t make you walk any certain way, but please heed advice from a great American poet and author, Dr. Seuss: “So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact, and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing act” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go).