Living Off Balance. (Too Much Whine.)

I’ve been having a rough time lately. Mentally. Physically, things are wearing down a bit as well, but I can handle that sort of thing. I have been feeling a bit frustrated by the sheer lack of control I have over everything taking place around me. And it’s an exhausting state to be in while living in New York City.

I get upset over the fact that people don’t stop at stop signs. I get upset when the patrons of Maxim (quite possibly the worst gym in all of New York City, but that’s an article in the works that will go live at a later date) ignore the “Cell Phone Free” signs that hang directly in front of them as they gab on and on while using the elliptical or walking on the treadmill. Can’t these people go an hour without a phone? Some gym patrons don’t wash off the equipment when they’re finished with it and I don’t understand that either. I don’t understand why people litter under the BQE. I don’t understand why people have to smoke in parks and then toss their butts on the ground below. The color green is dying. And line cutters send me into a fit of rage. I have written about the rage before. I can’t stand when people run red lights or fly through intersections where the speed limit is 25. (In Greenpoint along Driggs Avenue, which cuts through two lovely parks, I have seen cars doing 55 in a 25-mile per hour zone all the time.) I don’t understand why everyone is in such a hurry all the time and why he or she has such little regard for all those around them. And clearly I need to stop driving.

I don’t understand why a developer has leveled the gas station behind our house and has decided to build another 13-story condominium in its place. A condominium where a 450 square foot apartment runs about 700 thousand dollars and its inhabitants get a view of the on ramp to the BQE.

Why would someone build something like that? And then who are their buyers? Either way, our view of lower Manhattan and my much cherished evening sunsets are quickly becoming things of the past.

And I can’t control that either. I’m totally useless here, a speck of dirt on this city.

Driving down Manhattan Avenue makes me curse like a tourettic trucker – people double-park, walk out into the middle of the street between two parked cars pushing their strollers out in front of them. Manhattan Avenue is quite possibly the second worst street in Brooklyn second only to Flatbush Avenue, which is how I imagine anarchy to look like. The violent, fast drivers are usually men and I want to sit them down and talk to them about it. I want to speak with their mothers, wives, and children as well. I want them to slow down or lose their right to drive.

I used to love New York City. But I love the idea of leaving it as well. It could be the fact that I’m 30 weeks pregnant and my hormones are raging. It could be the fact that I’m terrified of bringing a little boy into this not so even world. Truthfully, I am not sure what it is, but lately I’m having trouble coping. There have been moments that make up my day where I simply want to throw my arms up and ask the strangers around me, “What’s the matter with you?”

But really, a better question might be: “What’s the matter with me?”


  1. I absolutely LOVE this…

    “Driving down Manhattan Avenue makes me curse like a tourettic trucker”.

    Trust me, there are rude and inconsiderate people everywhere. As a smoker, I’ll try not to litter my butts anymore in my own city.


  2. StFarmer, I smoked forever – 15+ years. I, too, am VERY guilty of this. Perhaps it’s karma, but there are buts and empty beer bottles all over our park. Oh, and sometimes hot dog bun bags as well. I’m the pot calling the kettle back. I should pick them up for the next 15 years to make up for all my trash.


  3. Cell phone users drive me insane and I’m not pregnant. I have one for emergency use only. It is a pay as you go and I never use all my minutes before I have to top up again. It is my protest against the fact that cell phones allow us to be so rude.

    I watch women around here who can’t seem to ever be off the phone. I think it must be really sad to be so scared to be alone with your own thoughts. A lot of women walk in our neighborhood during the day (land of stay at home moms). I will see what I assume are friends walking together and they are BOTH on phones. Why bother?

    Don’t get me started on people who talk instead of even saying hello to the person checking them out at a store. You can’t wait until you get off the phone to go through the check out line? Ok, must get off soap box now.


  4. Oh, Mel, you just reminded me of another New York City staple that I have all but boycotted: cabs. I haven’t taken one since my birthday (January 29th) when the guy drove so fast and so carelessly I feared for my life. I was visibly upset, even said so. He did nothing to change it. We were in back the entire time talking about my being pregnant and still he didn’t ease up on the gas. Granted, it was probably because he was on the phone the whole time, which is something I see constantly here in NYC.

    Anyway, with the whole cab situation, I can choose to not use them, which is what I’ve done. But I have no choice but to walk around the neighborhood, stand in line, even use the car from time to time.

    Anyway, kudos to you for not using a cell phone. I really want to get rid of the one I have as well because I barely use it. But I need it for business for now. Perhaps when we finally do save enough to move out of here, I’ll invest in my first landline in over 7 years and throw away the cell phone. Who needs the damned thing? I mean, really?

    The folks who work out and gab drive me up the freaking wall. Next thing you know, people will use them during yoga class.


  5. The problem is a cell phone is a necessary evil. I wouldn’t take a car trip without one. I always have mine on when Simone is at MMO. I need to know that they can reach me if there is an emergency especially with her peanut allergy. I just don’t see why people have the need to talk on it 24/7.

    Also, I can’t imagine taking a NYC can pregnant. Talk about raising your blood pressure!


  6. Oops! Can=cab. I can’t type these days. How are you handling smells pregnant? I would think cab smells would be as hard to stomach as the driving. The only time I got morning sickness with Simone is when someone smelled on the metro during morning commute.


  7. Well, my sense of smell is already pretty acute. It’s a curse I was born with. I can’t hear worth a damn, but I can smell you from a mile away. I haven’t noticed too, too much of a change in that. I was a bit worried that pregnancy might make me into some kind of animal but it’s just as annoying as it usually is. And NYC and its smells? Not so nice. Not so nice at all.

    I can smell it when our neighbor’s poop. I can smell smoke from down the block. I can smell smoke from other cars when I’m as stop lights even with the windows up. I can smell pot and do smell it almost every night. I can smell the bakery about 10 blocks away from here sometimes. I can tell what Tobyjoe had for lunch more times than not. I can smell it when our first floor neighbors make coffee. (We’re on the 3rd floor.)

    OK, so maybe things are a bit heightened. I’ll know more when I’m all said and done.


  8. Hmmmm, isn’t it against the law to drive while talking on a handheld cell phone in NY?


  9. StFarmer: yes, but they use those headsets in the cabs and the folks in cars? Well, they seem to not give a damn or they implement those douchebag headsets that, I think, are props that make them drive even worse. I think they believe they are in Star Wars or CSI Miami.

    Not sure what I’m saying…


  10. I like the BlueTooth headsets(NOT)that make you look like an alien from Star Trek.


  11. I’m not pregnant (I hope), but I hear you clucking, big chicken. People are annoying, and more people equals more annoying people. I need to stop driving too, particularly on 9th Street in Park Slope—it’s like inverse Frogger.


  12. Lately I have been having a huge issue with my commute (and you would think the G train might be more mellow): Why do people insist on throwing elbows up the stairs as if their lives are more important? Why is it a race to the connecting train only to shove yourself in the car with a million other people? Why can’t we all relax since it’s rush hour and it’s pretty much certain that there will be another train coming in less than 5 minutes? It’s not my fault you might late, why take it out on me? And my personal favorite is the escalator: Right side walks up and left side stands — is that too hard to figure out? I too love NYC but it’s getting pretty old, and quick!


  13. oh jeez, it’s left side walks up, right side stands. always had trouble with my rights and lefts. guess my anger got in the way. :>


  14. I got ya, Meredith. Let’s declare today free verse day, no one will judge.

    I no longer find that I’m on the subway much these days and when I am people are pretty OK to me because I’m all knocked up and fat and shit. (Although, I have yet to have a man offer me his seat, only women have done this every time I ride the subway and not once have I accepted. Yet). Anyway, yeah, so I feel bad for you subway commuters. I can’t even deal with the folks of Greenpoint, hell, I can’t deal with the folks who live on our block, especially the drunk asschaps that sit on the stoop closest meeker avenue. They are always drunk and smoking and having food delivered THROUGH THEIR FIRST FLOOR WINDOOW! Seriously, the woman is that obese she can’t get outside to meet the delivery person and when she does come outside, it’s to fraternize with the drunk guys who have missing limbs and noses the size of my ass. and she uses a cane to get around.

    And the SUV driving asshole who can’t seem to park his car correctly and instead takes up two spots? What’s the matter with that guy?

    I could go on and on and on.

    I give us less than one year and we’re out of here.


  15. Honey, I am REGULARLY annoyed at how far people’s heads are wedged up their behinds in this city. And I’m not pregnant. Just cranky. :)

    But seriously, is it wrong to expect basic decency, common courtesy, common sense from people? There are little kids on our street. It amazes me how quickly and carelessly people drive on it. You wouldn’t believe the freaking garbage trucks racing down it at 6 a.m. at about 50 mph! And when traffic backs up at the stoplight during the evening commute, THE HORNS. Ohmygod. I am so going to go stand out front some evening and lob bricks at the jerks in the cars who lean on their horns because the person in front hasn’t made their turn onto Bushwick Ave. the VERY SECOND the light turns green.

    (And speaking of horns – dear hipsters: when you call a car for yourself or your friends at 4 a.m., please watch for said car so the driver doesn’t lean on his horn outside my bedroom window for 20 minutes. Thank you.)

    Yeah, you are definitely not alone in feeling frustrated, disgusted, ranty, etc. about the state of some things in this city. It can be a hard place to be sometimes. I still love it, but I think there’s a limit to how long I’ll want to stay.


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