Sidewalk Stories #1

Short recaps of interactions I have on the streets of New York City.

3 min readJan 18, 2024

One of my friends has been writing stories about little interactions he has in New York City, and it has inspired me to document and write up my own from time to time. As I was writing down these notes, I was thinking a lot about this quote:

“People on the east coast are kind but not nice, while people on the west coast are nice but not kind.”

January 4th, 2024

I had just gotten off the M8 and was walking to my office when a lady in front of me wearing pointy high heels and carrying two bags in her arms fully fell off the sidewalk, her knees hitting the ground first and almost face planting into the street. I ran up to her and helped her up. To my surprise, she was laughing, thankful that her new tweed pants weren’t ruined.

January 11th, 2024

As I was walking back from my morning HIIT workout class, I was pretty sweaty, had my airpods in, blasting some Olivia Rodrigo. I saw an older lady in front of me walking with a cane start trying to get off the sidewalk to cross the street. As it is with many East Village sidewalks, the ramps to the street are sometimes nonexistent. Another lady walking the opposite direction as me walked up to the older lady and took her elbow. We made brief, yet very direct eye contact and I found myself taking the older lady’s other elbow and we helped her cross the street in the direction of Rite Aid (her ultimate destination). The older lady asked us if we knew each other, we shook our heads. The other lady left us, not without telling the older lady to get something with wheels because this cane wasn’t gonna work out for much longer.

January 16th, 2024

I was carrying two heavy, tote bags of groceries back home from Trader Joe’s, one on each of my shoulders, when I saw a man running with his very cute, curly haired dog. The labradoodle, who probably had a net worth higher than mine, was wearing a red sweater and 4 pink booties. They zoomed past me, and as I continued walking in the other direction, I looked down on the sidewalk and saw a very tiny pink bootie. A different man walking towards me spotted it at the same time and picked it up. Unlike me, he didn’t see the man and his dog a couple of seconds ago and was absolutely baffled at the size of the tiny pink bootie. My brain, quickly processing the information, started to explain that the tiny pink bootie belonged to a man and his dog that just passed by me. As I turned around, the man and the dog were running back in our direction ready to collect the tiny pink bootie.

January 18th, 2024

One of my stories already featured the M8, but this story took place on the M8. The New York City bus system is so essential and I’m always so impressed by how well it works for people with disabilities. I was on the M8 heading to work when an older, white haired gentleman, over 6 feet tall, wearing a black fedora and a long black wool coat got on the bus using his walker. He sat in the front seat and when it was his time to get off, he had trouble getting himself up. A girl sitting in the front of the bus got up, with no hesitation, and helped this man get on his feet. He got off the bus onto the sidewalk using the nifty ramp that folds out on some of the newer buses and gave her a smile and a salute.