Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Rainy days are my least favorite type of New York City days. The subways are more crowded and everyone is wet. You've got a dripping umbrella in one hand and have to hang on to the subway with the other hand, so you can't read your book on the train, even if there were room to maneuver. Then, out on the street, walking along the sidewalk, everyone's umbrellas get in the way of each other as they try to pass, and you see people with horribly mutilated umbrellas trying in vain to stay dry. Some people can't see where they are going because their umbrellas obscure their view, and they bump into other umbrella wielding people. And despite your umbrella, there are puddles to accidentally slosh through, cars and bikes and people to splash water on you, and when you duck under some scaffolding, and fold up your umbrella, you get a huge stray droplet that lands right on your head--or in your eye. And then when you get to class, you're all wet and there's nowhere to put your umbrella.

After class, when you go running, it's just sprinkling at first, and it never rains hard, but it's only natural that you become more and more wet as you run, and the people in Harlem stare at you because nobody in Harlem runs for fun, especially not in the rain. Strange men in suits with umbrellas say, "It's pretty wet out here, isn't it?" as you run by, and a river of water starts to flow down your scalp, into your eyes, dripping from your nose, and you have to stuff your mp3 player up your sleeve so it won't malfunction. But it feels so good to run, so you can't stop.

I do like rain--don't get me wrong. It's bringing the green back to the city and making the crocuses pop up! I guess I'm just wishing we had better technnology for staying dry on rainy days. Umbrellas are so old-fashioned and cumbersome. Maybe I should revive the plastic hair scarf from the 60s? Or maybe we could have big air dryers in buldings so we could quickly dry our umbrella sufficiently to be able to place it back in our purse, and our clothing too, so as to look presentable. I don't know what the answer is, but I hope it doesn't rain tomorrow.

P.S. I'm at the end of Moby Dick, and I promise I'll finish it tomorrow and tell you what I thought. Today I got to tour the India Club, by the way, which is full of maritime art, and it made me remember not to neglect my book--I've just been sidetracked by the stories I'm reading for book club.

1 comment:

Donnie Barnes said...

I started to comment here on the umbrella thing, but instead I decided to blog about it myself.

Short version is I don't like the things, either.