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March 25, 2005

pure bug beauty

Overheard in New York is one of my absolute favorite sites on The Internets, especially when they share things like this:

"Yeah, I like to eat out every once in a while."
Coffee guy: Good morning, sir.
Sir: Medium coffee.
Coffee guy: Milk and sugar, sir?
Sir: Yes, please.
Coffee guy: ...you go down, sir?
Sir: Excuse me?
Coffee guy: You go down? Down the town?

--Roach coach, Franklin & Church
Overheard by: Bailey Wier

New Yorkers: As Seen on TV
Woman #1: Excuse me, does the N train stop at Central Park?
Woman #2: Lady, go ask a fucking cystal ball, or learn how to read a damn subway map.
--Union Square station
Overheard by: Craig D

A truck driver is parked on the side of the road, honking at what appears to be nothing at all. A female pedestrian shoots him a dirty look.

Truck driver: Nobody's honking at you, you dumb bitch!

--Bay Ridge

New York is more than a city, it's a character in our National Mythology. These individual voices that emerge from the cacophony of the city tell an incredible story, and you don't have to be a New Yorker to appreciate them.

Posted by wil at March 25, 2005 10:14 AM

And having grown up around the City, every single line up there is completely believable... happening at least once each day, anyway.

It truly is a unique city.

Posted by: Randy [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 10:51 AM

Ahhh, I miss the City. So much love of some much hate...

Posted by: Clay [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 10:53 AM

A related site is http://inpassing.org/ which is a catalog of similarly strange conversation fragments which have humor when viewed out of context.

My friends and I have, in the past, enjoyed playing a game we affectionaly call "tomato funeral". Often when we find ourselves in close but temporary proximity to a stranger or group of strangers (like being in an elevator) one of us will start the game by turning to the other and asking:

"So then what happened?"

At this point it's the goal of the other person to come up with the most nonsensical but still plausible conclusion to a conversation that will presumably leave the strangers wondering for the rest of the day what possible situation could have led up to that phrase. The game is named after one of the earliest successes:

"Oh, well, she went to the funeral, but, well, you know, I doubt she'll ever eat tomatos again"

Points are awarded for creativity and quickness of response.

Anything to add a little surrealism to someone else's life.

Posted by: Nugget [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 10:57 AM

My favorite T-Shirt that I've ever seen in New York describes the mindset of many New Yorkers perfectly. The shirt says only, "Fuck You You Fuckin' Fuck"

Classic New York.

Posted by: VineyardDawg [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 11:11 AM

Heh. I've been reading that site (Overheard..) for a while now.

Unfortunately, in general, it doesn't really make me want to visit NYC, even though I know it is a must see.

Posted by: AmiNTT [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 12:53 PM

How on earth can you paint this as a good thing? The latter two quotes represent the worst of ourselves, and only confirm that uncivility is rampant in NYC. It's a cacophony, all right, but it's not incredible. It is cause for derision, not celebration. I [hate] NY.

Posted by: Matt [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 02:53 PM

That's funny. Overheard in New York was the site I was reading right before yours... One of my favorites, too. My oldest daughter just returned from a trip to New York with her school and I couldn't help wondering what she was going to be (over)hearing!

Posted by: kristyk [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 03:38 PM

"New York is more than a city, it's a character in our National Mythology."

And that's why I'm moving to L.A. in May.

Might as well trade one myth for another...


Posted by: AJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 07:11 PM

Lol, I'm pretty sure things like that are not unique to NY, but too funny. Thanks for the link!

Posted by: Khali [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 25, 2005 08:58 PM

I. Effing. Love. That. Site.

Seriously, it's one of my daily reads. Here in San Francisco, there's a columnist in the SF Chronicle named Lea Garchik who has an "overheard" section in her column. My favorite one was something someone overheard in a restaurant in Noe Valley. "I'd go to church, but after mimosas it's just hard."

Posted by: chadfox [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 26, 2005 12:54 PM

I visited NYC once when I was a senior in high school. Keep in mind the high school I graduated from is in NC. So we're getting off the bus and make the mistake of blocking the sidewalk. A tall, balding guy (with what hair he had long, he looked like a crazed wizard or something) in a business suit and track shoes storms past us and yells "DON'T BLOCK THE FUCKING SIDEWALK YOU FUCKING FOREIGNERS!" Scared the crap out of me.

Posted by: warcrygirl [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 26, 2005 04:28 PM

HAHAHA oh man. That site is so funny. I needed some good belly laughs today, thanks Wil! :)

Posted by: jenga [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 26, 2005 05:07 PM

Hey Wil, good to meet you, have enjoyed my time here. Are you involved in writing anything at the moment? I love this site too - this is my favourite...
Perceptive woman: Anytime you overhear people, if you only hear a second of what they say, it's always completely stupid.

--Greenwich Village

Look forward to dropping by again, Fiona

Posted by: fiona [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 27, 2005 08:26 AM

Those are some of the harsher examples of what you hear in a day in NYC, but anyone who thinks they're examples of us being rotten people or takes them as reasons not to visit the city, they're missing the point. The point isn't that we get grumpy and say rude stuff. The point is that we manage to make it through each day with FAR too many people living in FAR too little space, and we do it with good humor and a thick skin. I regularly thump cab hoods with my fist and yell "that's ok, I like being run over!" They give me the finger. It's a beautiful ballet.

Posted by: Kristen [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2005 10:37 AM

Am I really the first NYC inhabitant to comment on this? That site is hilarious, and you really do run into weird snippets of conversation all the time here in NYC. There's a reason why people say, "Only in New York....Only in New York".

How often do you get to come out this way, Wil?

Posted by: aformist [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 28, 2005 10:43 AM

I wouldn't last in NYC for one stinkin' second--I'd be running home crying to mama in no time. And no, I don't care to admit this. In NYC, I'd be squashed like a bug.
Yeah, I know....Detroit is soooo much better (where I'm from). But, in Detroit we don't say anything like this to each other on the street for fear of being gunned down. You call anyone (male or female) a bitch and you can just kiss your sweet @ss goodbye. We just all keep our mouths shut (well, us smart ones do anyway).

Posted by: Janine [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 29, 2005 01:43 PM

Y'know, it's amazing how the tourists can always manage to find the most obnoxious people, and I can live here my whole life and never have a proble with anyone. I've been to countless other cities in the US - Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, DC, Miami, even Nashville - and I've been to London, Rome, Florence, Toronto and Montreal as well, and I've never managed to meet a set of people who were nicer and friendlier than those back home in good old NYC.

...though the site is completely hilarious.

Posted by: RaeCee [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 29, 2005 07:48 PM

I love NY. I've found that the natives will be very helpful to visitors, but impatient with the natives who should know better.

Posted by: ~Easy [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 30, 2005 01:08 PM

Yeah, but outside of the "good" people of NY, 95% of the ones I encountered were backstabbing assholes who found it necessary to demean others for their bottomed out ego's.

OH! Anyone ever disect a New Yorkers argument when you prove him wrong? The foundation for most New Yorkers arguments is "...because I say so". They hate to be wrong and you can really send some of them into a coronary with the simplest logic! They're smart, but not often thorough.

If you REALLY want to piss one off that's pissed you off call him "ignorant." The word literally means "not knowing". How can anyone know it all? I guess if the word "ignorant" is beaten into you every time you screw up you might be a little testy about it, but come on NY, get a grip! You're the grown ups, remember?

No my experience living in NY, (outside of my Reserve unit and the 2 friends I have from NY who HAVEN'T stabbed me in the back or caused some unnecessary bullshit argument), was definately not something I would do again. See outside NY, you may not realize, most of the world does NOT live that way but can be as sarcastic as anyone in good humor without insulting them completely, (and it's low class). At least the REAL Irish and Scandinavians may bitch and gripe a lot, they don't fight all the time. (I won't talk about my german roots here).

Wil only seems to be a smart ass to the ones who want to be assholes but he's respectful to everyone else. I grew up quite comfortably with sarcasm, but it was always understood to be an EXAGGERATION. I could be wrong about Wil, call me "ignorant". Doesn't bother me.

Give me a break, it's 3 in the morning. I'd better shut up now. NIGHT ALL.
PS Great site Wil.

Posted by: Jadee [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 1, 2005 12:48 AM

never been there...not sure i wanna go...bu the quotes were funny.

Posted by: d. burr [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 4, 2005 12:32 AM
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