Nothing Personal, Just Busyness

Great view of the New York City (NYC) skyline with a few high buildings and sun in the background.

“Feeling the New York City rush is rough.”


The month was August, and I was new to New York City. Up until this point, my only insight into Manhattan was the idea of what I thought I knew. My first experience of the big city was walking through the revolving glass doors into the Time Warner building located in Columbus Circle. With my exceptional Midwest courtesy, I figured I’d mosey my way through the doors. A tall gentleman about six feet five in height and rather stocky, barged in front of me. Thinking back to this instance, the experience made me highly upset. Who does that? Who muscles their way into a building without acknowledging the patron entering first? He gave me a slight smirk, as he turned his back to me. Once inside the building, I saw the sign which read, “Whole Foods.” The escalator led downstairs into the grocery store. The whole time on the escalator, all I could think about was how rude this guy was for pushing his way into the building. But then I realized, it wasn’t personal, just the busy movement of the city.

As I ascended on Whole Foods, the grocery store consisted of a plethora of selections. The prices were out of my range of affordability, coming from Southeastern Wisconsin, but I chose to purchase lunch nonetheless. Choosing from the variety of hot dishes, I waited patiently for the patrons to scoop their food into containers. I quickly learned my kindness was a weakness, as one-by-one people walked ahead of me. Wow, how could you not see me standing here? You saw me allow the lady to go first, being the gentleman that I am. Now be courteous to me, and allow me to retrieve my meal. Yet no one even made eye contact with me as they forged ahead. Once again, it was a feeling of nothing personal, just in a hurry. Eventually, I was able to choose my meal, and walked to the queuing system, which was colored coded to maintain order. This system was fair yet lengthy, as the television screen showed my color and register available. After paying for my $20 lunch, (yes, that’s right, for lunch, way more than I’m used to) I made my way out of the grocery store back into the Manhattan city streets.

Standing near the crosswalk, the light turned red. My attention shifted vertically as I became transfixed on the rich architectural structures. Next thing I knew, a wall of people came crashing from behind me, as well as in front of me. I felt as if I were caught in the middle of one of the occasional tornadoes I’ve experienced in small town Wisconsin. To keep from being a victim of the moving traffic, I crossed the street along with the pack. Once across the street, I thought to myself, “I’m pretty sure that light was red; who crosses on red?” No one acknowledged me, nor each other, as cars and bicyclist sped past who had the right away. But observing the scene, it was yet another case of, hey, nothing personal, just in a hurry.

Walking these mean streets, made me retreat to the underground. So I purchased my ticket from the metro machines in the subway system. Holding my single ticket, I walked through the turnstile and threw my ticket in the garbage. Standing near the yellow caution line, the train came barreling through the station. As the train came to a stop, I didn’t realized the barrage of people who emerged behind me. The train doors opened, feeling my body involuntarily move forward, I could tell it wasn’t all my bodily force. People were behind me, forging forward, for a chance at a spot on the train. I managed to get a seat, yet allowed an elderly woman the opportunity to rest her feet. She sat down, but there was no acknowledgement of me showing her courtesy. She sat down, without any regard for my kindness. The train ride left me flustered, as I rode the three train headed toward the Upper West Side, on my way home. Yet once again, none of the behavior was personal, just people getting where they had to go.

Once I got home, which at the time was a dorm room, I felt safe and secure. I had my television, my food, and my bed. The roommate was gone, and the room was all to myself. Contemplating about my first day experience in New York City, I thought to myself, “What a rude city?” At that moment, I turned to the local news. A fire broke out at a home in another borough, but the firefighting team risked their lives to extinguish it. Another story involved a car accident in which bystanders stepped in to assist the injured person. There was also a news story about how a child went missing from an elementary school, yet people quickly stepped in to find the missing child.

Then it dawned on me, New Yorkers are not any less compassionate than the rest of their fellow Americans; it’s just a busy city. I thought back to September 11, 2001, when citizens stepped in to help one another proceeding the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers, or even the helping hand from citizens to victims of Hurricane Sandy.
Complete strangers risked their own lives to save people they didn’t even know. Yet on any other day they might have walked passed these same individuals. It made me realize, it’s not because New Yorkers are rude or hateful; nothing personal, just busy. Busy with their jobs, busy caring for their children, busy in their marriages, busy in your personal lives. Don’t take it to heart because in the end, when faced with adversity and widespread disaster, the city is there for its fellow New Yorkers. 


https://www.facebook.com/groups/1777548702458281/

https://faheemjackson.squarespace.com/

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_0?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Afaheem+jackson&keywords=faheem+jackson&ie=UTF8&qid=1492966094&rnid=2941120011 

@fjackson12345 Instagram

@2320howe Twitter

It Cost What To Live In NYC!!!!

IMG_20150914_160034$39 per hour is the amount! $39 per hour is the minimum one must make to live comfortably on average in New York City. That is the amount per hour when observing over all five boroughs. Now when breaking down each individual borough it could be an even higher wage, especially if you live in Manhattan. And finding an apartment can be the worst, with landlords refusing to lease space to an occupant who isn’t making at least 30 – 40 times the rent amount. That’s right 30 -40 times, some places are as high as 50-60. This sounds ridiculous considering the average rent in New York City is approximately $3,000. So, you mean that if my rent is $3,000 per month. I must make in the range of $90,000 to $180,000 to pay for a basic apartment. Now, to add insult to injury, this doesn’t include the utilities, transportation, food, personal items, and God forbid you have children. In some neighborhoods upwards of $1 million income is still considered middle class. Whose making an income which allows themselves the ability to afford such a high priced city? I remember when I first went out into the city looking for apartments. There was one landlord who told me I must make at least 40 times the rent amount each month. Really, 40 times, ok, I’m not staying in that place. So what did I do, with my $9 per hour job and assistance from back home; I decided to rent a sublet.

And for those of you who don’t know what a sublet is, move to this city. In your city, a sublet may sound crazy, but not in New York City, especially living in Manhattan. Uh huh, I placed the key into the door of my sublet, turned the knob and for $900 per month I got myself a nice 150 – 200 square foot apartment. (Loud coughing noises) Oooo, pardon me, but when I was informed of this amount, coming from the Midwest I thought the broker was out of her mind. I pay how much for this here? They just say it like that, and with a straight face. I thought to myself $9 per hour for about 25 hours on the job and I got $900 before taxes each month. Then I asked my neighbor, how much she was paying for her spot because I’d rather have that one. She agreed to swap because she needed the extra space, so I now pay $750 for 90 square feet.

How nice, and to think there are more expensive, less spacious apartments in New York. There’s no wonder why the homeless population has risen so high over the recent years. Wages are remaining at an equilibrium while real estate is increasing. The question I need to ask is, who in the hell is purchasing in this city? I mean supply and demand drives a marketplace. If the prices are rising, is that the sign of more buyers coming into the market, right? I know what it is, those damn foreigners; that’s who. When looking at a country like China for instance, they have a middle class population the size of our country’s population; maybe that’s whose moving into the city driving the prices up. And let’s not forget all those Europeans flocking to New York City. You’ll see them if you come to New York City; with their Canon cameras and long lenses. They call themselves admiring the architecture and basking in the culture, but I know what they’re really up to in this city; they’re scouting. They are gazing at all the opportunities this city has to offer before piling in and moving us all out.

Whatever the case may be, New York City is not only expensive, it’s too damn expensive. Hell, at this rate I may have to resort to taking on a side job as a phone sex operator or gigolo; I hear they make descent money. Some people would say not to complain; living in New York City is a privilege not a right. No one is making you live here, and they would be right. This land we call America is vast and wide. Hell, I could throw a dart and land on any place I’d like to live. But you know what, I don’t want to live just anywhere. I love the masses of people, the culture, the variety of ethnic cuisines and diverse groups of people. I love seeing the models dressed in all Black with their portfolios in hand, running to their next shoot. Or how about the bright lights that make up Times Square. Oh, and what about long walks through Central Park, lounging in Herald Square, and people watching in Union Square. When thinking of the positives that come with the city they outweigh the negatives. Well, as expensive as the city may be, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. I miss my city back in the Midwest, but would still keep my part-time job here and crappy apartment, for millions of dollars and a mansion back home. Wait, wait, wait, let me correct myself.; but would still keep my employment position here and studio apartment, for a little more income and living space back home.