Today I had a dentist appointment, it’s a half a mile up 4th Ave from work. I walked – because I’m a city girl now. As I trekked under the overpass, past the park, and up the slow grade that is 4th Avenue, with its busy cross streets and hodgepodge of people, I realized that yes, in fact am a City Girl. A year ago, my ass would have driven a half a block for tacos. Now, I’m a City Girl. And when you’re a City Girl, you’ve got to adapt to the city streets. Here is how to survive:
1. Earbuds. Play your music loud enough to drown out passerby’s conversations, but not so loud you can’t hear a roaring fire engine tearing down the street. Play tunes that transport you, because even when you love the city, it’s not always pretty. My favorite is “Come with Me Now” by KONGOS or the basassery that is“All I do is Win” by DJ Khaled. You should see my hand gestures to the line “My hands go up and down like stripper’s booties go”. It’s precious. Truth be told, Eminem’s “One Shot” gets me pumped up anytime. You’ve got your tunes. Next?
2. Sunny side. Walk on the sunny side of the street. Yes. We have sunshine in Seattle - a shit ton of it. Skyscrapers block out a shit ton of the shit ton of sun, so find the sun and walk in it. It’s the universe big hugging your awesomeness. Plus, tourists usually are on the shaded side. Trust me.
3. Yes, that smell is what you think it is. Pot, piss, poop. Yes. Yes. Yes. I’ve smelt them all. Blech. It’s as disgusting just as much as it’s part of the city. Febreeze should make 4/21 National Spray Out the Smoke Smell Day. As far as the bodily function smells, I totally understand why the French Quarter is hosed down every morning. Since we don’t always have rain, wear a scarf and cover your nose and walk away. Quickly.
4. Stride. Own your sunny side of the street. Push past the tourists, they’re too mesmerized looking at the big buildings and taking pictures. But stride on, Sister.
5. Panhandlers. Deal with them in a way you feel comfortable. Commit to how you deal with them. I don’t give them money. I’ve bought them coffee and brought them gloves and tissues, but never cash.
6. The crosswalk. It’s illegal and a social taboo to jaywalk in Seattle. But I do it. Standing there, facing that red hand when nary a car can be seen, oh it kills me. I’ve got places to be. So I go. Halfway through the intersection I want to leap, arms extended and yell, “RULEBREAKER!!!” I’d also like to add in a twirl. I figure that may be shoving it in karma’s face, therefore I restrain. Take charge of yourself. Are you really the kind of person who is going to let a 40 watt figure dictate your life? I didn’t think so.
7. Put your shit away. Don’t fiddle with your phone, lanyard, keys, sunglasses, drink, dog leashes, or anything. Put it where it’s supposed to be before you leave your office/home. This way you stride with purpose.
While I love being a Big City Girl during the day, at night I return to my suburban downtown. Those rules are completely different. We’ll get to that next time. Until then, stride on!