I found out I was on the evening news because a couple of people emailed me and a couple more Facebook messaged me.
On Tuesday morning, the reporter called me over by tapping on her microphone and pointing to the CBS logo. I am not that impressed by daytime network news. (I don’t watch daytime TV so maybe I shouldn’t judge).
Like most New Yorkers, I am usually in a hurry. And on that morning, most people were hustling to work. But I don’t have a 9 to 5 job. Being a journalist myself, I felt a little sorry for any reporter who has to snag interviews at 9 am in the 72nd Street subway.
So that’s why I stopped to talk. The segment was about a legal case I knew nothing about (though the reporter briefed me on the case and told me where to find the legal papers to learn more.) While I did not know about the ruling, that did not prevent me from having an opinion or an experience with the issues of the case. Here’s the link: CBS news story on subway grinder and video segment.
I showed the kids the interview. “How can you even ride the subway again?” C. asked. The experience is really not something I dwell on or can’t get over. It was a long time ago. I get more jumpy when squirrels get too near me at a picnic in Riverside Park. Yes, wildlife scares me, not people on the subway.
I also hesitate to share anything negative about my experiences in New York City, because I do not want people to dislike or dis or be afraid of my beautiful city. Maybe I am being grandiose, thinking that I am responsible for people’s impressions of the city. (But I do like to think I am a one-woman tourist industry. Why else have a blog called My Beautiful New York?)
What’s tough for me is actually not that one random experience on the subway, but the way people have commented on the news story. I glanced through a couple of comments on the web and then stopped reading. I have a policy not to read or respond to comments about me or my issues on unmoderated websites. I do not handle criticism well. I would rather be proactive than reactive. I do not ever want to engage in an online argument. I feel I would lose and waste my time and grow increasingly bitter. Why bother. I’m in a hurry.
New Yorkers are a big dysfunctional family. And every family has its heartbreaks, and hurdles. And the crowded subways, the occasionally abusive people, the rabid Riverside Park squirrels, and even the crazy commenters are just a few of New York City’s challenges. And the assets of living here far outweigh the city’s deficits.