This article will examine the potential threats you may encounter when trying to get to your destination and help you become a true champion of the streets.

Due to the absurd number of people squished together within a few square miles, New York City’s sidewalks are less of a place for leisurely strolls and more of a pathway devoted to quick transportation. One of the consequences of transportation in a busy city is traffic and thus… road rage, or in this case, sidewalk rage. 

Little did Charles Darwin know that the streets of New York City would display his theory of survival of the fittest. It is about more than just adaption here though, it is about bravery, brutality, and a touch of egotism. Only those who are in the top brackets of the last three categories will survive the obstacles of walking on the sidewalks in New York City and get to their destination on time. 

*PSA: The following content may bring up PTSD from past experiences with sidewalk rage.*

1. The Dog-walker 

The dog-walker is an interesting encounter. Although you can see the pathway in front of you, you must examine the walkway closely for there may be a small, thin, black line, that prevents you from walking any farther.  This barricade is called a leash. If the leash is not seen, you will trip over the leash and face plant into the sidewalk. As the dog sniffs and pees over fire hydrants and walls, the owner stares at their phone and shuffles their feet, making a physical boundary between you and your destination. If brave enough, you may take a ballerina leap over the leash as if performing in a horse show or an upside-down version of limbo. If not, you have failed to be a champion of the streets. 

2. The Barricaders 

The barricaders can be simply described as the Mareta bucket of red monkeys that one may have played with as a kid by linking monkeys together. Although these monkeys are fun when plastic and controlled by your discretion, when they are converted into humans linking arms going approximately 0.02 miles per hour in front of you, your feelings may change. You dash to the left, then to the right, trying to find a gap—a sliver of space—that would be wide enough for you to squish by, but there is nothing. All you can do is let your anger ruminate within you and thus give you the courage to let out the passive-aggressive “excuse me,” while sliding through the intertwined arms. 

3. The Lovebirds

You come across two lovebirds, locked in hands and seemingly inseparable, displaying their affection for the whole world to see. Their exchange in saliva is hightled by the street light above which makes you physically ill to witness. You must avert your eyes and walk quickly past pretending as if you saw and heard nothing. 

4. The Sneaky Slow Walker

This trickster must be approached with caution. This slow walker will appear to be a shuffler, lazy in their step with a lack of motivation to arrive at a destination. In order to pass, you accelerate and gain speed. However, upon reaching an equivalent level to them, they begin to speed up. It has now turned into a race between you and this stranger, fighting for the right to walk in front of the other.  You must be careful, because this race may become exhausting after a few blocks with the same pace (you may need to break out in a sprint to completely win and assert your dominance). 

5. The Tour 

You look down at your iPhone (or watch if you are old school) and it says you have 2 minutes to get to class. You then look back up and there is a conglomeration of people scattered across the path to class, blocking your quickest straight shot to class. The best method in approaching this problem is to view the people as if a maze. You must tighten your backpack straps in preparation and then dash into the cluster of people with quick zig-zags to dodge the obstacles (the key to completing this challenge is quick feet). If you bump into any tourists while trying to pass, give a slight head tilt and shrug because there is no time to stop and apologize. 

 If you do not have the courage to approach these problems and willingly embarrass yourself, then you do not have what it takes to be at the top of the sidewalk hierarchy. 

Image via Bwog Archives