The Mandatory Types Of Walks To Take While Living In NYC

Anxiety walk your way through the city that never sleeps.

Mary Nepi
Mary Nepi
Jan 23 · 3 min read
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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Most New Yorkers pride themselves on being experts in many fields — bagels, minding our business, zip-lining down the subway stairs to catch the train — but the majority of us have also garnered expertise in the simplest pastime of all: walking. It’s a fundamental part of day-to-day life, as well as an essential practice for sanity when living in a glorified shoebox. Here are some walks you can study up on, to fast track your “Official New Yorker” status.

A favorite here among those who consider themselves “artists” (i.e., everyone). This walk involves listening to The Smiths or Ani DiFranco while meandering around Greenwich Village like you’re Greta Fucking Gerwig. Pop into that record shop on the corner to show how “spontaneous” and “quirky” you are. Start spreading the news — this city is YOUR playground, goddammit.

This is where you walk directly onto 7th Ave during rush hour with zero regard for your life or surroundings because you’re running late and have somewhere VERY important to be. Don’t worry, that bus driver will surely understand that Zoom book club can’t start without you! Plus, everyone knows that crosswalks exist solely for the ambiance.

When it’s time to head home after a late night of drinking and you just “feel like walking!” Who cares if it’s 31 degrees and your apartment is four miles away? You’ve always wanted to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and there’s no better time than 2 AM when those pesky tourists are sound asleep. It’s just like stumbling home from a college party, only you’re 35 and forgot how drinking works.

Just like the regular walk of shame, except no one bats an eye. Well, except for your deli guy Jerry, who will serve you a knowing smirk along with your 7 AM Bacon Egg and Cheese. He won’t be able to help himself from remarking, “Looks like someone had a fun night…” And you know what, Jerry? Someone did. They really, really did.

Also known as the “Anxiety Walk” or the “For Christ’s sake, if I don’t get out of the apartment right this second, I will EXPLODE” walk. You can easily spot a SOPA walker due to their quick gait, performative deep breathing, and repeating out loud to no one in particular, “It’s okay, I’m fine, everything is going to be FUCKING FINE.”

You know those incredibly personal, high-stakes phone calls that should only be had in the privacy of your home? When you live in NYC, you’re required by law to have those conversations in the most public place you can think of. Call up your estranged cousin and accuse them of identity theft while taking laps around Union Square. Confront your parents about how all of your failures are their fault while strutting down the Coney Island Boardwalk. Scream at your ex about who gets custody of the beloved Peloton while pacing back and forth on The High Line. All on speakerphone, of course.

Reminiscent of the “walk and talk” found in most Aaron Sorkin projects, but the “talk” is replaced with a river of ugly tears. Try this one in the middle of Sheep’s Meadow on a sunny day, to remind the picnic-goers of all the sadness in this cold, cruel world. Throw in some Greek Tragedy-esque WAILS for maximum effect. (Pro-tip — you’ll want to have extra face masks on hand for this one, as yours will quickly become an unusable wet rag.)

Feeling like a speck of dust in a meaningless universe? Have I got a walk for you! Ponder your purpose on an evening stroll as you contemplate life’s great mysteries: if a mountain of garbage spills onto the curb and no one walks past, does it make a smell? Will I ever pronounce “gyro” without sounding like an idiot? Is this all a simulation, and if so, what purpose do the roaches serve? One typically takes this walk after a breakup, job loss, or in the midst of a pandemic.

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Mary Nepi

Written by

Mary Nepi

Cat lady, performer, writer and human being, in exactly that order.

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

Mary Nepi

Written by

Mary Nepi

Cat lady, performer, writer and human being, in exactly that order.

Slackjaw

Slackjaw

Medium humor. Large laughs.

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