Walking with my head toward the sky

When you walk through the streets of Manhattan, do you ever notice the people around you? Do we ever take the time to lift our heads and our noses up from our phones and just really see the people or the buildings?

I will admit that on days when I am stressed out or feeling insecure, I will walk with my eyes glued to the screen of my phone, but I do my best to keep foot traffic flowing and avoid bumping into strangers. No one is perfect.

During my brief walk from Bryant Park on 42nd to the Fred E. French Building on 45th, I noticed that everyone walking next to or in front of me was staring down at the screen of their cell phone or behind the viewfinder of a camera. A young girl was moving at such a pace that she tripped into a woman because she never looked up – not once. She never thought to take her eyes off the screen and stop texting to check to see if someone was in front of her.

Texting while walking really grinds my gears. I cannot stand being stuck behind someone who is moving at a snails pace because she has her nose in her phone. In this digital age, it is so important that you look up and take in the sights once in a while. Not only is it rude, but it is actually dangerous! The New York Times, the Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, USA Today... the list goes on. These major journalistic outlets have studied this exact topic and have shown just how dangerous this nasty habit is. Take a look at this video:

NYT Texting & Walking

In Gait & Posture, Eric Lambert found that texting while walking produces navigational errors and that gait velocity is reduced when using a cell phone to text or talk. (2012) When you are looking down, you are limiting what can be seen around your person. You develop multiple blind spots, whereas there would only be one if you walked with your head up and watching for danger. Basically, walking and texting is like you are wearing a blindfold and you are prone to serious injuries. According to the NSC (National Safety Council), between 2000 and 2011, walking while using your cell phone accounted for 11,100 injuries.

There is also the courtesy factor.

It is completely inconsiderate of texters to come to a complete stop in the middle of a busy NYC sidewalk, staircase, or entry-way. Blocking foot traffic in Manhattan is a dangerous all by itself, but then you factor in that people are not even noticing that bodies are moving towards them!

What’s the considerate or proper technique you may ask. Well, you should really pull over to the side of the sidewalk, complete your text, Google searches or whatever you need to look down and view and then proceed down the street. Practicing pedestrian etiquette will allow for others to continue walking without obstruction and will lower pedestrian accident rates.

“Petextrian” accidents have risen to more than 3.5 percent, according to a report by the GHSA (Governors Highway Safety Association). Teenagers make up more than 40% of these accidents because they cross streets while texting and cannot detect the oncoming dangers while being distracted by mobile devices. Of course, driving while distracted or impaired will ALWAYS be the number one cause for accidents, texting while walking is a menace to pedestrians just trying to make it to the end of the next block.

Please, next time you are out, do me a favor – pick your head up and notice the world around you. Notice the world outside of the cell phone!

Fuerza Bruta NYC

A pitch black room, no seats to rest your weary bodies, and continuous movement when the “stage hands” signal you – silently.

Two weeks ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, when my sisters invited me to see this show called Fuerza Bruta, I recall my older sister telling me that I would be paying $66 to see dancing, music, and no talking. Immediately my brain said, “Oh my god. What did you just pay for?” I never thought I would walk away wanting to see it again. Take a look at this trailer for it. It does not do the show justice at all. Click here and be curious…

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This show was more than music, dancing, and no talking; it was a different experience. From start to finish, the show was interactive and I felt almost as if someone had slipped me some kind of hallucinogenic drug. The room was full of lights and drumming and chanting.There was a man running on a conveyor belt, two feet in front of me. Twice he got shot…not really…and twice he broke through a wall of empty boxes that exploded towards the crowd. There is this part where he is walking against a crowd of other actors, on the conveyor belt, which symbolizes to me that there are some of us that just go through life without noticing anything is in front of us or behind us, and some people are born to go against the flow. He tossed furniture and one point he was carrying a bed, before some undue force attempted to take it from him.
There were girls swimming above our heads and people jumping through the air (all on wires, of course), but it all felt so real. I think that if it went on longer than the 80 minutes that it lasted for, my jaw may have fallen off in amazement. It only would have added to the effect of the performance. This show was all about the smoke and mirrors, but it works only in its favor. By the time the rain started falling, I joined in the tribal dance that seemed to be happening, and I forgot all about the fact that I just stood for 80 Manhattan minutes. This was the perfect Friday evening for three sisters to be together.
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