Author Ravish Patwardhan on Aspects of New York City Life
Ravish Patwardhan has been a resident of New York City for numerous years. Having moved to New York City from the South (and previously from Los Angeles), Ravish explores the “new and different” uniquities of New York City that are less likely (or unlikely) to be present in the same way in other large or smaller cities. Examples include food carts, the subway system, the infrastructure itself of Manhattan, the “rules one learns” that are not always obvious (like where to stand, gypsy cabs, etc.), and/or other nuances.
New York City as seen by Ravish Patwardhan is one account of many millions – a more famous, prior account by E. B. White as detailed in his essay “Here is New York” from 1949 notes many of the observations still true to this day – ideas such as “three kinds of people existing in New York [broadly categorized and paraphrased] – the locals, the commuters (via bridges and trains from nearby boroughs or states), and the tourists.
As an example of a transplanted resident, Patwardhan can attest to the fact that a great deal of adjustment is gradually needed to “fit in.” From the keen observations of Californians in New York (who are terrified of jay-walking), noting that police rarely if ever seem to mind (as long as conditions are safe), to the cab-riding experience of “mandatory tipping of at least 20% being expected (while likely charging the lowest cab rates among many states), to “how to ride the subway” and “how not to make eye contact and always have a purpose when walking, many lessons are learned. These nuances of NYC life, seemingly followed by all from the dogs to the people and the variety of road traffic (delivery bicycles in both directions on one-way streets, pedestrians, skateboarders, and cab drivers/cars who sometimes create lanes where none exist).
The efficiency of New York may well result from these “sets of rules” that are encapsulated in Patwardhan’s sets of observations (or more likely, these sets of rules may well result in the noted efficiency, a self-fulfilling process that remains circular and necessary). Whatever the reasons, as typified by the beginning song of K.T. Tunstall’s “Suddenly I see” being applied in “The Devil Wears Prada,” the various “walks of life” are typified. All function in New York City, as Patwardhan tries to capture, while the city adopts its own way of life. And probably very few two people among the millions have the same “day in the life” on any given day in NYC…