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“Peter Luger”

Wow. I do not know if I can accurately describe what I saw just now, but I will try.

First I heard yelling in the street, which is pretty common, so I didn’t pay much attention, but then certain words began to register — “oh my god are you SERIOUS … oh my god WILLIAMSBURG,” etc. (I do not live in Williamsburg) — but I still figured it was just a brief cab scuffle. Things went quiet for a while, then, a couple minutes later, “Are you Arecibo? ARE. YOU. ARECIBO?” I think I missed a sentence or two at this point, but what eventually drew me to the window was “oh my GOD are you fucking KIDDING ME it’s fucking HAVEMEYER AND BROADWAY, how can you fucking NOT know WHERE THAT IS. Oh my god. Oh my GOD.” I would describe her, but maybe I don’t need to. “Williamsburg? BROADWAY? PETER LUGER?? BROOKLYN BRIDGE?!? Oh my god, this is fucking UN-believable.”

She was on the corner across from my building (in a residential neighborhood) yelling into the open window of a stopped car-service taxi (Arecibo — great, by the way). “And how much are you fucking going to charge me for this? FIFTEEN? Oh my god, no. NO. The other guy said twelve. It’s like a fucking three-minute drive” (no, it isn’t) “and how can you fucking not know where Broadway is? Why doesn’t anyone fucking know anything, oh my GOD,” and she got into the car. Girl, good luck today!

Updated to include: There was also a moment, mid-rant, when she wavered, and it looked like she’d maybe mentally stepped back to consider what she was doing — yelling swears at a stranger, at 10:30 a.m., in the street — and when it seemed like she might tone it down or even apologize. But then you could see her deciding that to do so would also be an implicit admission that she’d done something wrong, and she continued yelling. I keep thinking about that moment, and about having or lacking the courage to try to fix something when it’s easier to leave it broken. Anyway, it’s true the driver should have known how to get to Broadway.

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