Dr. Helen

Sightseeing the Political Climate in New York City

I am in NYC this week and have been enjoying the regular range of sightseeing activities such as walking by the Flatiron building or the Chrysler Building. But even more entertaining is sightseeing the political climate here in the city. At Union Square the other day, a couple of “filmmakers” held up an amateurish looking handwritten sign saying “Tell Congress how you feel about guns.” I watched the two men with amusement as the crowd around the park stayed far away from them. I figured if I was the only chance they had at getting some response, why not?

“Tell Congress how you feel about guns,” the timid interviewer stuttered. I said back proudly, “Congress should support guns!” He looked baffled and said, “what, you support guns?” ” Yes, and I think Congress should too.” The guy was a bit taken aback but to his credit, he politely said, “Get in front of the camera so you can tell that to Congress.”

I stayed behind the camera (thinking, who knows what in the heck these people will do with this footage?) and said, “given the look of that homemade sign, I doubt this is going to Congress.” I strolled off at that point hoping that maybe the filmmakers might at least realize that there were views other than simply getting rid of guns. But it’s doubtful.

A few days later, another guy was outside a store trying to gather signatures for some Democratic cause. “Are you a Democrat?” he asked as we strolled by. “Absolutely not!” I said and frowned as if he had asked if I wanted to try some cod liver oil. The guy looked a bit puzzled as we were on the upper West Side after all and he probably figured he couldn’t hit a libertarian or Conservative within a mile. But he was wrong. I hope it was a mindhit for him and made him realize that not everyone is of one political persuasion. But again, I am being pretty hopeful here.

Anyway, it is fun to watch the political climate here in the city; and thankfully, it is a big place and full of surprises.