23 May 2005
1:05 pm to 2:05 pm
Total intersections: 34
Ending point: 66 West Broadway
Distance from home: 0.3534 miles
Literature received: None
Coin: 1976 bicentennial quarter
The sidewalks were crowded with tourists. People took photographs with cell phones and speaking in languages I didn’t understand.
As I walked north on Broadway, a young woman accosted me. “Hello, sir, I’m doing a special promotion. How do you like to smell, clean or sweet?”
While doing these walks, my philosophy was to say yes to everything–take the sales flyer, take the political newspaper, take the bag of potato chips. So I usually would have kept walking, but instead I flipped the coin. It came up tails, so I said “sweet.”
She sprayed my wrist and pushed a box of cologne into my hand.
“Doesn’t that smell good?” she pitched. “It’s normally 69 to 89 dollars, but for you, I’ve got a special price of 42.”
I tried to hand the cologne back to her, but she ignored me and kept on touting the cologne’s virtues. I guess her sales strategy boiled down to “they can’t walk away while they’re holding your product.”
Finally, I said, “No, thanks,” and dropped the box into her hands–she unwillingly caught it.
I kept walking around in the neighborhood north of the World Trade Center, overhearing entertaining snatches of conversations: “That James Bond girl with the legs, she was in that one with Halle Berry, Storm. That redhead, Jean Grey.” (He was apparently trying to remember Famke Janssen’s name.)
Somebody else, a few blocks later: “It’s all made of red dust.”