nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

New York, Paris, Peckham

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This may be a theme, being reminded of old UK TV shows whilst living in New York, but the image of Del Boy and his faithful yellow Robin Reliant bearing the words New York, Paris, Peckham comes to mind every time I see the three wheeler NYPD cars that litter the streets of New York. As far as I can tell they are for the Traffic Enforcement Agents (that’s parking wardens to us), which are part of NYPD. To me the New York police is NYPD Blue. I was a big fan of NYPD Blue, with the handsome Jimmy Smits playing Detective Bobby Simone alongside the not so handsome Detective Andy Sipowitz played by Dennis Franz. It stopped in the mid 90s with Jimmy Smits popping up more recently in an implausible plotline in Dexter. Every time I see an NYPD cop on the street I think about the show. I’m sure the novelty will wear off soon, I certainly didn’t think of the now defunct ITV series The Bill when I walked around London and saw the Met police! In New York, NYPD officers rather dangerously stand in the middle of avenues, directing traffic (even though there seem to be perfectly good traffic lights working) wearing masks over their mouths to protect them from the exhaust fumes. They tell you to cross when the pedestrian lights don’t agree. Here, when the orange hand is still it means ‘no, don’t cross, you may die” and when it flashes it means ‘maybe you can cross, but you could get run over and still die’. When it changes to the white lit outline of a person of indeterminate sex it means ‘walk, but if a car wants to cross the crossing, turning left or right, it will and mostly ignore you, so watch out’. The safest place seems to be the three wheelers where the agents spend their time drinking coffee and keeping warm watching the traffic go by.

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