Since I moved to New York I have developed an assortment of seemingly irrational fears. I fear that an air conditioning unit is going to fall from a building as I walk underneath. I fear that that the liquid dripping from those air conditioning units isn’t really water, but rather some radioactive chemical that is going give me cancer or turn me into an Avatar. I fear that the subway rats are going to mutate overnight and take us all out. I fear that I’m going to get in the wrong cab and end up with bed bugs (oh wait, that’s 1 in 10 New Yorkers, and no longer on the irrational list). To give an entirely dated, dramatic musical reference, remember in RENT when Gordon says, “I’m a New Yorker. Fear’s my life!” Well, it’s true.
Over drinks last Saturday night my friends and I sorted through these fears and realized we all held one in common: Getting off this island in the event of a terrorist, subway or aforementioned rat attack. It turns out, all of us had given careful consideration to this problem and developed elaborate, 007-inspired escape routes for when an I Am Legend disaster strikes. When we lived a block away from the Hudson River, we always said we would simply swim to New Jersey. I’m a little worried about my swimming endurance though, especially if 8 million other people have the same simple plan. I have seen Titanic—not everyone can swim and not everyone has a life vest. So then we decided we would commandeer a ferry boat, Jack Sparrow style. This would involve intense training in either weaponry or martial arts, but that could be easily arranged. A hybrid of these plans would involve stashing a case of rum (or whiskey), Jack Sparrow style, on the rooftop of a sketchy abandoned building on Roosevelt Island and then swimming to Roosevelt Island when the attack occurs, because who is honestly going to go to Roosevelt Island?! Plus Roosevelt Island would give us spectacular views and the ability to properly toast whatever destruction and bridge collapses occur.
Our other escape ideas proved to be more practical. I decided that I’m going to carry around a pair of child swim floaties in my purse, and when not in live-saving mode they could double as beer coozies. We thought about buying a kayak, and though practical and adventurous, most embankments around the island have a 10-foot drop-off, which could be treacherous. Kayaks also fall into the cumbersome category, so a storage problem arises there. We then switched to mammal rescue ideas, inspired by the many stories about dolphins saving those lost at sea. Perhaps we could coerce and train the East River Flipper to be our very own rescue dolphin! Again, we come to the storage problem with the dolphin. Ultimately my friend Brooke came up with the winning rescue plan—owning a Newfoundland. These dogs are notorious swimmers and if we all bought Newfoundlands they could be doggie buddies and go to doggie parks and buy organic doggie treats together. Sure they’re a larger breed, roughly the same size as Brooke herself, but we plan on moving into penthouses next to the High Line in due time to give them, and ourselves, ample living space (once again, placing us safely next to the Hudson River). I should also note that Brooke would name her dog Brooklyn, and I would name mine Hobo (short for Hoboken, NJ), our potential escape destinations.
Think your plan is better than ours? Bring it.