Just in case you were wondering if those massive Chrysler 300s can fit on a New York City sidewalk: they can, but there is little room left over for pedestrians. Very little.
Earlier today, I was walking with a co-worker south along Madison Avenue, just going a block or so to meet another co-worker and help him out of a cab with a bunch of packages. Light rain had begun to fall, which always amplifies the sounds of the street. The sound of all those taxicab tires hydroplaning usually adds a whole extra layer of white noise to the usual racket of horns honking, people shouting—that depressing din of New York City.
Perhaps that’s why I never heard the Chrysler until he smartly tooted his tinny horn twice—when he was right behind us. On the sidewalk.
In fact, my first impulse was to ignore the horn like all the rest of them, but this one sounded oddly like it was emanating from a location right behind us, which as I believe I already mentioned, it motherfucking was. As I turned, I immediately saw the shiny grille of one of those big Chryslers. There was a microsecond of “hmm, that’s so strange to see that”, followed by “I feel like an extra in ‘Christine’”, followed by my co-worker and I reflexively stepping out of the car’s way—she to the car’s left, and me to its right. Before either of us could really say or think anything, the car was speeding past us, with inches to spare.
The car continued southbound on the sidewalk for half a block before deciding that the street was a smarter option. Problem is, the traffic on Madison Avenue generally travels north. Also, they had to run over a tree stump to get there, which caused quite a ruckus. Undeterred by the tree stump that sliced its way through the undercarriage of the new car, they shot down Madison Avenue narrowly missing a few pedestrians on the way, weaving through holes in the oncoming traffic, just like in the movies and shit. Quickly, it disappeared from sight.
About fifteen seconds later, I heard sirens, sirens growing louder and seeming to be heading our way. About the same time, four plainclothes policemen and one rather dorky guy rounded the corner in full sprint. The dorky guy was wearing a suit, waving a briefcase, shouting “come ON, let’s go get them, dammit!”, as about half the sidewalk’s occupants just pointed in the direction the car was last seen headed, our mouths hanging agape. Now, for all you out-of-towners: guess which one of the sprinters was the Chrysler’s recently-carjacked owner?
As we headed back to the office I asked two women who were closer to my office if they had seen what just happened, and the one woman looked at me, wide-eyed, and said: “yeah, we did”, and then just stared at me, seemingly awaiting further instructions. She was quite a bit freaked out, but who could blame her. Seems that things were a bit more lively as the Chrysler sped down 32nd street’s sidewalk on its way to meeting us. After narrowly missing these same two women who were coming out of their hotel—yes, they were first time visitors to NYC, welcome!—the car careened off the side of the Hotel, then into a van full of people, then hung a right onto Madison Avnue’s sidewalk.
Witnesses in the immediate area did not see anyone actually get hit. I sincerely hope these perps got picked up before actually hurting anyone. I got home too late tonight to scan the trash ten o’clock “news” hour shows, so I really have no idea how it all panned out. Let’s hope for the best.
I get a D- for my cop skills. Occupants in the car? I think two, but don’t ask me if they were white, black, purple or green, male or female, dog or cat. Vehicle type? Big Chrysler (I had to look it up when I got home), grey I think. Tags? Yeah, uh, New York plates (I think), but I couldn’t name one digit on the damned thing. Dammit.