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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Billie Grace Ward

People need to stop holding hands on the sidewalk

By
Will Gleason
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If you spend enough time traversing the streets of New York, you’ll eventually develop something akin to a sixth sense. One morning, you’ll find yourself walk-jogging from your apartment to your local subway stop when you realize you almost could have done it with your eyes closed. This superpower, known as Sidewalk Tunnel Vision, allows you to swerve in and out of crowded thoroughfares while paying barely any attention to your surroundings. It does, however, have one inescapable Kryptonite: people who walk down the sidewalk holding hands.

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I know you’re thinking, Wow, this guy must really hate love. First of all, that doesn’t have anything to do with this. Second, I do. But even though encountering a couple joined at the butt pocket may provoke a 10-second eye roll for the benefit of my imaginary sympathetic audience, their main crime is that, without fail, they always find a way to bring my brisk, borderline-supernatural walking pace to an abrupt stop.

New York doesn’t have the spacious boulevards of Paris or the leisurely pace of Barcelona. Everyone has to navigate too-small walkways on a claustrophobic grid, and they have to do it in a hurry. Sidewalk hand holders, meanwhile, always manage to directly block your path, forcing you to come to a shuddering stop before desperately trying to maneuver around them. It’s the pedestrian equivalent of crosstown traffic.

When is it a good time to hold hands? Over a romantic dinner at a candle lit Italian restaurant. When is it a bad time? At 12:30pm on a weekday in midtown when some people are just trying to get a goddamned bodega salad for lunch before making it back to their office in less than a half hour. Then again, at the end of the day that might be the real superpower.

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