New York Daily Photo Analytics

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Get a Room

Having my family from New England as well as others visit me in New York City over the last few decades has provided me with perspective. I learned how much outsiders often see the city as a place where anything goes. The Wild West.

The city is extremely permissive, and outrageous things do occur regularly. But New York is not lawless. I have seen young guys from out of town drinking alcohol in Washington Square Park and being quite surprised when police ask them to pour their beverages out onto the ground and then write them a citation.

I have a friend from outside this country who, coming from a much more conservative culture, is frequently shocked by various public behaviors, particularly PDAs (Public Displays of Affection). Her frequent comments made me aware at how often people here indulge themselves in public. I defused the occurrences somewhat by introducing some humor and acquainting her with the American phrase "Get a Room". This, along with the subway announcements "Watch the Closing Doors, Please" and "The Next Stop Is," became our private jokes and her favorite mantras as she improved her command of American slang and often used phrases, especially ones particular to New York City. It is reminiscent of my Spanish vocabulary, learned from the bilingual signage of the city. See No Salga Afuera here.

Lest anyone think that we were overly critical concerning what looks like relatively benign behavior (from a city perspective) in today's photo, please realize that before this photo was taken, the girl had gone through a variety of antics, including pressing her chest up against her boyfriend's face. The whole scene was over the top - only actual nudity would have upped the ante.

The couple was definitely getting some serious looks from fellow subway riders, but in the true style of the tolerant New Yorker, nothing was said by anyone. They watched the cavorting in silence. Although the man in the light blue shirt seen behind the couple was doing his best to maintain focus on his writing, being there in person, it was clear that he was disturbed over the entire incident.

On this occasion I happened to be traveling with my aforementioned companion and asked her opinion. To which she replied: "Get a room?" Apparently, she was learning very quickly. "Yes," I said, and perhaps "The Next Stop Is" a place for them to "Get a Room" :)

Note: For those unfamiliar with the phrase "Get a Room" - from the Urban Dictionary: Derisive or humorous comment said to couples engaged in heavy-duty PDA that means your wanton lust is making me uncomfortable (or jealous). The implication is you should get a motel room because you're practically doing it [sex] here.


Thérèse said...

Excellent picture/excellent explanation...

Cerulean Bill said...

Been quite some time since I lived in New York, but I'd hazard a guess that some of those 'tolerant' New Yorkers simply don't want to get involved -- they have more important things to think about, or they are not sure that getting involved won't rebound on them. You talkin' to ME???

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me of yesterday when I was working in a Starbucks along 6th Ave and a couple two tables down were grinding and loudly making out. In the true style of New Yorkers no one cared or stared at them though the environment was quite tense.

Caity Bierman said...

I've got to say I've participated in PDA , not more than a kiss and hug. But seeing as I was spending time with my boyfriend for the first time since he was in Afghanistan for a year, we really didn't give a crap. I knew people were looking but we weren't making noise or 'wildly' making out. Haha. I do find it nauseating to see 'super in love lovey dovey ' couples all over each other, but they're happy. From what you described she did here, seems a little bit over the top. I don't know why you would want other people to see that. so yeah, get a room! hahaha

Lisa said...

Ahhh I must have an inbred New York Spirit because no matter where I am at if I see a gross negligence display of a PDA going on...I don't hesitate to tell people to get a room and often times let them know where they can do just that; whether they know or not. Not sure why I do other than some things I just don't need to see or hear and I have often got standing ovations for voicing my opinion. Thanks so much for the picture and the dialogue!

Bibi said...

I was afraid I'd sound like an old fogey by saying I really don't like to see behavior like this. I think some things should just be private. Nobody wants to see how much you 'love' or can turn on your partner. Or if they do, then perform for them 'in your room.'

Anonymous said...


Brian Dubé said...

Thérèse - Tx
Cerulean Bill - very true. U never know the response to intervention.
Anonymous - that's insane.
Caity Bierman - that level of PDA doesn't bother me. Standard fare in Paris.
Lisa - U r one of many styles of New Yorker. Salud.
Bibi - All a matter of degree.

Naomid said...

One time while I was sitting down on a subway a couple (late 20's-30's) standing directly over me was making out, and some of their SPIT fell on me. It was the ultimate disgrace, and it took serious will to control my frustrations.