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1. If you live in New York City and you notice a sudden drop in water pressure to your building, go up to the roof and look for a water tower that wasn’t there before. It is not an actual water tower, but an insect cleverly disguised, which drinks from the water lines of buildings.

Do not make any sudden noises or movements, but back away slowly and down the stairs.

 

2. There are banshees in the city. Everyone says that the sound is just police sirens. I know better, though, and you will too.

 

3. Bloomberg had an idea. Why not increase the amount of smog-clearing vegetation in the city by increasing the number of planter boxes? And why not put vines in each planter box,so that the whole city could be one giant carbon-sink surface area? It worked, for a while, until people started to get bothered by the window obstructions. So they opened their windows and cut the vines coming from floors above, and let them drop to the street, where they struck pedestrians. The only people who survived easily were the tourists, because they are always looking up. There are no more hanging vines in Manhattan, although you can find some hidden away in the Bronx.

 

4. Old Neptune always thought of washing the city away, but the city gave him a lifetime free pass to Carnegie hall, and he was satisfied. The mayor revoked his pass when Hurricane Sandy hit. Old Neptune almost got angry enough to drown the whole city, then, but he realized that it would mean losing Carnegie Hall.

 

5. In the Chelsea Market, behind a fence, off to the side, there is a pipe that gushes green liquid. It's not water. Nobody is sure what it is. The blueprints for the building don't show the pipe. The green liquid falls into a pool that drains somewhere, but that's not in the blueprints either.

The liquid tastes like electricity, and causes one to notice a soft keening that is audible despite the noise of the market.

 

6. In the Chelsea Market, any direction you wish to go will involve fighting against a sea of people coming at you. This is not possible to avoid. If you turn around and try to move with the crowd, you will find yourself opposed anyway. The only way to move with the crowd is to walk backwards. No-one I know who's tried this has ever been seen again.

 

7. There's always someone watching you, no matter where you go. Not all of the people watching are human. if you fear their gaze, sit down on the street and write HOMELESS PLEASE HELP on a cardboard sign, or stand on the corner and act like you're passing out flyers. Even the non-humans of the city hate to meet the eyes of flyer-dispensers. Begging for change is somewhat less reliable.

 

8. In the apartments, doors sometimes start to rattle. Sometimes this is because a truck or a train is passing below. Sometimes it is not.

 

9. If you walk the streets at night, you will see one of the big sodium-vapor lights swinging its big eye up and down the street. Who knows what it's searching for? Best to stay out of the way.

 

10.  The people who stay out all day – the food-cart people, the Horse-Carriage drivers, the taxi drivers, the homeless beggars, the urchins, the Naked Cowboy – eventually see things that everyone else has the luxury of missing. The way the sky bends under the sheer mass of life within the city, the way reality cracks and horrid forms lurch through the gaps. The street people keep watch. They call upon the police to beat back the invaders and close the gaps. But some always make it through, and hide in the sewers, where, if they are not eaten by the alligators, they lodge themselves and feast upon the life force of the city, and grow ever stronger. 

Tip your hat to the street vendors, and give your bills to the beggars, not out of pity or charity, but out of gratitude. Their lives are on the line.

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