On a typical day banks get robbed and buildings get surounded. One time I was down town, walking near Fifth Avenue Plaza, when first two and then, like stern rabbits, dozens of cops plowed into the perimenter, cop cars accumulating in a dense formation around busy Penn and Liberty Avenues. It looked wonderfully organized, with police storming into a branch office bank, all in all, size of a Kinko's copy store, all happening half a block or less from me.
Heading to my bus stop like normal, I just happened to be coming toward the incident, walking at my normal clip along the flank of Fifth Avenue Plaza on a gorgeous summer day.
People were at their all out best, just then, as the spectacle with police action went like a rodeo popped up all of a sudden. People who normally walk past each other with polite disregard smiled. "Someone robbed the bank," a tall stunning black woman said to a passerby, who smiled back and said , "Lotta Po-lice." Other people smiled along and shared the words "whole lotta po-lice." Whatever happened in the bank was probably in the can, in one sense or other, within a few seconds, and nobody seemed to be watching. It was something you couldn't miss if you wanted to, and a teaming narrow side street between Penn and Liberty was remarkably cheerful and personable. 'Normal' is a marvelously adaptive word, in these parts.