This Week in Lines

by Jake Gallagher


12:03 PM Wednesday, July 9th — Halal Cart, 69th and Madison

Length: 11 people
Weather: 81 degrees and partly cloudy
Crowd: Construction workers
Mood: Distracted
Wait Time: Approximately seven minutes
Lingering Question: How many Halal carts can one neighborhood sustain?


12:18 Wednesday, July 9th — Abercrombie & Fitch, 56th & Park

Length: 32 people
Weather: 81 and partly cloudy
Crowd: A mix of American teenage girls with potbellied parents, sunburnt European tourists, and camera toting Japanese tourists.
Mood: Anxious and preoccupied. I got the sense that no one, even the kids really had any idea why they were there.
Wait time: Right after this photo was taken almost the entire line was allowed in, which leads me to believe this is a strategy by the store to always maintain the facade of foot traffic.
Lingering Question: How are people still being conned into waiting in this line?


3:08 Thursday, July 10th — Justin Timberlake tickets at Hammerstein Ballroom, West 34th and 9th

Length: Roughly 130 people divided between three separate fenced off areas.
Weather: 81 and mostly cloudy
Crowd: 90 percent women of all ages. 5 percent bored looking scalpers. 97.3 percent oversized plastic sunglasses.
Mood: Near the front, the veterans chattered gleefully amongst each other like sorority sisters of the house JT. They had come prepared with lawn chairs, umbrellas, and enough food to last them through a weeklong engagement, but the back was another story. The empty-handed newcomers appeared comparatively ill-prepared for the wait ahead, and a number of them assumed the Charlie Brown stance as they took their place at the rear.
Wait Time: 4–5 more hours.
Lingering Question: How long will a phone last if you take one selfie every minute capturing the slowly setting sun in the background while waiting to enter a Justin Timberlake concert?

Jake Gallagher is a writer for A Continuous Lean and other places.