August in New York: Supposedly, it’s the most relaxed month of the year (at least until the convention). You can breeze into a restaurant and move about town with minimal hassle. Or is it? An informal test yielded a few surprises: Schiller’s on a Monday was no sweat. But Spice Market on a Tuesday was a different story. And some waits—like for a train, late at night—are the same year-round, but somehow feel longer.
Magnolia Bakery line, 10 p.m. - 3 mins. 30 secs.
The wait for a table at Schiller’s, 8 p.m. - 4 mins.
The wait for a salesman at Niketown to bring up your sneakers, with minimal store traffic at 4 p.m. - 4 mins. 4 secs.
The time it takes to speak to a live Time Warner Cable operator - 4 mins. 28 secs.
The time it takes to get a waitress at the Maritime’s Cabanas bar, 8 p.m. - 6 mins. 18 secs.
Line at Grand Central’s ticket window No. 5, 6:45 p.m. - 6 mins. 27 secs.
Women’s-restroom line at Bryant Park, 6:30 p.m. - 6 mins. 40 secs.
Popcorn line at Loews 68th Street before the 7:50 p.m. showing of Collateral. 6 mins. 40 secs. (and then 18 mins. 22 secs. of ads and previews, which seem to get longer by the week: Fandango, Alien vs. Predator gift cards, Touch deodorant, Shark Tale . . . )
Cashier line at H&M’s Herald Square location, 6 p.m. - 9 mins. 32 secs. The wait for the A train at a humid Spring Street station around midnight - 17 mins. 46 secs.
The wait for a solo lane at the Chelsea Piers pool, 7:40 p.m. - 19 mins. 19 secs.
The wait at the Rockefeller Center post office, 2:30 p.m. - 22 mins. 37 secs.
The wait for an upstairs table at Spice Market, per the maître d’. - 2 hrs. 30 mins. Downstairs, a predicted wait of “at least 45 minutes” takes only 18 mins. 11 secs. But then it’s 36 mins. 5 secs. until drinks arrive. A “mix-up,” says the waitress.