It’s rides like this when I wonder if I should get on a bike here again
Within a block of getting on a Citibike last night, I came within an inch of hitting a pedestrian. The guy figured it was perfectly acceptable to stand in the bike lane when I had a green light. I rang my bell frantically and he turned to walk back to the curb, only to stop, and turn around into my path again. I had to stop short, nearly fell off my bike, and missed him by an inch. He never even flinched - not even when I yelled at him to watch out - and not again when I yelled that “standing in the bike lane is not a smart thing to do.” I first thought he was deaf, but then realized that a deaf person would actually be attentive to don’t walk signals, given the risk of not hearing oncoming danger. No, this guy was just oblivious.
Not a block later, I was stopped at a red light - yes, some cyclists actually do that - with a cab behind me. When the light turned green, a family of three with a stroller was still crossing the street in front of me. So I waited until they were out of my way. But before that could happen, the cabbie LAID ON HIS HORN at me. It’s not like he couldn’t see them in front if me - I’m not a two-ton high-profile SUV. But I’m a guy on a bike, and therefore IN HIS WAY. I pointed to the family in front of me, and he just shrugged his shoulders, as though if I hadn’t been there, he would’ve driven right through them.
Four blocks later, in Times Square, I found myself coming to the defense of a driver. While waiting at a red light, a car came through the intersection at 43rd and 7th. He wasn’t speeding and he had a green light. But the crosswalk he was trying to pass through was jam-packed with jaywalkers, so he tapped on the horn a couple times. One of these jaywalkers, apparently incensed that he was honked at, decided to stand directly in front of the stopped car and stare down the driver. I decided to ride over to him, since I had no other choice - the car was blocking the intersection and my ability to proceed. “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM,” I yelled. “HE HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY, AND YOU WERE JAYWALKING! MOVE!” He finally moved, I waved the driver on, and a couple of bystanders said, “good job. I couldn’t believe that asshole,” as I rode off.
Four blocks south of there, an MTA bus driver decided that there’s no need to pull into the dedicated space he’s given to pick up and drop off passengers. No - he decided to block one and a half travel lanes, block me from getting past him, and force his passengers to walk ten feet off the curb to board the bus, despite the fact that absolutely nothing was blocking him from pulling up to the curb.
I headed east to return to the dreaded Broadway bike lane. I call it “dreaded” because the pedestrians who cross this street are completely oblivious to the bike lane, and while they’ll gladly stop for an oncoming car with a green light, they won’t flinch when a bike with a green light flashes a light and rings a bell.
Thankfully, that wasn’t a problem tonight. No - instead, it was Macy’s and their shitshow parade setup, which has completely blocked the only southbound bike lane in Midtown for two blocks without any alternate route, signage, or warning. I assume this has already been going on for several days. In order to not break any laws and be able to proceed south on Broadway, you have to ride west one block and then down 7th Avenue directly in front of Penn Station - a place where only the clinically-insane would voluntarily ride given the volume of homicidal cabbies on that stretch. I chose to walk my bike for three blocks along the jam-packed sidewalks, as I passed an NYPD traffic cop who directed cars to stop smack-dab in the middle of a crosswalk in one of the most congested pedestrian corridors in the city.
Of course, assholes come in all shapes and forms no matter what your mode of transportation. Like when I got on a packed L Train after my ride to find an asshole leaning on the pole at the center of the car so he could play Bejeweled.
Seriously. Everyone in this city needs a fucking etiquette lesson
So tired of this crap:
Exiting the L train onto a deserted Wyckoff Avenue, I heard a young woman in a puffy coat tell her two friends that this is the most dangerous subway stop in Brooklyn.
I hoped these kids were wrong about the dangerousness of the area, but as I strolled past the dark chain-link fences, graffitied steel garage-doors, and single-story, windowless brick buildings that line Troutman Street, I felt like I should call the location scout for Law & Order: SVU.
All in all, it’s well worth braving that short walk down Troutman Street
Painful, twisted language to avoid getting sued by the NFL
The winner receives a trip to the Big Game in New York or to Hawaii to see football’s all-stars compete on the same field.
Seriously, though, fuck the NFL.
25 Breweries I’ve visited so far in November
Widmer Brothers Brewing
The Commons Brewery
Lucky Labrador Brewing
Cascade Barrel House
Base Camp Brewing
Hair of the Dog Brewing
Mountain Goat Brewing
Very Nice Brewing
Wild Mountain Smokehouse & Brewery
Denver Beer Company
Colorado Plus Brewpub
Crooked Stave Brewing
Black Shirt Brewing
Epic Brewing Company (Denver)
Our Mutual Friend Malt & Brew
River North Brewery
Jagged Mountain Brewery
I need some rest.
Life as a Business Traveler, Day 5
Got home really late last night. Unpacked, repacked, went to sleep, woke up, went to vote, came back home and lugged my stuff to the office.
Spent a whopping 6 hours and 10 minutes at home, and won’t be back again until Sunday afternoon.
Definitely sleeping on the plane this afternoon.
New York really, really wants me to leave.
This morning, I was trying to go through one of those high turnstiles at my subway stop, and someone several people before me apparently didn’t swipe properly. Since I was last in a line of people trying to rush to get onto a train that had just pulled into the station, the person in front of me unknowingly used my swipe, and I couldn’t get in.
Since there’s no token agent at that entrance, I had to walk three blocks to a staffed entrance. During that two-minute walk, I heard three trains enter and leave the station underneath me. When I finally plead my case and the station agent let me in, a train was just pulling out… and the next train - during rush hour - didn’t show up for another ten minutes.
Naturally, that train was packed to the brim and a guy standing behind me kept elbowing me the entire ride to Union Square.
When I transferred to head uptown, I was relieved when an express train pulled into the station. As I stepped in, though, something seemed horribly wrong. Something didn’t smell right. As the doors closed behind me, I realized what the smell was, and discovered the source of it as I turned to my right. A homeless woman was sitting on a bench seat, with nobody around her, and there was shit smeared all over the bench. It was undoubtedly the most disgusting thing I have witnessed in my ten years of riding the subway in New York.
I don’t understand how anyone was taking it in stride, but there were a lot of people in that car, and nearly all of us bailed after an agonizing ride from Union Square to Herald Square.
I was complaining before about how I’m out of town for all but one of the next ten days. Now I can’t wait to leave.