With all the bicycles and scooters coming at you, from all directions, on city streets and sidewalks, you’d think it’s safer to walk in the park. Think again. It’s apparently the Wild West there, too.
A few days ago, as I was taking a morning walk along the east side of Riverside Drive, adjacent to Riverside Park, I forgot to look behind me when I moved over a few feet to the left to avoid a fallen tree branch. I heard a bicycle bell and and then felt the rush of air of the first bicycle as it whizzed by me, narrowly missing my left side by a few inches. A second bicycle followed, again narrowly missing me. These folks weren’t just leisurely pedaling along. They were going at breakneck speed.
I definitely think there’s a market in New York City for eyeglasses with rear-and-side-view mirrors.
I do worry that pedestrians are losing ground against cyclists here. I heard on the news this morning that Democratic Mayoral candidate Eric Adams is also an avid cyclist. Perhaps we also need full body armor.
It’s been raining so much in New York City lately that pretty soon we’ll need an ark. It rained with a particular vengence yesterday, which happened to be Mother’s Day. My family celebrated the occasion with a very nice lunch at a restaurant in Greenwich Village. Afterwards, I decided I would slosh my way uptown, or at least as far as the downpours and gusty winds would permit.
I actually made it to 34th Street, but during those 30-or-so blocks, I kept noticing how many people were walking around holding flowers –presumably for Mother’s Day–along with umbrellas.
So despite the gloom and sogginess of New York City yesterday (and today), the sidewalks and the subways were alive with color. Flowers don’t seem to have much of a scent anymore so their abundance didn’t help make the streets or subways more aromatic. But, that aside, it was extremely nice to have them to help cheer everyone up from the gloom and rain, including, I’m sure, all the mothers who ultimately received them.
Like most of us, I fall into routines. I get up at roughly the same time every day. My breakfasts of fruit, cereal and coffee don’t differ that dramatically from one day to the next. But I’m trying a new strategy to try different routes to get to places I might routinely need to get to in Manhattan–especially on foot.
What this new approach does is to provide opportunities for constantly changing sights, sounds and experiences. It’s especially nice when these new routes have older buildings that evidence the city’s history. They’re certainly shorter. Most of them are going to be brick or stone, to have survived fires. Some of them might even have an old sign embedded in the masonry.
My new walking plan not only makes it much more fascinating to walk around but gives me a chance to reflect on New York City’s incredibly interesting history. Plus I’ve found some great new places to stop to have a coffee and a muffin on the way.