I was riding my bike on Fifth Avenue south of 55th Street. Traffic was heavy. Suddenly, a cabdriver with four young male passengers cut across a lane and screamed at me in an unfriendly voice.
“Hey, lady,” he yelled, “Why don’t you get yourself a horse?”
I didn’t respond and instead kept an eye on the cab as I continued on downtown. When it was forced to stop and wait at a light, I sidled up to the driver’s window and leaned in.
“And you sir,” I said in a soft voice, “should get yourself a broom.”
I heard a loud burst of laughter from inside the car.
The light changed, and we continued along at about the same pace. When we reached 34th Street, the driver leaned out of the window.
“Lady,” he said, “please accept my apology.”
“An apology from a cabdriver!” I said. “No one will believe me, but apology accepted.”
— Dorian Cusick
On the C
I was on a downtown C train. There was a man in front of me with a hat and curly hair.
Across from him was a young woman.
I noticed that she was doodling on a piece of paper.
She was drawing him.
When she was done, she showed him the drawing.
He smiled and took a picture. Then she showed the drawing to me.
— Ardavan Nozari
At Prince Street
I suck a small
tart found in a
pocket nest of
tobacco and lint
from last winter.
The train pulls in.
A woman is
folding a map
mouthing the route
girls in dark lipsticks
get on, talking
loudly of rats,
drowning the chime.
The doors shudder
then close, open
and shut once more.
I’m nodding off
and top out at
Times Square, each spot
lighted a show:
in shorts blows out
casting for ears
with a brass pole.
An old sailor
on black velvet.
Further up a
in beads and gown,
a man renting
a telescope aimed
at the moon.
— William Clark
When I visited New York over the summer, I set a goal for myself for a return visit that I had planned for November: If there was a day with a high temperature of around 50 degrees and no rain in the forecast, I would try to walk 100,000 steps in one day.
A day came when the conditions were right, so I set out from Long Island City at 2 a.m. and walked all the way down Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue to Citi Field.
I knew from early morning La Guardia flights that Jackson Heights and Corona were vibrant neighborhoods even in the middle of the night and would be perfectly safe.
I headed back toward Manhattan as day broke and walked the perimeter of Roosevelt Island. I especially enjoyed the statue honoring the journalist Nellie Bly, who exposed conditions at an asylum on what was then known as Blackwell’s Island.
In the early afternoon, I crossed the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time since the death of the author David McCullough and reflected on what an accomplished historian and writer you must be to get so many people to read a 600-page book about a bridge.
It was a little after 6 p.m. when I exceeded the 100,000-step mark in front of the old Union Square Savings Bank, completely oblivious to the fact that the building was the new home of the Off Broadway show “Titanique.”
By the end of the day, I had recorded 113,772 steps, and my appreciation for all of the city’s gems was even greater than it had been when I started out before dawn.
— Tom Jensen
In 1979, I was a freshman in high school. On a warm spring day my friend and I took the Long Island Rail Road into the city to sign up for an American Youth Hostel bicycle tour.
Having finished our business by noon, we looked around for someplace to eat. We saw a pizza place with a line of people out the door. The line was moving quickly, so we joined it.
When I got to the front, I placed my order.
“Two slices and a Coke,” I said.
“Two slices, Coke,” the counterman repeated.
Within an instant, the food was in front of me.
My friend ordered next.
“I’ll have the same,” he said.
“Same,” the counterman repeated. And then he ran through a door into the back.
My friend and I stood there for about a minute, wondering what was going on.
When the counterman reappeared, he had another man with him.
“Here’s Sam,” he said.
— Rob Kotler
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