Yellow handlebars, blue frame, gold tires with rubber rims and rear rack. Forty years old and in perfect condition.
A Craigslist ad directed me to her for a summer at home. No more shortage of bicycles: I had found my wheels.
There was no room for the bike in my Hell’s Kitchen apartment – there was barely enough for my bed – so she stayed on the street. It was my first mistake as a city bike owner.
Ready for a 7am ride, I slipped on my spandex, filled my water bottle, and ran downstairs. In place of the bicycle was a padlock that had been cut in half like a stick of butter.
I started browsing the lost bikes pages on Instagram and websites obsessively. In the meantime, I have found a second set of wheels. Two months passed, and I continued to scroll.
At one point, an image caught my eye: dozens of bikes crammed under an overpass. The legend said that they had been taken to the 20th arrondissement.
I took a closer look, and it was there: yellow handlebars, blue frame, gold rubber rim tires, and a rear rack.
Now I have two bikes in my Hell’s Kitchen apartment. Who needs a bed anyway?
– Hunter Travers
The steps of the Met
I was coming out of a whole day spent in front of screens, familiarizing myself with the outside world and natural light.
As I walked down Fifth Avenue towards the Met, the full moon was rising and a summer breeze pulled over the canopy of trees. It was a remarkable improvement from three hours earlier.
A lone accordionist swayed to the sound of his music down the steps of the museum. He seemed to be enjoying his evening so much that I sat down to do the same. The notes of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” floated in the air, covering the rush of the fountains.
If he was aiming for tips, he had certainly chosen a sparse time of day. But while he was playing, an older couple stopped, then stopped. The doormen across the street approached. Three teenagers fell on their skateboards.
Finally, the accordionist greeted the security guards. He loaded his instrument in the back of a parked taxi. Then he got into the driver’s seat and turned on the light.
On the next block, a woman in heels waved him down.
– Lucie Croix
Very early on a gloomy, gloomy winter morning, my daughter, Sadie, and I were walking to her school.
Right behind me, Sadie asked if my heel was cold.
“No I said.” Why? “
“There’s a hole in your tights,” she said.
Suddenly out of nowhere we both heard a female voice asking if I needed an extra pair of pantyhose.
“What?” I said, turning to see the woman who had asked.
She took out three pairs of black tights and gave me one.
Shaking my surprise, I accepted, thanked her and wore them the rest of the day.
– Jane Silverman
After a pickup from school in Manhattan, I took a rush hour F to Queens with my daughters.
The train was packed. The baby started to cry. There was a collective moan among the other passengers.
When the toys couldn’t calm her down, I would ring my keys. It made her howl with laughter, but she cried when I stopped for a second.
By the time we got to Jackson Heights the train had started to empty. It was silent except for the rhythmic click of the keys.
A new passenger got on.
“What’s with the keys?” He cried, not holding back the curses.
I stopped in the middle of the jingle, but then other people jumped on my defense.
” Do not listen to him !
“Jingle away! “
“Go ahead, ma’am, jingle!” “
A man who had taken the train all the way put his hand on his heart.
“You are a beautiful mother,” he said.
I gave the keys one last shake. The baby was sleeping soundly.
– Jess de Courcy Hinds
The man I have been married to for over 50 years and still dated at the time. We were walking along the bottom of Fifth Avenue on a Saturday night when a car pulled up.
“Where’s the electric circus?” People in the car shouted.
For those who don’t know, the Electric Circus was a nightclub on St. Marks Place that was a popular destination for the city’s hippie culture in the late 1960s.
My husband explained to me where it was.
“How is it?” they asked after thanking him.
He had never been and disdained such establishments, but he answered anyway.
“It’s great,” he said. “You’ll love it.”
After they left, I asked him why he said that.
“They were going there anyway,” he said. “Why waste this? “
– Michelle Braverman
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Illustrations by Agnès Lee