To make the move to NYC as difficult as possible, I loaded everything I wanted to take on a bicycle, and then loaded myself the somewhat falsely named “Double Happyness” bus line in Albany.
However pleasant my fellow riders of the extra felicitous bus service were, I was nonetheless (doubly) happy to be back on a bicycle once we arrived in NYC.
Probably a questionable choice to make my first ride in the Big Fruit from midtown to the Upper West Side on a bike made wobbly by saddle bags. Unsatisfied with this arrangement, I also wore a big internal frame hiking pack in order to ensure that I had no rear vision whatsoever.
But hey it was my first time riding in such a huge place, and I was filled with that certain sense of silly glee that hits you when something uncertain comes easily to you, like remembering the words to a song you haven’t heard in ages.
Other first times on this first ride in la ciudad:
first time bicycling on a multi-lane one way street
first time passing a pedicab
first time experiencing “salmoning”-cyclists going the wrong way up a bike lane
first time actually being thanked for being a courteous cyclist, something that in all my years of bicycling, I have never been credited for. (Although, to their credit, Albany motorists have an absolutely charming habit of raucously celebrating you with their horns whenever you assert your right of way on the street).
And promptly after that, gaining my first glare from a pedestrian for being in the crosswalk.
My chance at a dignified experience was foiled at the end by a tiny elevator and my inability to remember my apartment number. With a backb
ack, a bicycle with big saddlebag hips, getting into the elevator required some of the skills of an acrobat and a yogi, both of which I am sorely lacking.
Having finally maneuvered my stuff and myself into the elevator (a process my father would have likened to “putting a condom on an elephant
“), I realized that I was not quite sure what floor I was supposed to stop at. Below the penthouse was as much as I remembered. After jumping out at several different floors and surreptitiously trying the door lest I alert the homeowners, I
sheepishly returned to the first floor, and had to ask the doorman, who had already gasped when he thought I’d scratched his elevator with an errant pedal.
I decided not to tell my (soon to be) brother doorman that I was
going to start in his line of work in case he was concerned enough to report my bumbling idiocy to my building super.
Dignity ain’t my strong suit.
Hurrah. But yo, I’m here, and to make you jaloux: the view from my apartment over central park for the next few weeks.
Plus, for your viewing pleasure, a bonus photo of my brother and his prom date(tree)