Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Live Every Wednesday Like It's Your Last

It's like 80 American Freedom Degrees™ here in New York City, which is like 20 degrees on The Scale Which Dare Not Speak Its Name*.

*[Not sure if you're aware of the political climate here in the Canada's heated seat, but it's pretty ugly at the moment, and now that Jew-hating is back I can only assume Celsius-bashing will be next.]

Now I realize that as the sort of smug cyclist who owns (however tenuously) a WorkCycles I'm supposed to mention that 80 degrees in late October is not normal and we're all doomed due to climate change, but whatever.  Let's set that aside for the moment and focus on the specter of death lurking around the corner as opposed to the one that will be my children's problem.  (My children are GENIUSES by the way, so I'm confident that if things are as dire as people say they'll solve the problem in no time.)

Anyway, like today, yesterday was very warm.  Actually, it was more than warm.  It was hot.  We are, after all, experiencing what some people call an "Indian summer," or others call a "Jew's autumn," depending on how politically incorrect they are.  I happened to find myself in Midtown, where people were taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temperatures by lounging on the library stairs or taking pictures from behind sporty fixies and regal beards:


And while I wouldn't exactly say it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk, it was more than sufficiently warm to cause the fixies to levitate:


Then again the tires may just be filled with helium for extra speed.

By the way, speaking of pneumatic tires, while I may have been negligent with my WorkCycles let it never be said that I don't take precautions with my frame pump:


The above bicycle is the storied Ironic Orange Julius Bike, which is also my Dedicated Manhattan Locking-Up Bike, and I've forgotten to bring a pump with me enough times that I finally just said "Fuck it" and hose-clamped one to the downtube.  (It won't fit under the top tube.)

Of course now I have to remember to carry a screwdriver, but I figure that's easier to improvise than an inflationary device.

And if someone wants an old, battered, wheezy frame pump enough to unscrew it from the bike, then as far as I'm concerned they can have it.  Someone gave it to me for free like 20 years ago, and honestly in 2016 I'd be surprised if anybody even knows what it is.

In any case, after I'd finished my business (mani-pedi if you must know, it's the only reason I bother heading anymore, and if you've seen my fingers the fabulous results speak for themselves), I headed back uptown via Central Park, where the vibrant autumn foliage was at odds with the scranus-baking temperatures:


I have always loved riding through Central Park, and I even love it on unseasonably warm days when streams of selfie stick-wielding tourists are salmoning at me on rental bikes, which is exactly what was happening.

Also, the above picture may look serene, but what you don't see are the roughly 30 Europeans next to me photographing the exact same tree.

Anyway, before long I left the tourists and the pedicabs behind and emerged from the north end of the park into Harlem.  I'd only gone a few blocks when I saw someone on a non-street-legal dirt bike heading up Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard--a common sight on summer days in many parts of the city.  He was a couple blocks ahead of me but I'm reasonably certain he was in mid-wheelie.  Either way, I looked around at all the kids in their uniforms coming home from school, and I thought about all the drivers I'd seen running red lights that afternoon, and I thought to myself that racing around on a dirt bike like he was seemed like an exceedingly bad idea.

Shortly thereafter I cut over to St. Nicholas Avenue, where I immediately sensed from the arrangement of the cars on the street that something was askew--even more askew than it usually is in the city.  Figuring I'd nab some bike lane-blocking porn or dumb driver behavior I grabbed my phone without really thinking about it and started shooting:


I then noticed the dirt bike, which I'm reasonably sure was the one I'd seen a couple minutes before:


And then the car in the bike lane ahead of me, facing the wrong way with a shattered windshield:


The group of people in the crosswalk had only begun to register with me as someone walked over to them on my left explaining that he'd just "hit him:"


I was still on bike blogger autopilot, rolling and shooting, as I passed the people in the crosswalk.  I'm not sharing the photo, but a woman talks plaintively into a cellphone as two men kneel over a bloodied young man.  (Teenager?  I can't really tell.)  Two bicycles lie next to them.  The kneeling men are assuring the victim and telling him to stay down, and I think I hear the victim responding.  I'm now just standing there along with increasingly more people, watching.  There's a lot of blood.  I feel stupid for just standing there but I also feel like it's somehow wrong to just leave.

I don't know what happened.  Was the victim walking?  Riding a bicycle?  Popping a wheelie on that dirt bike?  I have no idea.  I've witnessed nothing.  I do know that when the police arrive on the scene they'll have no idea either, and I'm not confident they'll take the time to find out.  I feel like I'm gawking now.  I don't know shit about what happened, I don't know shit about first aid.  The driver has not fled.  I look at the victim again.  A shiver goes up my back and stings my tear ducts.  I feel sick for the victim.  I leave.

For the second time since last Friday when my bike got stolen I reflect on my behavior when confronted with reality.  The further I get from the crash scene the more I think I could have done.  I could have demanded the driver's account and recorded it with my phone in case it would be of use to the victim.  I could have waited around for the police to arrive and made sure they did their job.  I could have done something instead of just gawking for a minute or two and then leaving.  Then I feel arrogant and stupid for thinking that I could have done anything at all, and I find myself in a guilt spiral because I feel simultaneously apathetic and arrogant.

The city swallows everything.  At the crash scene a large group of people are standing around a bloodied victim, all no doubt contemplating the fragility of life, but just a few blocks away it is as though it's not happening.  People walk, drivers run lights, and the only thing keeping everybody alive was that delicate balance of routine and happenstance.  That balance will be upset again.  It's happening all the time, all over town.  It's a bloodbath out there.  But it happens and gets swallowed and that's that.

Anyway, here's all I could find about it in the news:



For the rest of the way home I watched the brutal traffic ballet, and it made me even more despondent than it usually does.  The streets were swamped, flooded, overrun with cars.  Women clutching babies attempted to cross gridlocked intersections.  Drivers ran lights even as NYPD ticketed other drivers a block away.  It all seemed so theoretically fixable, yet at the same time so unstoppable and irreversible.

"Fuck it," I thought, looking out over the river.  "I'm taking up boating."


102 comments:

Bryan Bracy said...

first

Serial Retrogrouch said...

secondly

Anonymous said...

scrotium

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Serial Retrogrouch said...

...What happened to your oral pumping instrument? Your OrangeJulius must be dangerous to ride with #whatpressureyourunning!

Theodore said...

Dang homie. I came upon a cyclist in Albuquerque once who had just been hit by a (of course) hit-and-run driver. He died right in front of me as we waited for the ambulance. I had the same feelings. I felt so utterly useless. Like I was just an intruder. Later, i would reflect back on his mangled body and wish I'd had the know-how our courage to have kneeled down beside the man and take his hand and just let him know that he was not dying alone. I felt him every time i went part that spot later, as if by my witnessing his death that we were now connected. I felt haunted by that for years.

bad boy of the north said...

Boating?I hope that you're"just kidding". sometimes when a crowd appears it's better to observe.too many cooks.....as the adage goes.

misster pissta said...

Yeah..I feel for you...and when I undoubtly find my sefl in the position you were in ..will think about how you said you felt and try to help...thanx for sharing you deep feelings...well said

Stop Signs are Optional? said...

"Drivers ran lights even as NYPD ticketed other drivers a block away."

One rush hour morning I saw a cop giving a motorcyclist a ticket (for running a stop sign?) while in plain view, directly opposite where they were standing, other driver's would run a stop sign while making a turn. Damn the stop signs, full speed ahead, got to get that coffee and get to the office.

Cyber Killy said...

Top ten? Getting closer.

Bryan said...

Damn, you had to hit us with a heavy post today, didn't you. At least it sounds like the victim is still alive.

cdinvb said...

Well. On a lighter note. I have a couple of Zefal pumps. Which inflate tires. And whack dogs.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

12th angry Scranus

Anonymous said...

By 2050, another hurricane the size of Sandy will hit NYC. The storm surge, combined with rising sea levels, will make it possible for you row to Manhattan in the streets and avenues.

N/A said...

Could the bearded guy on a fixie squeeze any more hipster tropes onto his visage?

Fixie with stupid handlebars and stupid front wheel? Check.
Long beard? Check.
"Tatted" up? Check.
Hipster outfit? Check.
Nutcase helment? Check.

I can't see it, but surely he had an artisanal ax and a pound of pretentiously-sourced coffee stashed somewhere on his person.

Also, the music he's listening to? Oh, you've never heard of 'em.

MattWLA said...

That was a powerfully curated post, Wildcat. I will be re-reading it for sure.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

way down...

Michael Asay said...

Poignant words, Snobbie. Love your voice of advocacy. Let it ring loud and clear.

Anonymous said...

Don't let the orange freak get you down. There are more good folks than bad...
Just sayin'

Rich said...

20 years ago Ian Frazier wrote in the Atlantic (back when it was still Atlantic Monthly) about a very similar event that he experienced on the streets of Brooklyn. I was very moved by it. Thanks for reminding me about it. Here is the link http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1995/02/street-scene/305578/

janinedm said...

It seems like the week for that kind of thing. I got sideswiped in the In the bike lane going up Central Park West on Monday. Don't worry, her rear passenger door fared worse than I did (just some lost skin on my left hand). But there was no ticket for her and very little recourse for me. I'm just happy I didn't get killed.

janinedm said...

...another excellent unpaid ad for Workcyles, though. It is truly the Subaru of bikes.

Dooth said...

I'm digging this existential funk Widcat has thrown me into...how small we are in the belly of the big city. Gotta ride, though.

N/A said...

Ack, I was commenting as I was reading and hadn't gotten to the end yet. What a day, jeez.

I'm not being my normal dumbass when I say that the non-snark writing and subject of your last few paragraphs gnaws at me a bit. You live enough life, you probably find yourself in those situations where damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't, and it eats at your mind with the "what ifs" of the situation.

N/A said...

Glad you're OK Janine.

janinedm said...

N/A, it was as consequence-free as getting sideswiped by a Toyota Highlander can be, but this post reminds me that I should do some thinking about the event, you know?

Anonymous said...

I am a photographer. A suggestion-you need to get closer to your intended subject when you take a picture. Don't be afraid to fill the frame with it. For instance, in today's post, the picture of the smashed windshield is distant, with much clear in the foreground, making it hard to discern your intended subject. You make this mistake a lot. But you do have many great ideas and concepts for photos. So keep it up, but get closer.

dancesonpedals said...

A serene picture in which lurks sinister secrets...if Vanessa Redgrave gave you a BJ (removing her dentures first) and if David Hemmings were a bike blogger, we'd have "Blow Up-2016" (Harlem Dirt Bike* Edition)

*A euphemism if I ever heard one)

Anonymous said...

RE: Being able to give first aid

It is worth it to take the first aid refresher courses, just to be half-ready in the unlikely event you will find yourself in that position. The one time I wanted to help, I really wasn't ready, and not even composed enough to take the reminder card out of my wallet.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Yeah good post. The Vibe has a timeless feel. Reminds me of the monologue at the beginning of the old detective shows. Where the gumshoe laments the state of affairs in his metropolis.

Scranus.

Billy said...

Three times already this year I've watched a little 20-foot sailboat cut off a passenger ferry or a giant cargo ship, because the sailors weren't paying attention or didn't have proper control over their boat. It's only a matter of time before one of them gets crushed. Boating is only marginally safer than cycling on the streets, if at all. Lots of clueless people and arrogant people, the same mix you find driving their cars on the street.

That said, a little bit of due caution on your part goes a long way towards keeping you safe, just like it does on a bike.

I know exactly that emotion you're describing when you are watching all of the utterly inane unnecessary madness with cars on the street. I sometimes despair for the species, not because we're going to damage the planet or whatever, but because we seem like we just collectively have our heads up our asses. We can't even figure out how to go to the store or pick up kids from school without bloody mayhem.

McFly said...

Boating is fun. Remember to get an older one on the cheap so you can also learn to be a marine mechanic.

EricS said...

Like Billy, I dunno about boating in NYC: "The result, just offshore, is a chaos of wakes, close calls and frequent clashes between those who use the city’s rivers as a thoroughfare and those who use them as a playground."

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/01/nyregion/recreation-and-commerce-collide-on-new-yorks-crowded-waterways.html

N/A said...

Boats, like swimming pools and wives, are expensive to maintain and don't get used as much as they should to validate the expense, 'tis better to have a friend with one and just borrow as needed.

Bryan Bracy said...

I too have jousted with the selfie-stick welding rental bikers, but on the Golden Gate Bridge, mind you.

Mike in Dallas said...

WCRM, if you had any doubts about the spirituality of commuting by bike; that it was so much literary license in what you've written previously, I suspect the event has your understanding sharpened and doubts cast away. We are all in danger every moment of every day. You minimize the risks as best you can do. You learn and teach bicycle safety. You lobby for something better from the infrastructure and laws involved with commuting. You defend the weaker modes of commuting, even if you never use them. You engage it thoughtful evaluation of yourself and the actions of those surrounding you when commuting, like you are doing now.

At the end of the day, the danger never goes away. It can't; that's not life. And who the heck do I think I am that I would live a danger free life anyway? What makes me so special to live a danger free life? No, I am forced to learn on the world's terms on at least some level of danger. And that type of learning is always spiritual.

BamaPhred said...

First Aid:
Call 911
Clear the airways
Apply pressure to spurting blood
Plastic bag, wrap, etc on sucking chest wounds
You can do all this nearly at the same time.
Don't move victim unless imminent danger.
Anything less than that just hold their hand and wait for emt's to arrive
I'm assuming big city, natch.
Do I pass, dop?
Boating. Requires a hole in the water into which you keep throwing money.

The word "in" said...

In any case, after I'd finished my business (mani-pedi if you must know, it's the only reason I bother heading anymore,...

Heading a soccer ball? For THIS you need a mani-pedi?

Botox injections for other types of heading, sure. BUT A MANI-PEDI?!?

Anonymous said...

On a lighter note: in the second picture you're being "nonplussed" by the blonde walking next to Father John Misty.

wishiwasmerckx said...

So, as usual, the comments have drifted far afield of the original topic, allowing me to share some thoughts on boating:

1) If it floats, flys or fucks, it is cheaper to rent it than to own it.

2) The two happiest days in a man's life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells it.

3) You can get the same effect as boating by standing in a cold shower ripping up $100.00 bills.

hoghopper said...

Love the New York Times article. Greenblatt says anti-semitic Twitter posts are a threat to free speech. In the next paragraph, he complains that Twitter did not silence the people making those posts. Holy irony, Battman!

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 12:54pm,

Not a photographer nor have I ever claimed to be. Good advice, but of all the photos yo be pedantic about you pick the one I took as I rolled through a crash scene?

Nice.

--Wildcat Etc.

McFly said...

N/A said....

... 'tis better to have a friend with one and just borrow as needed.

Like swimming pools and wives?

McFly said...

Boats are also OK if you basically like seeing women in underwear.

N/A said...

McFly:
I said what I meant.

N/A said...

My comment is just an old variation of WIWM's #1 in his list at 1:47

Grump said...

Your pump looks like an old Zefal hp that needs a metal "thingy" to hold it on your bike. Don't worry about Climate Change, your 17 kids will enjoy Saint Louis weather.

Spokey said...

lucky me

i still call that other scale centigrade

oh, and it's still idlewild airport as far as i'm concerned.

Blog Drafter said...

Empathy has a small radius. The wiring in our brains prevents us from feeling much empathy for victims of large scale or far-away disasters, or even those a couple blocks away, as you say. It's literally too much for the brain to grasp. That's why we're so f*d up as a species. "Over there" has no empathetic meaning for us.

janinedm said...

New Yorkers get up in arms on each others' behalf all the time, but you have to understand that here, unlike a small town, a mile is a long way away. In a mile, you'd pass literally thousands of people. More than 60,000 people live in my zip code, which stretches a total of 14 blocks. This may muffle the size of the impact, but to seems from Snob's story that plenty of strangers rushed in to help.

Anonymous said...

Uhh. 80F = 27C. But Celsius is so antiquated, why not call it an even 300 Kelvins?

bad boy of the north said...

but then again....when the need arises....you have to jump in.over twenty five years ago my ex wife and I and several others saw a man fall into a pond after the dog he left unleashed had walked across thin ice and had fallen in.in what seemed like an eternity but was only a few seconds my wife helped me spread bodily across the ice and I pulled the guy out and his dog who had struggled to get out.i think the others were too awestruck to do anything.it stays vividly in my memory.what transpired yesterday I have already forgotten.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Blogdrafter,

Janine is right. It's not that people a few blocks away are ignoring it, it's that they simply have no idea it's even happening.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

mike w. said...

"Pedestrian (??) struck by vehicle in Harlem." The VEHICLE struck him? Rather he was struck by a vehicle that was being DRIVEN by a PERSON at the wheel. Take the driver out of the story and yet another crash becomes an "accident."

Blog Drafter said...

I can see that. I'm just saying that should a similar incident happen to two sets of people simultaneously each set would feel more for the people which happen to be physically closer to them, in their range of vision.

dem_bieks! said...

who the heck do I think I am that I would live a danger free life anyway

A self-absorbed 20-something barely making a living, if at all.

If there was an Internet 30 years ago, I would have posted the same thing. So, I know. You are missing the meaningful stuff of life being that self-absorbed.

Snobby, other than what you did, there's nothing to be done. It's humbling in the same way earthquakes are out on Canada's Western nether-regions.

dnk said...

Snob,

I once came upon a cyclist prone on the pavement. Car nearby, driver, cops, indifference. Medical assistance on the way (I assume?)---NYPD was on the scene. A scrum of onlookers.

The guy was down and unconscious, and thick viscous blood was running downhill from the base of his skull. This was near the entrance to the Q-boro Bridge. In front of what used to be (what still is?) a "gentleman's club." It was a Saturday morning. It was the late 1990s, or the early 2000s. Can't remember.

What I do remember is the blood running downhill from the guy's head. And him laying there. He might have been fully conscious. He might have been completely out. I don't know.

What I remember is the blood, and the sick feeling of terror that this kind of thing happens, and there is indifference and conflicting stories, and horrible personal ordeals.

What happened? I fled. Over the bridge. Met up with my friend and told him a story about as incoherent as I've just told here. We rode around for most of the day, and later drank some beer.

Hope the guy who was down (whoever he was) was minimally injured, and today he's still riding.

Who can tell?

Rich said...

Janine

In my earlier comment, I referenced Ian Frazier's article about strangers coming to the aid of someone on the streets of Brooklyn. I encourage people to read it; it is right in line with what you and others are discussing. It is titled Street Scene,
Minor heroism in a major metropolitan area

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1995/02/street-scene/305578/

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Thanks for the reality check snob. Don't take up boating unless you're into it. Everything that's been said above about boating is true. And the boating culture has everything that cycling has - freds, tri-geeks, retro-grouches, salmon, and fixie hipsters. Also, there are no lines out on the water to ignore like the streets have, maybe a buoy here and there.

Despite all of the cyclist vs motorist vitriol, there are lots of nice folks out there, and maybe they really are the majority when shit actually happens. I've been a helper and at times an on-looker. I've also been helped. 2 years ago I crashed while riding my bike - alone on a quiet road I've ridden thousands of times - and I was laying in the middle of the road and couldn't get up. Nobody's fault but my own (maybe a real accident?). The first person who drove up to the scene stopped, called 911 and then my wife, saw that I got into the ambulance, that one of the local folks took my bike and he got his contact info so my wife could go get it! I broke 6 ribs in multiple places, my shoulder blade and my sacrum (pretty close to the scranus actually). Luckily I got better.

Miha Glockenspiel said...

here what I grew up with:
https://a2011.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/kelle-kinder-fahrrad.jpg

It's supposely serving the same purpose as the noodle....

Anonymous said...

you really should give rowing a try. i did it for a few years and had a blast. most rowing clubs have a learn to row day. after that you join the club and take lessons.

as far as the crash, there were other people there that knew how to handle the situation. no need to get too involved unless you can contribute. i've been in those situations being the first one on the scene a few times. unless you deal with it every day it never gets easier to handle. i'm glad that you can share it at least. stay safe.

Anonymous said...

Snob, next time you find yourself in such a situation just ask yourself what would Melania do.

leroy said...

A couple of weeks ago, on the West Side Highway bike path near the ferry to New Jersey, I saw a tourist look in the wrong direction and then step off a curb directly into a cyclist who, luckily, was not riding very fast.

But both went down hard. And both stayed down, neither moving. Both had hit their heads.

I stopped, people were gathering. One called an ambulance. Others told the victims to stay down. We slowed and routed traffic around.

After a long while, rider and visitor were able to sit up. They were both very rattled and bleeding, but I was struck by how polite and solicitous each was of the other.

An ambulance finally arrived (we saw it get lost a few blocks ahead), both were treated, and both decided they didn't want a hospital trip.

The cyclist was determined to ride home to Brooklyn.

Anyone who's ever crashed knows what it feels like when the adrenaline fades. The soreness, stiffness, and cold - no matter how hot it is -- set in, often quickly and without warning. In an eye blink, you can find yourself off the bike again and, sometimes, on the ground again.

I volunteered to escort the cyclist back to Bed Stuy. I was heading in that direction anyway.

After a slow ride to Brooklyn, and a steady stream of conversation to keep tabs on her condition, I dropped her off and headed home using the bike lane on DeKalb.

Behind me I heard a roar. Four dirt bikes came up behind me fast. One, a foot off my shoulder, was popping a wheelie with less than perfect control.

A block later, I rolled up next to him and his friends at a light. No license plate on his bike; his friends, one or or two of whom had plates, were telling him he had to learn how to control his bike.

He was a kid. Just a dumb kid.

Had he buzzed me on purpose? I've no idea.

I smiled at him, said hello. I was young once and have done dumb things on a motorcycle. Lecturing him would have done nothing. Yelling at four strangers on a stoplight, might have been worse.

All I wanted was for the kid to realize that this isn't a video game. We're not pixels. When we fuck up. We can bleed. Hell, even when we don't fuck up, things can go wrong. I had just seen it.

I just smiled and said hello. My modest hope was only that he'd see there was a flesh and blood person on the bike he buzzed.

Sir Turd said...

A single comedic aside about boats and the comment section is inundated with seamen..save those tired boat jokes for the yachting forums you Fred floaters.

Umustbjoking said...

Here are criteria for an Indian summer:
As well as being warm, the atmosphere during Indian summer is hazy or smoky, there is no wind, the barometer is standing high, and the nights are clear and chilly.
A moving, cool, shallow polar air mass is converting into a deep, warm, stagnant anticyclone (high pressure) system, which has the effect of causing the haze and large swing in temperature between day and night.
The time of occurrence is important: The warm days must follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost.

Drock said...

I wonder about karma and things that crash. It is a crazy world considering we can just walk around to places but have gone global and wish to use gas power to get us around. Sad. And my chain lenght log got wet today, ink smeared so I have no idea how much stretch is happening. Time to go digital I guess. Seems a log should be kept with pen and paper however.

Spokey said...


i've been trained in first aid/cpr/and using an aed. but have never had to use it for real.

i'm scared to death of having to use it. i can't imagine my fear of screwing up without training.

my take is that if someone is there who seems to know what they are doing let them. if you think they need help, then offer and if rejected just back off. if you're the only one at the scene, well you do your best.

One thing we've been taught is that you ask the person (obviously they need to be lucid) if they want help and only help if given permission. don't know if that is common but the police officer first on the scene when my brother was hit by a right hook turn (see it does pay to be pokey spokey out from the light) asked the same thing.

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

Poignant, Leroy. I always thought you were a dcent guy. Now i know you are.

potbellyjoe said...

Some would argue they are better at the second use than the first. It's why I carried a telescoping pump for years working in a town that had some mean dogs.

Kendra said...

That was incredibly well written. I recognize that tangled up feeling of being useless, arrogant, and sickened all at once. You've captured it perfectly. I hope the victim is okay. Hope you are okay too.

Anonymous said...

Take up boating if you want, but people are all the same. My other hobby is kayaking. Motorboats have no qualms running too close and swamping you in their wake. Nothing changes until PEOPLE change.

Very Slim Pickens said...

Janine sorry to hear about Toyota putting out a hit on you. Hope the hand recovers on it's own & is fine. NO TICKET, move on, nothing to see here, go about your business.

Accident Scene said...

Coming across an accident scene is like coming across The Donald on TV; nauseating, but like a moth you're drawn to the flame.

David G said...

#whatnoblegasyourunning

Bluezurich said...

I am a photograpgher as well but unlike the poster way up yonder I'm not out to convert all you picture snappin' fools out there. Leave the Wildcat alone Ansel and work on your own craft. Speaking of crafts, I cannot wait for the rowing blog.

Bottle Ready said...

heh heh

He said Ansel

Doc Sarvis said...

That's been my experience. It's also what Paul Theroux said in "Fresh Air Fiend" Despite all the good folks,there's plenty of douches to remind us that people suck.

Anonymous said...

Hose clamp a frame pump?

Just put 1 CO2 cartridge on you key chain dickhead.

(J/K)

What a Day said...

Back to hat design and PSI volumes tomorrow.

Popeye the Sailor Man said...

There are lots of jerks on the waters too, though there is usually more space to maneuver around them. A good thing about nautical life is that the ocean is an unforgiving mistress and that fools are usually hard done by the forces of nature when they act stupidly.
This observation is somewhat diluted by lake users though.
Fucktards on their jet skis!

A little J. Conrad for your nautical edification said...

"“I watched the procession of head-lights gliding high and of green lights gliding low in the night, when suddenly a red gleam flashed at me, vanished, came into view again, and remained. The fore-end of a steamer loomed up close. I shouted down the cabin, ‘Come up, quick!’ and then heard a startled voice saying afar in the dark, ‘Stop her, sir.’ A bell jingled. Another voice cried warningly, ‘We are going right into that barque, sir.’ The answer to this was a gruff ‘All right,’ and the next thing was a heavy crash as the steamer struck a glancing blow with the bluff of her bow about our fore-rigging. There was a moment of confusion, yelling, and running about. Steam roared. Then somebody was heard saying, ‘All clear, sir.’... ‘Are you all right?’ asked the gruff voice. I had jumped forward to see the damage, and hailed back, ‘I think so.’ ‘Easy astern,’ said the gruff voice. A bell jingled. ‘What steamer is that?’ screamed Mahon. By that time she was no more to us than a bulky shadow maneuvering a little way off. They shouted at us some name — a woman’s name, Miranda or Melissa“ some such thing. ‘This means another month in this beastly hole,’ said Mahon to me, as we peered with lamps about the splintered bulwarks and broken braces.”

bad boy of the north said...

perhaps I should have said "dumbsruck"".

bad boy of the north said...

janinedm,i hope your hand is healing well.

paulb said...

A little J. Conrad: Fantastic. Where is Marlow now? From one of those streets along the upper Harlem Ship Canal you can find the the old yacht club, or you could a few years ago. Like passing through a time portal.

bklyn74 said...

In a nutshell, this is why I left NYC in August for Colorado after 14 years. I just couldn't take it anymore and the feeling that I could so easily be the next fatality that the NYPD or AG could give a shit about became all too pervasive. Well written as always, Snob.

dancesonpedals said...

Of all the times I've stopped to help people on the street for accidents/seizures/asthma, I've never had to do anything that required special training, just sit and wait for the ambulance.

One driver knocked a guy off his Colnago, bruising him and breaking the frame.

"I'm so sorry, I'll buy you a new bike!"

I said, "Ma'am, that's a $4,000 bike"

"$6,000", said the rider, his first words through the whole incident.

Call 911, don't move them & wait.

Chazu said...

I was in a midtown restaurant with my girlfriend in 1990 or 1991. I think it was a Sunday, so it was a quiet and (relatively speaking) sparsely populated location.

We saw a commotion outside the front window, and then heard gunshots. We left the diner perhaps 40 mins afterward. A subway station was nearby, practically adjacent to the restaurant. I've forgotten which subway lines they were.

There was blood on the subway station stairs and on the subway sign over the stairs.

We were horrified, felt sickened for a while, and went on with our lives. We both opted to leave Gotham City for our own reasons, and not because of that shooting. But it was a very different place in the late 80s and early 90s.

Row Row Your Gondola Gently Down the Stream said...

Can't wait for the Gran Regatta Don't, which will undoubtedly be held on a certain canal mentioned frequently here.

And coverage of the Venice Grand Canal Gondola Regatta "Cipo is stroking furiously, his pole bigger than all others..."

Suggestion logo for the Snob Rowing Hat, a two headed fish.

N/A said...

I wonder if Wildcat got hisself stuck out in the ocean?

C.L. said...

Nice post Snob. I recently heard this interview with Leonard Miodinow on WNYC. The Physicist talks about randomness and personal choice. Who lives and who dies, what/who is really calling the shots...

http://www.onbeing.org/program/leonard-mlodinow-randomness-and-choice/6295/audio

It gets really good about twenty mins in.

dcee604 said...

Will you be starting a new blog? BoatSnobNYC? What oar would you row with? Wood or crabon?

N/A said...

Maybe if Wildcat buys a fatboat, we'll get some cool posts of his voyages.

N/A said...

Does Brooks make anything nautical?

Anonymous said...

Apparently Snob has lived his last Wednesday. Dang, I was looking forward to that new fancy cap.

N/A said...

What if he's having an existential crisis, and is currently buying a crabon fibre bike? Some new Sidis and a Rapha kit? Holy Lob, he'll be insufferable!

N/A said...

My current train of lunacy has me wondering if boat Freds wear kits? Are they Sperrys and a Ralph Lauren ensemble?

Anonymous said...

Back in 1996 I was randomly stabbed five times (in a single incident) on my way home on a late night. Wasn't that serious thankfully, but almost made me consider leaving NYC, a cabin deep in the woods seemed like an option. However, 20 years later I'm still here. About 3 years ago I was out for run in riverside park and came across this scene http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/nyregion/four-people-stabbed-in-riverside-park.html
I helped out a couple of the victims until the cops arrived. Ur as pretty scary and brought my 1996 incident. However, I love this place for some reason and wouldn't think of leaving. Shit happens and sometimes really, really horrible shit happens (9/11)but you have to live your life and NYC is a pretty good place to do that.

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Ryan Kelley said...

Tear-worthy.

Sanjeev Anand said...

Great Post! Thanks for the information.

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