Friday, October 19, 2007
When I saw the young woman park her bike against the outside wall of the Chase bank (formerly the Second Avenue Deli) then go inside to withdraw cash without locking the bike I thought it was strange that she felt so secure. But since she could easily turn around and see her bike from the ATM, maybe she figured she could keep an eye on it.
After she took out her cash, however, she breezed right past the bike and headed across the avenue to the farmer's market in the courtyard of St. Mark's Church (called Abe Lebewohl Park after the Second Avenue Deli owner who was murdered nearby in 1996). She shopped among the apples and squashes for 10 or 15 minutes and never looked back to check on her bike.
She owns locks--you can see them (more than one) in these photos--so she cares about keeping her bike, but she obviously doesn't believe she needs to use the locks in the East Village.
I felt an inexplicable rage at her blithe sense of security and must admit, I was incredibly tempted to hop on that bike and pedal away, just to teach the girl a lesson. The East Village is not Mayberry, where you lean your bike against the drugstore without locking it and go inside for a Slush Puppy and a lazy browse among the comic books. But what if I am wrong about that?
I didn't steal that bike and neither did anyone else. The girl came back, her basket laden with greenmarket produce and flowers, climbed on her unlocked bike and rode away, blonde ponytail streaming behind her, not a worry in the world.
Welcome to Mayberry.