I have been to nearly every major city in the world: LA, San Fran, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Milan, Paris, Frankfurt, London…all of them, except up until about a week ago: New York City.
Went there for “business”. I like to use the quotes when I talk about some of my trips, because, well, business = fun and therefore it is kind of fun to do business. Company bar tab, talking to people about cool stuff all day, eating really good food. Yeah we all have to work for our living–except for this guy
so we may as well crawl out of the coal mine and get it on in New York City. My liver may begin to look like a coal miner’s lungs with time. But you might get carpal tunnel-we are face occupational hazards.
I have to say, i was somewhat dissapointed by the Big Apple. Now before you say, “Fuck you, chopper” read me out. I had thought that people in New York were all supposed to be assholes-surly and curt, the streets filled with Christian Slaters’ on crazy bikes doing wheelies and track stands, the food wretched and retarded expensive, and the threat of an ass-raping or mugging lurking behind every corner.
What I found was a city of actually quite nice people, a ridiculously low freak factor (I mean Portland has more freaks in one city block than the entire island of Manhattan), hardly any homeless people (Seattle is like an outdoor homeless pavillion compared to the Apple), no moments of “Holy Shit there is the barrel of a revolver sticking me in the face” (I got drunk on martinis one night and pissed off my wife, which is about as close to a harrowing experience as I had), no one tried to rip me off for my cab fare (Las Vegas anyone?), the food was more affordable than here at home (people here are a bunch of fucking thieves with menus), and the majority of the bikes i did see were shitty, clapped out mountain bikes or road bikes (all with gears) or absolutely stupid fucking track backs with 26″ front wheels and handlebars the width of a robust mustache (which I assume is all an image thing) locked to lightposts with chains worth twice the bike.
I don’t blame people for not riding a lot of bikes around in the city there. The traffic is not just crazy, it’s fucking terrifying. It’s like Phoenix without the meth and cactae: four lanes wide, but the boulevards are skirted by skyscrapers and pedestrians all head down just getting to the next point of the day. Every cab ride was as though I had done a classic, “37th and 5th, Step on it!” to the cabbie hitting 60 between traffic lights as though gas was free. There was very little regard for human life from behind the steering wheel (which is not unusual anywhere). I came to the conclusion, that i would not rent a bike to ride around and see a little more of the city. Walking was fine. Somehow, this did not really bother me. I think if I did live there I would ride in Central Park with the carbon fiber set.
Despite not getting insulted, ripped off, mugged, or beaten to a bloody pulp for my sneakers, I have to say NYC is the coolest city I have ever had the chance to visit. And while I was there, Lance was hooking up with one of the cast from the muppets. It’s awesome that a guy from Texas made the biggest freak maneuver I saw or heard of. Way to go buddy!by