Hacked in NYC
Late last week, I emerged out of the dark tunnels of Penn Station into a gorgeous, sunny New York City afternoon.
Uptown to 51sth and Park Avenue, that’s where I was headed.
Normally, I’d walk it but I had a small piece of rolling luggage and a backpack of photo gear. Plus, I was dressed up in a suit and tie. Too much collateral to get that type of travel done efficiently.
So I got into the yellow cab line. A long one at that, and not moving that quickly.
Chris pulled up along side us with his bicycle rickshaw. Said he could get us (He was pitching the group of us) there same as a cab.
I stood and debated. Finally I though…Why not? Never did that before in NYC.
So, I climbed onto his seat, stowed my luggage, and pulled out my camera.
And away he pedaled, off on the asphalt and into the bleating den of other gas-powered drones.
At red lights and periods of slow downs, we chatted about the new NY bike share program (too early to tell – tough there’s actually an amusing local radio spot for Honda running now, voiced-over by New Yorker Ed Burns, that intones “Great, now we have tourists racing around the city like it’s the Tour de France“), his calorie intake and burn (not as much as you’d think) and if he hates the cold weather cycling (no, not really).
An easy-going guy with thunder calves, he told me he’s the longest-riding bicycle rickshaw hack, doing this for 13 years now.
Whoa! That’s a lot of pedaling!
He said he likes it: He’s a small business owner and he can work as much or as little as he likes, as many days as he likes. He’s outside, meets people.
When he finally rolled up in front of the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, I figured I got my monies worth. Yes, it was a bit more expensive than a cab, but hey, the guy pedaled a heavy bike uptown, competing with traffic and people.
Before shoving off again, he let me take a couple of portraits of him, with Park Ave as the backdrop.
Chris is #92 in my 100 Strangers project.
In addition to meeting Chris, and adding to my project, it was such a beautiful afternoon with sun bounces and shadows all over the place, I picked up a couple of cool street shots too.
Just another late late late summer afternoon in The Big Apple.
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2013