I was finishing up my cheese omelet when I saw a distinguished figure part a cluster of waiters like Moses the Red Sea and make his way toward the back of the restuarant where I was sitting.
It was during the final days of his term, but I was still shocked to see Mayor Bloomberg at my local diner and arriving for a breakfast meeting no less. Isn’t that what Gracie Mansion for?
I wanted to set down my fork and meander over to his table and say in Travis Bickle fashion: “Mr. Bloomberg, those Citi Bikes are the best darn things that happened to New York since Giuliani closed down the porn shops in Times Square,” but stares from the beefy guys with him said “not.”
Most people will remember Bloomberg for his ban on smoking in public places; whereas, I consider his greatest feat the Citi Bike program. It got New Yorkers moving – literally – and provided a fast, convenient way to zip around the city.
I am blessed in that there are two Citi Bike racks steps outside my door. On mornings the weather permits, I’ll hop on a bike and head uptown, dodging cabs, fruit vendors and double-parked cars, as I pedal my way to the office. I feel very European on my bike and like to think of myself as a modern day Audrey Hepburn, though to a tourist observing my commute I probably look like I’m driving a tank through hell. Little do they realize the real hell is the tube in the ground with commuters who blare Pitbull.
By the time I arrive at work, I may have avoided hell, but look like it. I’m a sweaty, dishelved mess, but feel energized by the ride and grateful for the Citi Bike that got me there.