Sunday, November 11, 2007

You See, I See

There is endless talk on the web about sharing the road - something New Yorkers do not do well. These 'talks' inevitably lead to anger and vitriol - something New Yorkers do very, very well.
There is a movement to ban bicycles on the Brooklyn Bridge, a movement to ban cars in Lower Manhattan, and a movement to add more 'people barriers' to crowded crosswalks. We've been stratified by our preferred choice of movement - 4 wheels vs 2 wheels vs no wheels and apparently no one sees the need to ride a mile in the wheels of another.
As a pedestrian, I've always hated bike messengers and all drivers of vehicles - always getting in my way and forcing me to break my stride, or horrors, actually stop at a corner.
As a driver/passenger, I'm convinced that all pedestrians and cyclists are blind, suicidal maniacs who actively must push each other off the edges of the curb like penguins testing the water for killer whales.
And as a cyclist, I've discovered that, though no one has seen fit to share the secret of teleportation with me, pedestrians have developed the ability to materialize from nowhere, forcing me to either hit them, or get run over by the cab that they've just hailed.
This schizophrenic experience of the world has lead to my new fascination with the concept of 'context and perspective'.
In other words - How do you see the world versus how do I see the world?

You (probably) see a fairly empty street.

I see a bus that will ignore my existence and push me into the pitted, pot holed half lane that is bounded by a jagged mini - cliff of extruded asphalt on one side, and delicate piles of broken glass on the other.


The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and the line is always moving faster at the other register, but in cycling, my chosen lane is always better than the one you are trying to push me into.

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