My commute home starts with the touch of a brick outside the back door I exit from the building - a ritual I performed daily when leaving work to remind myself how lucky I was.
I flip on my numerous lights and proceed out of a gateway into the street.
I do not make the first light and stare down at cobblestones put down decades before peeking through layers of worn pavement as I wait for the light to turn green.
Green means go and I pass ambulances parked in front of the hospital awaiting calls to come to the rescue.
My brakes squeal as I reach the end of a sharp decent and approach a stop light beaming red.
I look at an empty space where a once old tree stood - the fallen victim of a sudden thunderstorm that blew it down one day.
A dog runs wildly off its leash, in full view of a sign that clearly states, "Dogs on Leashes Only. Use Dog Run."
I ring my bell for fun as I proceed through a small tunnel, even though no one is around to warn.
Couples cuddle on benches overlooking the Hudson River.
I check the flags on the boat dock and it seems that every day the wind is in my face.
The metallic sound of a basketball going through a chain net is accompanied by a exuberant cry of "And one!"
A velvet rope outside of strip club it set up for a line that has not yet formed.
Cruise ship passengers wander cluelessly in the wrong direction down the bike/pedestrian path and an angry Lycra clad rider berates them while trying to keep his pace.
Scantily clad models stare down at me from large bill boards stationed several stories over the road.
I weave around potholes that have gone unfilled for months - I could probably weave in and out of them expertly with my eyes closed.
I turn sharply onto the sidewalk and un-click in front of the bike shop next to my apartment door. I stare through the window and wonder why the owner has a high tech bow and arrow set up next to a racing bike that costs more than all the bikes I have owned in my life combined.
The pizza shop owner, a Phil Jackson lookalike, nods at me as he puffs away on a cigarette.
I shoulder my bike and take the slow walk up 48 stairs to my apartment.
I pause for a moment before opening the door, for this is the last time I will make this commute. I reflect on what it has meant to me each day and know that I will miss it, but look forward to developing a new routine soon.
In the late summer I got an interesting job offer in a different city and decided it was too good to pass up. Bike Hacks cut its teeth on my NYC commute and now I will have a new city to commute in. I am moving North to Boston. From a few trips up to Boston over the summer it seems to have a vibrant bike culture. Any readers out there with Boston experience are welcome to share their thoughts, advice, warnings, and wisdom as I explore new ground. Several future entries will still have an NYC feel as I have many pictures cataloged to write about, and I will be traveling back to the mean streets often for business and pleasure.
Thank you New York City, you commute well.