The Pope was here

On Thursday night last week I had plans to see a play in Harlem. I was going to ride my bike. I live in Crown Heights, in Brooklyn. I allotted myself an hour and a half to ride there. I would leave at 6pm for the 7:30 play. I doubled checked the address right before I left. And oh goodness, it starts at 7pm, not 7:30. Well, I’ll ride fast. I took my bike with the gigantic front chain ring, which means it’s kind of hard to go uphill, but if I pedal while going downhill I go really fast.

I got to Williamsburg pretty quick and rode over the bridge. I rode down the bike lane on First Avenue in New York. I almost ran into a pedestrian. Hey hey hey. Yo. Look, I’m sorry I’m usually more careful than this I’m just trying to get to this play on time. Also, you should look before stepping into the bike lane.

At 37th Street, right before the UN, streets were closed. Not unusual. Please walk your bike, the police ask. Ugh. I walked my bike and then I jogged my bike for a minute then I walked it again. I got back on my bike at 2nd Avenue and rode down to 3rd Avenue where I turned right. The streets were packed with cars at a standstill. There were uniformed people directing traffic at each intersection. I couldn’t go fast anymore. I evaluated spaces between trucks to see if my bike would fit. I weaseled my way through. But this was taking way to long.

New plan: ride through Central Park. I turned left on 61st Street. Street’s closed miss, they said. Closed to bikes? What about the park? Closed until 73rd Street. Ugh. What is going on? And that’s when I realized, the Pope is here in New York. I stopped for a second and looked around for evidence of him or where he might be. There was none. I thought about searching him out. Naw, too complicated. So I kept going. Traffic thinned out somewhere in the 70s and I started riding fast again. I made it to the play only just in time.

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