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September 4, 2016

Manhattan Notary Ride

Filed under: Ken Edelstein — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:38 am

Manhattan Notary Ride

Prior to writing this blog installment I chose the 3rd assignment of the following day to chronicle. It turned out to be a routine business document at a midtown location. Like they say “getting there is half the fun”! Note: Dashboard mounted camera for hands off safety employed.

I’m going from 74th and West End Ave. to East 39th between 1st and 2nd avenues. It’s a noisy start; the garbage truck in front of me (with mechanism running and cans clanging) is silent compared to the Cadillac Escalade limo honking behind me. Slowly we advance one car length at a time. Finally at the corner, pedestrians ignoring the “don’t walk” (actually a red hand) cause me to miss the green light. Going west, about to cross Amsterdam Avenue; suddenly a delivery bike, going against traffic (illegal) cuts me off – braking hard – stop in time. A lady seizes the opportunity to push her baby carriage, against the “red hand”, again I miss my green light.

Finally, across Amsterdam, going east on 74th St., it’s narrow, only one lane. In the middle of the block a cab is pulled to the right. There is enough room to go around. I do so slowly, and am able to stop when the passenger exits on the “road” side; not the “curb” side. Got a green light at Columbus Avenue, right turn – almost. There is a “kiddy caravan” – dozens of toddlers literally tied together at the wrist to a central rope. They are taking the pre-schoolers to the park. I’m stuck in the intersection blocking the crosswalk and receive 1/5th of a “high five” from someone.

Finally on Columbus Ave, which feeds into 9th Avenue, part of my downtown route to 38th Street. It’s five lanes wide but the construction at 50th street narrows it to one lane. That area, for blocks has a terribly rough road, 15 MPH to avoid damage. Naturally the cab behind me could care less about vehicle damage – the driver does not own the cab – constant honking and flashing of high beams for me to speed up. I don’t. Now on smooth road to 38th street and a left turn. I cross 8th avenue and come to a stop. This is the theatre district and its intermission; vast crowds overflow the sidewalk into the street. They stand in the middle of the road sipping their drinks and puffing cigarettes. Fortunately the sirens of a fire truck behind me cause a path to open.

I’m crossing the Times Square “mall” area. The place is jammed with tourists gawking at the cartoon characters who, for a fee, pose for pictures. There are also some definitely “XXX” rated characters, “The Naked Cowboy” and some females only wearing high heels and body paint. It’s difficult to keep my eyes to the road ahead of me. What little I can see, there is a mass of humanity that consider the cross street part of the mall area. Finally a “white hat” law person, gender indecipherable – clears a path. Usually they only write parking tickets! I start to go but a delivery bike glides directly in front of me, breaking hard it’s a near miss. Finally I am on 7th.

Bike and turning lanes cut my downtown 7th Ave to 3 lanes, make that 2 when you count the double parked delivery trucks. Left onto 38th to York and 2 left turns to destination! All of the streets are “No Standing except for Commercial Vehicles” and even those must obtain (at $3.50 an hour) parking passes. A block away – oil truck can’t make it past double parked car. Finally arrive, elapsed time 1 hour, distance travelled 3.4 miles, gas gauge moved one line!


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