It was my birthday and I got myself a new bike, Pinky: a small, hot pink, Ross bike. Pinky came to me by way of Craigslist for $60.
While walking out of my apartment building in one of New York City’s safest ZIP codes, I found Pinky absent from both spots where I usually park her: the bike rack and the old parking meter cemented into the ground.
Then, I crossed the street to — the parking meter? Where WAS the parking meter?
The old cemented not-in-use parking meter that suddenly did not even have an actual meter attached on top of its steel pole? Ridiculous!
I called 311 and was instructed to speak with my local precinct and pick up a voucher, go into Brooklyn, then walk 30 minutes from the G train to a huge warehouse where rows and rows of bikes rested in stasis.
At the warehouse, as I bailed out Pinky, I asked the warehouse officer if I could theoretically swap bikes, since it seemed no one else would ever go to the same lengths as me. The answer was, “No,” because these bikes, collected by the City of New York for various reasons, are sold on a Web site similar to eBay. All I could do was nod like a bobblehead.
I’m proud to say that Pinky escaped the block; she is now safely locked up with a proper lock on a proper bike rack and reunited with her proper owner who now knows where NOT to park her bike. New York City may be one parking meter less, but it sure won’t be one bike more.
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