Tonight was a beautiful night, one of those nights where you're glad you stayed out all night just walking around the city...where nothing really memorable happens, except that it's remarkable for being so forgettable...and then someone flips their motorcycle inches away from you.
I have a complicated relationship with West 14th Street, that is to say, basically from Union Square and over. Pretty much any time I walk down that street, day or night, something odd or frightening happens. Like the time a group of teenagers arranged an elaborate girl-fight in front of the Payless Shoes store (egging them on, handing them weapons, separating them and then goading them into continuing, it was a little scary). Or the guy who was paranoid that the potted plant he just walked past was following him. Odd. Frightening.
Tonight, Eli and I were crossing the street amid turning automobiles and the sound of a loud motorcycle revving its engine, but we couldn't see where it was coming from. Suddenly, I helmeted biker on a white bike shot into the street right next to us, went up on its front wheel like a circus trick, and threw the rider off into the air before turning over and falling to the street. The lucky biker stood up from where he landed after falling head-first, walked over to his bike, and made a few idle attempts at lifting it up to continue on his ride, as if something no more significant than a bug hitting his glasses had occurred. It was odd. And it was frightening.