Today was a bit of a mixed bag. I rode up to Columbia again, from the East Village where I’m staying (it’s a long way – I keep assuming the distances are smaller than in London, because it’s only really one road, but that road goes on for over 100 blocks), and got knocked off by a car on Amsterdam Avenue. To my surprise, it wasn’t my fault – I’d been assuming that if anything bad happened, it would be down to my own unfamiliarity with the city. It was a classic pulling-out-without-checking-the-mirrors move and, swerve as I might, I couldn’t avoid going straight into him, and then falling off.
I had a good yell at him from the road, and after a brief argument, he took a deep breath and started apologizing, and asking if I was OK, so I stood up and made him wait while I checked the bike over. The wheels were still going round, and the forks were in one piece, so I let him go, and only then noticed that the bars had been bent out of shape.
It doesn’t look like much, but it really makes a difference to the steering. I’m going to have to find a bike shop (and/or a big hammer) tomorrow.
And then I went to an amazing symposium at Columbia Law School, where I found myself in the same room as two of my intellectual idols – Judith Butler and Gayatri Spivak – and reacted much the same way any normal person would on finding themselves in the same room as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. (The more I find out about Columbia, the more I like it. I think I’m going to try and convince them to let me study there.)
And then I dined with a friend-of-a-friend (with which NYC seems to abound) and headed back down Broadway. Again, the journey seemed a lot longer than I had expected (whoever told me Manhattan was small was lying), and my wonky handlebars and a bruised shoulder didn’t make it any shorter.
So I stopped at Butter Lane and bought today’s cupcake – two, in fact. The one I’ve just eaten was vanilla with maple pecan frosting; the one I’m unlikely to be able to avoid eating next is banana with peanut butter frosting.
The banana one seems to have taken a fancy to the pecan one on the way home.