Citi Bikes on the Upper West Side! If it was going to happen anywhere it would be here.
Riverside has always been a mystical park. Even as Guilliani and now Bloomberg whitewash the city Riverside resists.
As youths, it was in Riverside where we escaped the confines of prep school to frolic in the animal kingdom, or trade stories with an old man who lived underground while his campfire cracked and licked at painted walls, and it was in Riverside on Christmas eve that Lester, Bat, Marley and I dove into piles of freshly discarded pines – light as haystacks and fragrant like a forest.
These days it is Riverside where the green turf fields turn to sheets of sparkling white – illuminated by the dipping winter sun, and in the summer it is Riverside were behemoth bottom trawling fish spill their guts, and bearded warblers sing of bygone eras.
So of course it would be Riverside where a wily band of nudniks chose to dump their dozen Citi Bikes. Were they stolen? Has someone figured out how to hack a Citi Bike rack?
But it had to be a group because the nearest station is over a mile away, and to get twelve bikes to 97th – from 59th – that would take a lot of time. Were they somehow lost – at $1,000 per bike -that would be a hefty fine! Or was it a statement “Bring Citi Bikes to the Upper West Side, By Any Means!”.
Materializing after midnight and vanishing before dawn their origins and disappearance remain a Riverside enigma. Though the intent seems clear, these stolen Citi Bikes set free in Riverside Park send a message of dissent to the Bloombergian powers that be.