Sometimes so many things change so quickly that they create unforeseen problems. I know that famed motto of the creators of Facebook was “move fast and break things,” and they certainly …
Sometimes so many things change so quickly that they create unforeseen problems. I know that famed motto of the creators of Facebook was “move fast and break things,” and they certainly have done that, but in other arenas the combination of changes also can cause unfortunate things to happen. I saw an example of that last weekend.
I was in NYC with my daughter Liz, her husband Peter, and my granddaughter Adeline to celebrate Mother’s Day weekend. Naturally, we knew that the actual day would be too crazy to try to go to a restaurant, so we opted to go on Saturday. Unfortunately, Saturday’s weather was monsoon-like. It couldn’t have rained any harder, and the wind whistled determinedly down the avenues.
The original plan was to order food, pick it up, and bring it home to eat. But the restaurants we tried either weren’t open yet, or didn’t take phone orders, or couldn’t help us. Finally, we stopped the car outside an old favorite of ours, The Mermaid Inn. Very few people were eating in their outside shelter, and we were able to grab a table in our own little corner, with room for my fur babies George and Gracie. It was cold, but a heater above our table kept us somewhat cozy.
The oysters and beverages and lobster roll quickly made us forget the harsh elements roaring all around us.
However, we were soon witnesses to quite a disaster.
During the pandemic, many restaurants in NYC built shelters outside so that diners could dine al fresco, keeping everyone safer. These dining sheds have had some negative effects. For one thing, the already-limited space for parking has been reduced even further. For another, some restaurants have a very active bike lane running between their on-the-street dining shelters and the sidewalk. This can make things a little tricky when you are walking to or from the dining havens.
Add to that the fact that in NYC, many people on bikes deliver food from restaurants and to them time is money, which often leads to them ignoring traffic signals and speeding through intersections.
Well, we were sitting in our own little corner of the dining lean-to and saw one of the restaurant hostesses come around the side of the structure just as a man driving an electric bike came speeding through the bike lane. He knocked her down, and apparently hit her in the knee so severely that she was unable to stand up. It was a very unlucky accident, but given the set-up, it was one that was destined to happen. My daughter ran to help the young woman get inside the restaurant where a customer who was also a doctor administered first aid and then helped her get to a hospital. The man on the bike drove off.
My granddaughter spent the rest of the afternoon trying to come up with a solution for this problem. Her suggestions included having a flashing sign by the shelter to warn bikes to slow down.
Every new situation brings its own unintended consequences, both good and bad. I was impressed that Adeline immediately began thinking of ways to solve the problem. There is hope for the future!
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