After showering and having a sort-of-vegetarian supper, I went to Columbus Circle to meet Joe. He lives in New Jersey and advertised a bike on Craig's List. Last week, I sold my three-speed because it was small for me. I liked the ride and look of it, but even with a long seatpost and stem, it never felt quite right. Plus, I would have had to change saddles, as I did with my Mercians. And that Raleigh three-speed, which was painted a bronze-greeen colour, simply would not have looked right with a new saddle. (I had a brown Brooks--a very traditional leather saddle--on it.)
Anyway, Joe had some car troubles but finally made it to Columbus Circle. His fiance, Deanna, accompanied him. When they had just entered Manhattan, she called me. "It's been a day from hell," she sighed. I thought she said "date."
"This is his idea of a date?," I wondered.
She defended him; I laughed. It wouldn't be the first time any of us laughed.
At any rate, the bike is what I'd anticipated: It's a larger ladies' Scwhwinn Le Tour III, from around 1978. The finish, once a rather nice pearlescent orange, is chipped, cracked and marred in all sorts of ways. But everything worked, and the price was right.
I'm going to work on it. I'll probably change the handlebars and seat, and I'm going to add a rear rack and fenders. So it'll be a commuter/beater bike.
After I bought the bike, Joe and Deanna said they were heading downtown and invited me to accompany them to the Cafe Esperanto. When we got there, we found that it had closed for good. Instead, we went to Cafe Reggio, which I hadn't gone to in years. It's not that I disliked the place: They always have my respect for looking and acting like, rather than merely caricaturing, a funky bohemian cafe from back in the day. Reggio served esperesso and cappucino before most Americans knew what they are; today Reggio's versions are still among the best.