Friday, January 20, 2012

This Guy 
Segway Man

There's a silver-haired gentleman who rides his Segway up and down Park Avenue.  I'm a little bit obsessed with him.

Occasionally he segs on the sidewalk (as pictured above), but usually he's in the street, zipping along with the cabs and bike messengers.  One time I saw him and his Segway inside the now-defunct Borders on 57th & Park. (I like to think he was buying a biography on Teddy Roosevelt.  I have no evidence to back this up - it's just what I choose to believe.)

Despite his modern mode of transport, he assuredly seems to be the sort of gentleman who belongs to a bygone era.  Case in point: I have never seen him without a hat.  He is well-groomed: he wears nice trench coats or driving jackets, and his trousers are always well pressed.  

The wooden canes hanging from the Segway's handlebars hint at a mobility - rather than modernity - motivation for riding such a device.  I wonder about his story: where he came from, what he's seen, the life he's lived, and continues to live.  What indomitable spirit within prompted him to consider a Segway, rather than retirement, when walking became difficult?

I wish I knew him, so I could ask him all my questions.  He probably isn't the sort of fellow who would care to answer them, though.  He'd probably rather tell anecdotes about golfing with a Kennedy in the 60's, or maybe he'd lecture me on the importance of a diversified investment strategy, or offer criticism/praise for this season's line up at Carnegie Hall.

Or maybe I have him pegged all wrong, maybe he's nothing like what I imagine.

That would be ok, too.  I like surprises.

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