I wish I could say this was a tidy, Cinderella internet-beats-the-odds tale.
But despite all of the love I've received on Facebook and Twitter, the story went a little differently.
Here's what happened.
As you know, my lock was cut and my bike was missing from in front of 145 West 57th Street yesterday. I filed a police report. The NYPD officers went into the building and spoke with security and maintenance. Security assured them and me that no, there was no chance my lock had been clipped by the building manager.
The men on duty said, "We have no place to store bikes," and, "Bikes aren't even allowed in the building," and, "Our manager never clips locks on bikes." So naturally, the NYPD and I concluded that the bike had been stolen, but as "petty larceny. And so I sprang into action. Tweeting and Facebooking.
And so many of you responded to my call. I was happy and grateful! Thank you.
But it turns out there was not a brazen thief on West 57th Street. The building manager indeed clipped the lock, took the bike inside, and left the destroyed lock on the sidewalk. Kind of like kidnapping someone and leaving behind a finger. A bit of a taunt, if you ask me, and took the bike without informing his late shift security and maintenance.
I left a message for the building manager, Joe, this morning on the off chance that his security camera would have recorded the thief in action.
When Joe called me back, I was not prepared for the dressing down he gave me for locking my bike to the scaffolding outside his building.
To be fair, I did do something that building managers do not like. I parked my bike on scaffolding on his building. Joe said he clipped the lock because, among other reasons, "the tenants in this building spend a lot of money to rent space here and they don't want to see a pink bike locked outside."
He also claimed I was breaking the law and that he could be fined because my bike blocked the siamese connection for the fire department. Calls to both 311 and the 18th precinct put his assertion into question.
Nevertheless, Joe asserts Pinky is indeed somewhere in his building and that I can have her back. He assured me several times, while berating me, that he is a "nice guy." A nice guy who I don't think is going to pay to replace my lock.
But nice guy or wise guy, I just want my bike back! As soon as this blizzard lets up, I'll get myself down to W57th and see for myself. I am sure pictures and additional blog post will follow. Stay tuned for that.
I wish this was a "Internet Victorious Over Bad Guys" sort of an ending, but if I get my bike back, then it's still a win in my book. Even if I need a new lock.
A big thanks to you all who liked/shared/retweeted/commiserated/supported and followed my story. Even if the internet wasn't the answer to #findpinky, and I turned out to be the "tweeter who cried wolf" on bike theft, it was great to share this social media APB experience with you all.
Takeaways: 1. Don't park your bike on scaffolding near fancy buildings in midtown.
2. Get a stronger lock.
3. Appreciate the power of the internet, because it's real, y'all.
PS: Feel free to tweet your thoughts at me: @nycelizb