>Before Williamsburg, Brooklyn became a hipster Mecca, Mara lived out there. She liked to walk over the Williamsburg Bridge to work in the morning, but it required extra caution. First, the bridge at that time was in serious disrepair. The walkway was patched with irregularly sized metal sheets, so she had to watch where she was walking. At the same time, she couldn’t solely look down at the sidewalk because she needed to be alert to the bridge masturbators. She said that there were about four men jerking off on the bridge every morning.

What is it about waterfront views that make men so overcome with desire that they are compelled to choke the chicken in public? Or is it only the East River? Once Steph and I went to the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens, which is right on the East River. As we were wandering about, keeping an eye firmly on the ground to avoid dog crap (the sculpture park was also an official New York City park that people walked their dogs in and rudely did not clean up despite the dozens of signs telling people to clean up after the dogs; I swear one sign even had shit at its base, but I digress), we turned a corner. There, mere feet in front of us, was a guy jerking off into the bushes. Naturally, we screamed and ran away. Then we laughed and laughed.

Maybe this is a tale about life in New York. As my mom says, keep your eyes peeled.