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Circus Masada

Just this: You’re riding the Bx 19 bus up 149th Street to the Grand Concourse. On your headphones, the mad Jewish carnival that is Masada, the song is “Karaim,” on the album Gimel, these words mean nothing to you, but the music still conjures images of acrobats somersaulting between trapezes and elephants stampeding around tents. And what should you see when you look out the window but a black man furiously pedaling a unicycle up the hill beside you, keeping pace with the heaving motor of the bus? This latter-day John Henry, a circus runaway, surely, first to, then from. He’s balanced high above the pavement, his coat is slung over one arm. Such serendipities can happen anywhere. But why do they seem to happen with such greater frequency in New York?

3 thoughts on “Circus Masada

  1. zviostrin

    Answer: Such serendipities happen with ‘greater frequency’ largely because the higher population density yields a larger number of, shall we say, the more exuberant members of our society, who thereby have greater salience.

    I’ll bet that every small town around the world has a resident who marches to the sound of a different drummer. The ten million who live, work, or play in NYC will therefore produce tens of thousands of unicyclists . . . .

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