Chance Encounter on a Rickshaw in NYC / by Charlene Wang

I was buying up all the props, some set dressing, as well as wardrobe for a commercial I was working on in the middle of December.

Even though I was only a few blocks away from the studio, I was carrying too many bags to walk it over (many are hidden in this photo, but there were like 11).  I could barely make it across the street to get a cab going in the right direction. 

I was standing there, pretty exhausted hoping for the best taxi-wise in midtown during holiday rush traffic (yes that is optimism at its best).  Out of nowhere a rickshaw swooped in and asked if I wanted to a ride.  

After two years of living in Bangladesh where rickshaws rule (see photo below) I was not quite expecting a rickshaw to save the day in the middle of Manhattan.  But then I realized: WHAT A PERFECT SOLUTION. 

I was only going a few blocks and with a rickshaw we could make the illegal U-Turn needed to get back quickly, bypass a lot of the traffic and it would probably be the same price as a taxi. 

So I piled in with great relief and we started pedaling back to the studio and the rickshaw wallah (that's what they are called in Bangladesh anyways) asked me "are you a stylist? Normally when a young woman is carrying that many bags that's what is going on." 

Amused he figured it out so easily I said "yeah in a way...I do set decorating and props" and he said "so does my girlfriend! she's doing wardrobe and props on a shoot today in New Jersey." And  I laughed cause that's exactly what I was doing on this shoot. 

When we pulled up to the studio he asked if I wanted a photo and I said sure, because I loved everything about this little only in New York interaction that I adore about living here.