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Heard on the Street

Shortly after the memorial for Dell Covington, the messenger killed on Eighth Avenue—reportedly from being “doored” by an opening car door—Kate Pickert talked to some other couriers about their work.


Tom Clark, 34
Most dangerous intersection? Anywhere in the Twenties on Sixth Avenue. And Second Avenue near the Queensboro Bridge.
Injuries? I’ve broken three fingers and fractured my elbow. It’s mostly rookies that get hurt. It takes about a year to learn how to stay safe.
Weirdest delivery? I had to pick up three jars of pasta sauce once.

James Berkley, 46
Most dangerous intersection? All of them.
Injuries? I get doored once in a while. The main thing to worry about is jaywalkers. They cause all kinds of problems.
Weirdest delivery? A dog-stool sample I picked up on Park Avenue.

Jack Blackfelt, 35
Most dangerous intersection? All the tunnel entrances.
Injuries? Part of what makes the job less dangerous is not thinking about the danger. But [not getting doored] is like dodging a gunshot. I broke my collarbone once.
Weirdest delivery? The most ironic thing was a fax machine, but one time I delivered a human fecal sample.

Ben Stewart, 34
Most dangerous intersection? Herald Square.
Injuries? I religiously don’t listen to headphones.
But I got knocked out once. I don’t really know what happened, but the police report said a woman stepped off a curb, I avoided her and hit a car and then hit her.
Weirdest delivery? Tupperware.

Ken Stanek, 27
Most dangerous intersection? All of Canal Street and Columbus Circle.
Injuries? I was riding between two buses that kept getting closer together. They both started pressing on my handlebars and I had to let the bike fall out from under me.
Weirdest delivery? I delivered a bra to Janet Jackson one time. Honestly.


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