Laura Bliss is CityLab’s West Coast bureau chief. She also writes MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.
CityLab wants your stories of when fellow city-dwellers saved the day.
The city is full of people you just see around, Terry Pratchett wrote. But sometimes, an unfamiliar face is the one you need most. The new year is an invitation to reflect on the past and resolve to do better, and CityLab is gathering readers' tales of when strangers saved the day.
I think about the woman who yanked me and my bike out of the one-way street when I fell the other night. Was a car coming right behind me? I'm not sure; I was too stunned to tell. It's my fortune to wonder, thanks to her snap reaction from the sidewalk. Are you OK?
Random acts of urban kindness knit us all together. There was the rainy New York afternoon a guy handed my friend Shane an umbrella and insisted she keep it. The night Dmitri's request to borrow a woman's lighter in Moscow turned into a gift. The time a building guard walked an utterly lost Becca an hour back to her host family in Kunming, China. In San Francisco, two dudes living under a bridge offered to fix Michael's flat. Lauren's mom fainted on a subway, and someone stepped in to catch her.
Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, or respond via CityLab's Twitter or Facebook. Big or small, unrequited or not, whether you were the helper or benefited from the kindness of someone else, we want to hear about it. We'll select our favorites and publish them in a post sometime around the New Year. Thanks for your help—we can't wait to hear from you.