The cacophony of horns indicated something was amiss. But then again, Chinatown was a loud, jostling place with its narrow streets and sidewalks full of pedestrians and tables displaying all kinds of things for sale. Still, the honking persisted.

A small, Asian woman had got caught mid-intersection on a red light. Older, hunched, and overdressed in a pullover for the warm weather, she was pushing a metal trolley full of bags. She would not be rushed. This was her turf. But, those drivers would not let up.

A cyclist, heading west through the green, hopped off his bike in a swoop and ambled over to her. A white guy, he was just passing through. “Do you need any help?” he asked, while putting up his hand to halt the oncoming traffic. “No,” she mumbled without looking at him. Nevertheless, he continued walking with her to the curb; a human shield.

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