NPR editor Petra Mayer was visiting a friend in New York City on Saturday night and found herself in an unusual place: as part of a news story. As she explains in an essay, they were heading back to her friend's place when the radio reports began talking about some kind of bomb going off in Chelsea. They had to walk the last part of the way because of the huge police presence, and that's when Mayer spotted something on the sidewalk near her friend's building. "Hey," she said," there's a pressure cooker." Then she saw it was duct-taped shut and had wires attached to something. Her friend called 911, and they heard police removing it a little later.
"I know we weren't the only people who saw that pressure cooker, and we weren't the only people who called it in," writes Mayer. "I don't know if it would ever have gone off—maybe it was a dud. But I saw it, I walked right past it, and that's the thing I can't quite shake today." As rattled as that makes her, however, one other thing helps: "I can also think about the fact that—last night, at least—no one else in this beautiful city got hurt." Click for her full essay.