The Backwards Wheelchair Lady, a well-known Bensonhurst character, has been locally famous for decades, but is virtually unknown to anyone outside the neighborhood. Her signature move is to scoot backwards, at quite high rates of speed, at all hours of the day or night. Regardless of the weather, she dons a raincoat poncho (most often yellow) and rain hat. Her usual scooting grounds are on 86th Street between 19th Ave. and Bay Parkway. But the Backwards Wheelchair Lady has been spotted as far away as 4th Avenue.
Nobody knows if she is really disabled, and honestly, a lot of people actually doubt that she is, since she pushes off with her legs, with a decent amount of force, to propel herself backwards. She travels light, so hopefully she’s got a home, or at least a place where she keeps her stuff, but that much we don’t know. A lot of times, she’ll have a new bunch of flowers with her in her chair (sometimes plastic, it seems), or she’ll have bags from shops on her route.
Some say she’s in her fifties, yet she has been scooting around since at least the 1990s, or possibly even as far back as the 1970s. Bensonhurst people: when was the first time you saw Backwards Wheelchair Lady?
-photo via The Danja Zone.