Polaroids by NICK McMANUS

Bill Meier, or Bilthy, as he was known to friends passed away on February 1st after hospitalization due to an illness. A bike messenger for over 30 years, and a regular face in Williamsburg and Lower East Side, will be missed by many friends and people whose lives were touched by his friendly personality.

On February 8, people from all walks of life came together to say their last goodbye at Kinfolk in Williamsburg. Messengers, writers, bartenders, filmmakers, Best Pizza Patrons, and even a woman whose dog Bilthy petted every time he passed by – they all came to celebrate the life of a great friend.  Friends and fans created artwork and shared prints of photographs collected over the years to be auctioned off for funeral expenses. At the auction and via paypal over $4,000 was raised.

2.12.15 _

Bilthy toured with the Grateful Dead, worked at Best Pizza and delivered to pretty much everyone who has ever lived in Williamsburg. He probably came to your door with a pie; or you saw him at a bar; or riding in a snowstorm at 10PM with three boxes of pizza on his bars.

Bilthy was a staple in more than one community—he was a participant in an annual bike ride across Iowa called RAGBRAI, he was a face well-known at the Williamsburg and Lower East Side bar scenes, and naturally the bike messenger community. He was a friend. He was a brother. He was a father.

At Kinfolk, three rounds of pizzas were eaten, beers were drunk, shots were taken. Burning paper lanterns were sent into the sky. The cops came and broke up the party happening outside, and everyone laughed and stayed out too late. It was the kind of party Bilthy would have loved.