I just moved from boston to NYC. In Boston, I spent a lot of time on a Lemond poprad that I modified with fat slicks (42's I think) v brakes, 3 speed bars and mtb levers, a brooks saddle, fenders and bmx style platform pedals. I also cut it down to a 7 speed, removing all but one chainring up front, and shifting with a thumb shifter I had in the parts bin.
for a 6'2" 145 pounder, it was a comfy cruiser that I could take up and down curbs, over rough pavement and ride fast and hard when I had the spirit to move.
The bike is too big to store in our NYC apartment, and there isnt a bike ready garage within 15 blocks (west side of harlem) so I am looking into folding bikes.
I went to a store in lower mahattan that has a great rep on yelp, but my salesperson was not very forthcoming or generous, so I only got to ride a tern verge x10 and a dahon (model?), and only up and down the block, not around any corners. The tern was pretty nice, minimal slop in the joints when riding, reasonably comfy etc. The dahon's head set/folding neck had a bit of slop that did not inspire confidence.
I am inclined to go for a 16 to 20" wheel bike, with one chainring up front, with strong brakes and a nice ride with enough range to cruise/commute and do some mild urban assault (curbs at least)
Any recommendations? I am willing to buy new or used and customize.