Sunday, June 15, 2008

Friday the 13th

Friday night was really lovely.

After work, I came home and checked out Brooklyn Vegan for all the free events going on that evening. I found that a film was showing outdoors in Tompkins Square Park - and so I plotted a route on Ride the City, and headed off for the Williamsburg Bridge.

The Williamsburg bridge is a great place to see parts of both Brooklyn and Manhattan from a slightly elevated perspective as the bridge crosses almost as much land as water.

Williamsburg Grid Survey

The route was easy, I made it there much faster than I would have on the subway (due to cutting out all the walking) and the film had just only started. The evil fencing in the park, constructed as part of the crowd control measures that NYC is building into all public space, actually worked quite well as a bicycle rack - and one of the corporate cops who was protecting the free film screening from whatever-threat-someone-imagined even complimented me on a "lovely machine." I'm assuming he was talking about my beloved Vegan Churchill Classic by Velorbis.

Cinema en plein air

I locked up the bicycle, took a seat on the ground and enjoyed a lighthearted flick, Zim & Co. It wasn't art, but it was entertaining. And the crowd was fun, many were picknicking, chatting in many languages and mostly watching the film. In NYC, especially in this summer of the mighty Euro, you're as likely to hear french, german, swedish, japanese or danish as english.

For those waiting...

Zim and his amusing friends were... amusing. I had just watched several Gaël Morel films the other night and much prefer his exploration of multiculturalism and contemporary french youth for reasons that have as much to do with Stéphane Rideau (Chaud! Chaud! Chaud!) as with anything cinematographic or filmic...

Sparkling lights & people.

After the film, I met up with David and we headed to Florent for dinner. Sadly, Florent is closing in less than 15 days - they're being pushed out by rent increases - the story of everything interesting in New York these days. We had a really fun dinner, and even a little food fight with some friends at another table in which some glasses were broken. Were we asked to leave? No - the waiter responded by offering to BUY us some more wine with a big smile. That's Florent and that's why we love it. It's a restaurant where life continues while you eat.

Where am I going to eat when they close?

And the best part - with no other options in the Meat Packing District, I had locked up my bicycle to something (see below) I didn't really want to lock it to. So I checked on it twice during dinner. The second time, the doorman at Florent offered to keep an eye out for me. He looked like the incredible hulk, but had the heart of a puppy. Again, that's Florent and that's why we love it. (yes, that's a bike rack hiding back there - but it was too small for my lovely large wheels...)

Thank you for watching me.

After the food, we headed back to Brooklyn across the Williamsburg bridge. David wanted to test ride my Velorbis - I'm trying to convince him to get a normal bike. Reason #1: Only upright riding would allow David to eat his ice cream comfortably while cruising over the bridge. Cross your fingers.

Soon, one will meet the ground.

5 comments:

Chickenside said...

Michael,
What do you use to lock up your bike?

Krista said...

That last photo is brilliant, for some strange reason. David looks only moderately excited for that ice cream.

Michael said...

chikenside:

GREAT question... I should post about this...if I can only find the time.

I did loads of research, as I always do - and I was initially drawn to the Kryptonite chain locks because the chain seemed stronger than the U-Locks - but then I realized that the chains are held together by a small U-Lock, so they whole thing depends on the U-Lock anyway.

So, in the end, I got the Kryptonite New York series U-Lock, two kryptonite cables (for looping the front wheel and my Lepper saddle) and the bike has a wheel lock - so I use all of these.

And the best lock of all, I made sure my renters insurance policy covers enough off premises theft to replace my bicycle if it's stolen.

Michael said...

Krista - Thanks! David posed - and I art directed (move the cone a little further away from your face.... yes there!) and there it is. Trust me, David is always excited for ice cream.

Rachel said...

Hello. I recently moved to Brooklyn, and I was wondering if you could maybe give me a list of any other good vegetarian/vegan restaurants for me to check out in the area. On that note, I have also been on the lookout for a nice coffee shop that actually has seating. Any tips?

(I discovered your blog via Aaron Bateman's blog. good stuff.)