Saturday, May 31, 2008

Friday, May 30, 2008

Cool bike!


The owner of this bike gave me permission to take a photo (between big bites of his ice cream cone.)

Ryan's Bikes

My friend David and I were walking today and talking about photographer Ryan McGinley. I just checked out his current work and found some beautiful photos with bikes. Enjoy.




Seeking bicycle.

Take a look at this post on Craigslist. Here's the text. Can anyone in NYC help?

Hi!!!!
I am lookin to purchase :
Dutch girls bike
28 inch wheels
3 speed.
black
with fenders
Gazelle. azor. batavus. pashley {dutch bicycle comp.
917-855-9803 {email turim@earthlink.net
THANKS!!
kim

Afternoon in SoHo

Uploading from the Apple store....convenient! Raleigh I'm guessing...didn't look.


"I'd like to place an order for delivery..."

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This gentleman is either transporting his own shopping or is a delivery driver for a restaurant. I'm going to suggest he's doing restaurant delivery, as this is probably the most common bicycle rider you see in NYC. Unlike many places, every restaurant in New York will deliver to your door for no extra charge, and ordering lunch or dinner for delivery is incredibly common. And this is how it is delivered - there are usually a small fleet of delivery personnel and bicycles for each restaurant.

Ordering is as simple as choosing your neighborhood, looking up what kind of food you want, calling the place and asking for delivery. There's nothing that frustrates a New Yorker more than hearing the words "we don't deliver there." It's usually regarded as an accusation that somehow you live too far away from this restaurant you like (usually 1 block too far). And usually an argument (a friendly New York style argument) ensues: "But, I order from you all the time! Last time you didn't say I was too far away, what changed?!"

New York law requires that employers provide their bicycle delivery staff with helmets, lights and brakes, although I can't remember ever seeing a delivery driver with a helmet.

It's a great thing that these goods are transported by bike, but there are a few problems. First, these bicycle delivery drivers are often riding the wrong way on one-way streets - they frequently ride the wrong direction in bike lanes, weaving in and out of traffic and going very fast without control of their bikes. I have witnessed them hitting pedestrians on many occasions. However, the gentleman in the photo above was riding very responsibly and correctly (still not sure if he was even a delivery driver). Second, these drivers are often illegal workers who do not receive a living wage, have no benefits or job security and no recourse if they are unfairly treated. They often survive only from the tips that they are given by the people who order. Some restaurants do employee their delivery staff as regular, legal employees, but it's rare.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

New York?

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Yes, though clearly my camera was daydreaming about Denmark. It's really nice to have a camera again that allows a photo to be out of focus.

Workbikes

BikePortland.org announces a Portland dealer for a new utility bicycle, a workbike called the Mundo, made by Yuba. I love that there are even more options for cargo bikes - let's replace any cars we can with technology like this. But why does it have to look like this?



Personally, I think it's OK, just not exciting to me - but I wonder, Why can't it look like this?

Or, even better, like this? Probably the most beautiful cargo bicycle around...


Or this?


What do you think? What's your favorite bicycle for cargo? There are so many - post yours in the comments.


SUBMISSIONS FROM READERS

DrMekon said...I've already got a bakfiets, but I guess if I was going to get something else, that Short John would be cool. I'll admit to having also looked lustfully at a Filibus:
D&IC replies: I love this one, the powder blue is classic. Thanks Dr. Mekon!


UPDATE (May 30):

The more I look at the yuba offerings, the more I'm thinking it's the big W in the rack on the one pictured above that I find disconcerting. It makes me think of a certain war monger who has been holding this country hostage for 8 years... I like this one much better:



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

SAVE UNION SQUARE!

The north side of Union Square Today and a Protest in 1960.

For those who aren't familiar with Union Square - it is a public square and park in Manhattan and it was the site of the first Labor Day in 1882. Read more about Union Square on Wikipedia.

Of course, Union Square has been under attack for decades, slowly being eaten away by big chain stores and private interests who want to control the park so that they can squeeze profits out of the space in any way possible. But now, the most insidious and physical attack on Union Square in recent times is underway.

Labor Day Parade in Union Square in 1882


The park is being torn up to make it smaller. They are planning to add TWO MORE LANES of CAR TRAFFIC to 17th St. This cuts the farmers market space in half. The restaurant is going to be handed over to private interests to create another playground for the rich and worst of all, the public gathering space on the North side of the park will be eliminated.

May Day in Union Square, 2006

This destruction of public space, and gutting of history is being done without any transparency, without any public input or participation. It's one of the sleaziest things I've seen happening since I moved here and it's going on right in front of us. What can we do to stop it? Here's a list of how you can help to save Union Square from the Save Union Square web site. For more resources and updates, visit Rev. Billy's blog.


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

We need to put some pressure on some of these players, and NOW!

Contact Rosie Mendez by calling her at 212-677-1077, or emailing her at rosie.mendez@council.nyc.gov. Tell her to reject the BID plan for Union Square.


Boycott Whole Foods, Barnes and Noble, Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Café.
LET THEM KNOW HOW YOU FEEL! Politely ask to speak to a manager at any of these places, and voice your displeasure with this land-grab. They will try and give you some BS. Ignore it.

Come out to Union Square each Wednesday at 5:00pm to gather with like-minded people and find out more about what's going on.

BIG ACTION COMING ON JUNE 5th. 5:00pm, Union Square. STAY TUNED!

To get updates on the campaign to Save Union Square, send an email to: saveunionsquare-subscribe@googlegroups.com

Monday, May 26, 2008

I Want to be a Housewife

Here's some late night music - a new video and an old song from the inimitable Jay Brannan.





Jay's album is coming out in July - look for it on iTunes or order a CD here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cyborgism sets in late at night...

Blogging
Blogging can lead to the computer taking over your whole head. Liz collected this evidence.

Sunday in B-Burg

Brooklyn is great. This was a beautiful day. We went to brunch, walked to the park, just lovely. When the sun shines, bicycles grow out of the sidewalk and on the shoes of the people and suddenly they aren't walking anymore, they are cycling...

Williamsburg, Memorial Day Weekend
Bedford stop on the L train - recently added bike racks.


Williamsburg, Memorial Day Weekend
Selling/Repairing bikes on the street.


Williamsburg, Memorial Day Weekend
The park!


Williamsburg, Memorial Day Weekend
People like to lay in the sun.


Williamsburg, Memorial Day Weekend
So do bicycles.

Bicycle Lanes & Paths in NYC

If you only walked, took the subway and drove in New York, you might not know how many bike lanes and paths there are. You can always look at the official map, or check out this google maps overlay. Either way, the truth is there isn't always a lane or path where it says there is. But for the most part, it's pretty helpful.

Here are some shots of bicycle infrastructure in New York from our petite tour de Manhattan yesterday...

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These were some of the best lanes we found all day - they were completely separate from the car traffic and had wonderful views of the East River and Brooklyn.


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Looking east from the above bike path.


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By chance, this bike path runs right by one of Danish artist Olafur Eliasson's "New York City Waterfalls." No water falling, as you can see. It's supposed to begin June 26.


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As always, having lots of 'gear' doesn't mean that you know how to ride in the right lane. His gloves, helmet and spandex, didn't stop him from riding north in the southbound lane. Imagine if a car did that...


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This was a beautiful bike path in Lower Manhattan. Again, completely separate from the other traffic, with it's own stoplights, not a common site in the US.


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More of the Lower Manhattan bike path, which runs East/West connecting the East side path with the West side path.


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It passes the World Trade Center site, which is still under construction with very little progress. Apparently we can have an 8 year war, but we can't re-make a building.


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The construction is interfering with the bike path, just a bit here...


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Once on the West side - the path is continuous and beautiful all the way up the side of Manhattan. Although, again, some construction is diverting pedestrian traffic onto the bike path.


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He has at least 9 wheels... Fun for the kid I bet!


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The West side bike path passess all kind of things, many helipads, piers, parks, interesting neighborhoods and Frank Gehry's first building in NYC, the IAC Building.


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The IAC Building again.


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The bike lane passes the Hudson River skate park. I'm still getting the hang of taking photos while riding, but it's so much easier on this smooth riding Velorbis Churchill Classic, yes it is.


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I was suprised to pass a Ghost Bike here on this segregated bike path, though it was at an intersection where huge tour buses cross.


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Wow, I guess they've added WiFi to the west side parks. Once I get photographing and riding down, I'll have to work on blogging while riding...


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There are a few points where you can leave the West side bike path and go into the city, this is at 10th St. While it is a bike route, there is no lane, no paint - just these signs.


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Heading home across the Williamsburg Bridge in twilight is always beautiful. There are segregated bike lanes on both sides of the bridge elevated above the car traffic and the subway runs through the middle.

BREAKING NEWS: Just as I was writing this, I heard lots of bike bells ringing out the window - I went to investigate and it was the Tour de Brooklyn passing on the street below... The police are escorting the cyclists, temporarily turning the whole street into a bike lane for them. Since they had a police escort, I'm not sure why so many of them felt the need to dress like construction workers... That said, I hope they had a fun and safe tour.

Tour de Brooklyn

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bicycle Day

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I went on an all day cycling adventure around these various New York City islands today with Liz - you can see some of the photos from the day here. I'll post more about it soon. If you're loving Liz's new basket, you can see her installing it here.

David Byrne

Photo: Chris Buck

David Byrne is our hero of the week. Now, we can not only love his music and his style, but his cycling style. Byrne is officially drunk and in charge of a bicycle. From his blog:

“You drank too much and fell off your bike” could be the title of a drawing by David Shrigley. But in this case, it actually happened to me after meeting Shrigley for dinner and drinks. While riding home, C and I were briefly separated. Upon reuniting, my tire slipped on the cobblestones of West 14th St., and I remember lying in the street, looking at oncoming headlights and rolling towards the curb so they wouldn’t run me over. Two cops approached and looked down at me. “Have you been drinking?” they asked. Probably a typical question in that neighborhood at that time of night. “Yes, I’ve had a few drinks,” I replied. “But I’m hurt.” I managed to get up by myself and retrieve my bike (no help from the NYPD, though one of them asked if I was David Byrne) and it wasn’t until later, when I was in bed, that the pain made itself truly known. I wondered how I would ever even get out of bed. The next day I went to the hospital and x-rays revealed two broken ribs — numbers 3 and 5, way up high. They're healing now, little by little, and I was told that in 3 weeks I should be OK.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An American



Today was my first day with a new camera. Walking to Sid's Bike Shop after work. It's a big city and sometimes it's beautiful.

I ended up buying the gear I was looking for at Paragon and my LBS. On the way to pick up a parcel at the post office, I saw a color coordinated cyclist navigating the sidewalks, crosswalks and seas of cars. At my final stop on the way home, I found these cool stickers.


Walk and then ride



CarSea

And the week ends.

Here's a classic from Zakkaliciousness to help you move into the relaxed weekend state of mind. Here in NYC it's a holiday on Monday, so we're looking forward to three days away from the offices and workplaces.

Imagine yourself sitting in your cozy apartment in Copenhagen, looking out the window onto a brisk spring day... as you drift in and out of daydreams, your attention responds in waves, fading in and then out - the people pass by, bikes drift in and out of your vision and a sense of peace and timelessness takes over... you are witnessing cycle culture...



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bike from Queens to Minnahononck

Roosevelt Island 260 reports that there may in fact be a bike path in the works for the bridge connecting the island known to real native New Yorkers as Minnahononck with the badass borough Queens... This would be a welcome development!


When my roommates and I first started our hunt for a communal home, we dreamed of Roosevelt Island, that thin, sometimes forgotten sliver of hope in the East River between Manhattan and Queens... We loved the history and intention of the original development and worried for the results and the future of the island - but wanted to be a part of it. We especially imagined riding our bikes around the lovely, peaceful and calm island with beautiful views of Manhattan.

Jennifer and I even went on a scouting expedition, which quickly turned into a photo shoot. And yes, RI is that dreamy - go in the summer, and forget that you live in a city of 8 million...


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rain rain go away.... CycleBlog roundup

First off, Copenhagen Cycle Chic starts a new series about the bikes of Denmark. Forget Oma, it's all about the Bedstemor (repeat after me...best-uh-more).

Bless this Bike blogs about biking to Coney Island. Spring is here.

BikeBlog covers the continuing destruction and
privatization of Union Square and what you can do to fight back.

Copenhagenize writes a wonderful post about urban planning in Denmark.

Alex reminds us on Hank & Me to consider buying used bicycles. I 2
nd that. I lived on Craigslist for the past two months looking for a Danish bike - no luck, but let's keep looking. And maybe I should post the best one's I find here...

Bike Snob NYC makes me laugh nonstop describing how a photo of a biker with a "pink fanny pack" sends "tremors of rage" through him" like a matador’s cape."

And finally, today is the first day since leaving Portland 5 years ago that I regret leaving that city. It's all BikePortland's fault - the culprit? This story about Portland's plan to build a pedestrian and bicycle ONLY bridge across I-5... Why can't NYC do this same kind of thing between Brooklyn and Manhattan? And between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan? And everywhere else...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bikes on Film


Something Rotten blogs about a Brooks limited edition saddle with proceeds going to the Bicycle Film Festival 2008. I'm going to skip the leather here and promote the celluloid. The festival runs May 28th - June 1 in the following cities:

New YorkTorontoMinneapolisLASFChicagoBostonTokyoAustinLondonVienna ZurichParis SydneyMelbourneMilano Portland

Here in New York, the schedule is:

Wednesday May 28
9:00 PM | Bikes Rock

Thursday May 29
6:00 PM | DEAR VELO Art Show | RSVP

Friday May 30
7:00 PM | Program 1 - Fun Bike Shorts Buy Tickets
9:15 PM | Program 2 - See Program 1 Buy Tickets
11:15 PM | Program 3 - See Program 1 Buy Tickets
Afterparty TBA

Saturday May 31
1:00 PM | Street Party
1:00 PM | Program 4 - Free BMX Program
3:00 PM | Program 5 - Bike Scene It with Matthew Modine Buy Tickets
5:00 PM | Program 6 - The Way Bobby Sees It Buy Tickets
7:00 PM | Program 7 - Messenger Program - Fast Friday Buy Tickets
9:15 PM | Program 8 - See Program 7 Buy Tickets
11:15 PM | Program 9 - See Program 7 Buy Tickets
Afterparty | Bootleg Sessions V.2

Sunday June 1
1:00 PM | Program 10 - Recycle a Bicycle Film Buy Tickets
2:00 PM | Program 11 - Angels Die in the Soil Buy Tickets
3:00 PM | Program 12 - Adventures for the Cure Buy Tickets
5:00 PM | Program 13 - Les Ninja du Japon Buy Tickets
7:00 PM | Program 14 - Road to Roubaix Buy Tickets
9:15 PM | Program 15 - The Six-Day Bicycle Races Buy Tickets
Afterparty TBA