Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Second Bike Ticket

I guess #2 was bound to happen. My second bike ticket was issued to me by a police officer who disagreed with my assessment that it was OK to ride my bike on a small portion of the Altantic Ave 4/5 subway platform. I honestly didn't ride more than 100 feet, but apparently that warrants a $100 fine. Well, we'll see on February 18th when I plead my case in a U.S. court of law using the amazingly effective, Peter Griffin-inspired, "C'mooon! C'mooooooooon!!"

To see the outcome of the ticket, visit my Bike Blog.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bedford Ave Discussion

On Monday night, a discussion was held at Pete's Candy Store in Greenpoint to address the ongoing debate of the Bedford Ave bike lane, or lack thereof. Moderated by James Hook, who hosts a biweekly discussion at the venue, the panel was comprised of local Jewish bike store owner and promoter Baruch Herzfeld, Hassidic Jew and city council candidate Isaac Abraham, Transportation Alternatives bike advocate Caroline Samponaro, local bike advocate Lyla Durden, and loudmouth bike messenger/ringleader Heather Loop.

The overall message was that everybody agrees the debate really isn't a cultural issue as it is often described, but rather a safety issue (according to Abraham) or a crooked power brokered move (according to Baruch) the later with which I agree most. The debate continued as to the biggest of the current and real dangers on the street and whether or not the lane should be reinstalled. Although the risks to both bikers and pedestrians were cited to be substantial, a single resolution couldn't be met by all. Abraham seemed to be arguing alone that removal of the lane was the right decision, because adding it in the first place was a mistake. All others agreed that the bike lane was not only a necessary component of a viable bicycle transportation network, but something that promotes a positive practice in so many facets. In facing strong opposition, Abraham stated at one point, "I'm supposed to go to the people and say it's your way or the hi way?" to which Hook cleverly responded "Their way IS the hi way..."

My logic is that if you truly want to discourage cyclists, the only option is to not allow them at all. Removing a bike lane but acknowledging that bikers are still on the road is hypocritical. Furthermore, allowing them should require a lane on any street they use. That leaves two options: bikes or no bikes; lane or no lane; no middle ground. The middle ground is obviously more dangerous than having a lane, as proved by statistics stated by Caroline. Since bikes should always be allowed then they should be protected with a lane, and this is the obvious better choice compared to prohibiting them altogether. Furthermore, a protected lane is even better than a marked one.

One day the right people will either wake up or be pressured to revert Bedford Ave to its obvious safer condition. In the meantime the danger will continue to loom.

Note: For more (and only) biking related posts, visit Brock's Bike Blog.

Tumble Tree

60 mph gusts may not seem much to somebody in Miami or Chicago, but in NYC that's enough to turn a Christmas tree into a tumble weed...

It was even less fun standing on an outside terrace 200 feet above street level with that monsoon. Even with a balcony above, I was still getting rain straight to the face. Not fun.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where Not to Put Paint

Some lessons are learned the hard way, such as...

Lesson #1: What container should I use to transport even a small amount of pewter-colored metallic duracron touch-up paint from point A to point B? Let's just say, if that container happens to be a thin plastic disposable sandwich box, let's just hope there is nothing in between point A and B that you don't want paint on...because here's what happens...

Lesson #2: If this ever happens, don't take a whiff. I know it's tempting, but trust me, it just isn't worth it. This puts the "Ohhhh" in V.O.C....

Thursday, January 14, 2010


My 3rd Sony Cybershot is the DSC-TX1, which has this new panorama feature. It requires a fluid wrist and still subjects, but it works pretty well. This is after Arirang.

This is after an amazingly delicious and filling meal at Hill Country.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Unlikely Favorite

This past week I had my first YouTube video post reach 10,000 views.

If I've ever gotten into a conversation with you about live music, I probably mentioned the Punch Brothers and their semi-regular "P-Bingo night" which has occurred a handful of times at the Living Room in the LES in NYC. I've gone to all but one (I think), and I usually try to sneak a couple videos in each time (technically they don't allow it, but I think both PB and the LR would agree it's done nothing but promote them both, and for free). Anyway, out of the dozens of videos I've posted, the first to reach 10,000 views was...their Bach cover?!?! I mean, don't get me wrong, it's amazing...

Feel free to subscribe to my channel, you'll get an e-mail any time I post a video (most of them are shows).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Demo Fail

Although many people have the idea in their mind that demolition of large buildings is nothing more than a large blast, a cloud of dust, and a pile of rubble, we have learned much from the last ten years, both structurally and politically. From the immediate terror-initiated progressive collapse* of two enormous steel towers, to the beaurocracy-ridden molasses of a several-year process to demolish one measly smaller tower next door. Either way, it always leaves us scratching our heads. But wait until you see this one, another gem from China!

Apparently, they didn't learn from our mistakes...

Since I started, I can't help but call to mind some other favorites. Ever see a building act like a tumbleweed?

*I consider a collapse an "unintentional demolition." For example...

And you must ask, "why don't we use wrecking balls anymore?" Well this is why (just kidding, this is fake, but just shut up and watch it anyway).