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Prank explained. Yes Men…Yes they Did!

Well this was the Prank that I posted for people to get involved with…

The Yes Men spearheaded today’s prank with the Fake NYTimes.


New York Times Special Edition Video News Release – Nov. 12, 2008 from H Schweppes on Vimeo.

Gothamist
UK’s Independent
Associated Press
Haaretz, Israeli news
NY Times City Room Blog

Are we all going to ride bikes YET???

Mother of all Fare Hikes coming from the MTA???

According to Gothamist and this cover from the Daily News…we could all be in for it and “King Bloomberg” is all for it.

Start pedaling.

Bicycle news round up. Week of November 10th, 2008.

Some stories from the world of bicycles:

The Jakarta Post– Bicycles could disappear from India and China, experts warn due to “un-friendly” bicycles policies from their governments transportation departments.
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Ontario, Canada–400 bicycles are being sent to Namibia Africa as part of the organization Bicycles for Humanity.
read the article in the Goderich Signal Star.

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Portland, Oregon–Banner year for bicycling according to report from Portland’s Office of Transportation. Bicycle use increased into the double digits for the 4th straight year in a row.
editorial from Oregonlive.com

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Buffalo, New York–Looks like it might be history for the Pedaling History Bicycle Museum. They are selling 400 of their antique collection to overseas investors. Article in newsday here.
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China opens largest bicycle museum. Article here. (sounds like they bought the bikes from Buffalo)
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Cyclists claim pattern of Harassment from local police in Seattle, Washington. Read article in the the Stranger
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There has been an ongoing architecture competition in Red Hook, sponsored by the Forum for Urban Design. This remote part of Brooklyn has gained new attention for opening a Fairway and recently an IKEA. It also has limited public transportation so urban designers have been looking to the bicycle as an efficient mode of transportation.
A 28 year old Brooklyn resident, Jonathan Rude, won the contest of the Bicycle Master Plan.
NBC article on details of the plan being shot down including a 10-story bicycle storage Ferris Wheel.

Gothamist.com article on the master plan and contest winner announced.

Video from Brian Lehrer from back in May, explaining the contest.

The Red Hook Bicycle Master Plan Design Competition from Brian Lehrer Live on Vimeo.

Pictures from Grafitti Rider Alleycat from Jose Martinez

Jose grabbed some sweet photos from last weekends NYC Grafitti Rider Alleycat.

The race is a taste of things to come from 5 boro generals

More of Jose’s pix at this flickr set.

Memo From Europe…Bike Sharing works.

And Paris isn’t the only city getting into the act.

Read all about it in this NY Time article from Sunday:

Memo From Barcelona–
European Support for Bicycles Promotes Sharing of the Wheels


A customer of Bicing, Barcelona’s bicycle-sharing program. For a yearly fee of about $30, each user receives an electronic card that can be used to check out and return bicycles from 375 stands scattered about the city.

By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL
Published: November 9, 2008

BARCELONA, Spain — In increasingly green-conscious Europe, there are said to be only two kinds of mayors: those who have a bicycle-sharing program and those who want one.

Over the last several years, the programs have sprung up and taken off in dozens of cities, on a scale no one had thought possible and in places where bicycling had never been popular.

The sharing plans include not just Paris’s Vélib’, with its 20,000 bicycles, but also wildly popular programs with thousands of bicycles in major cities like Barcelona and Lyon, France. There are also programs in Pamplona, Spain; Rennes, France; and Düsseldorf, Germany. Even Rome, whose narrow, cobbled streets and chaotic traffic would seem unsuited to pedaling, recently started a small trial program, Roma’n’Bike, which it plans to expand soon.

entire article here.

last minute prank. Tomorrow.

I should have posted this earlier but there is some hijinks going on tomorrow in NYC.

Here are some details:

—–>IT’S FINALLY HERE!! Yes, the end of 8 (or possibly 28 years) of
madness… and also, the 100,000 copies of *something* that will make
clear what we want from the new administration and, more importantly,
ourselves.

WE NEED YOU to help spread these things through New York City – THIS
WEDNESDAY MORNING.

Now, logistics:

Please sign up for CELL PHONE UPDATES now at becausewewantit.org
This will make it much easier for us to organize everything Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY MORNING, from 7am-11am, there will be four pick-up stations
within Manhattan: one near UNION SQUARE, one near PENN STATION, one
near GRAND CENTRAL, and one around CANAL STREET. You’ll pick up your
packet, receive special instructions, and go to work for as long or as
short a time as you like. (If your time is tight Wednesday morning,
there will also be two locations available Tuesday evening.)

* The precise locations for pickup will be sent out by email and CELL
PHONE TEXT MESSAGE – so make sure to sign up now for CELL PHONE UPDATES
at http://becausewewantit.org/

* TUESDAY EVENING, 5-8pm, is another option for pickup, if your time is
tight Wednesday morning. Again, make sure to sign up for CELL PHONE
UPDATES at http://becausewewantit.org/

* TO BRING if you can: A large tote-bag or two, or a laundry cart if
you have one, or something else that can carry a big bundle of stuff.

WEDNESDAY NOON PARTY: After the Wednesday morning distribution, just
before noon, you’ll get a CELL PHONE TEXT UPDATE regarding the location
of the big party at noon. Then, in the early afternoon, there will be a
press conference not far away.

The weather looks will probably be fine. But if it rains, we’ll do the
action underground, in the subways – which is every bit as good as
aboveground!

We’ll send out one more message with more precise info, on Tuesday.
Again, PLEASE SIGN UP FOR CELL PHONE UPDATES at

http://becausewewantit.org/.

Love,
Because You Want It

Police backing off. Thank you…NYCLU.

Positive news on NYPD’s use of video surveillance during protest activity…which includes our monthly critical mass rides.

article from New York Newsday

NYPD cuts back on videotaping of political events

By TOM HAYS | Associated Press Writer November 10, 2008

NEW YORK – The country’s biggest police department has quietly dropped
a policy that encouraged officers to videotape political
demonstrations _ even legal and peaceful ones _ without restrictions,
a civil rights group said Monday.

The New York Civil Liberties Union had challenged the New York Police
Department practice in a federal lawsuit following the 2004 Republican
National Convention.

The suit alleged that during the convention, which was held at Madison
Square Garden, roving teams of officers armed with video cameras
infringed on free speech by taping protests at will. Police said the
taping was needed as a security measure to combat terrorism, and they
have steadfastly denied violating civil rights.

The NYPD, which has more than 35,000 officers, “does not engage in
unlawful political surveillance,” a city lawyer, Celeste Koeleveld,
said in a statement on Monday.

With the outcome of a lawsuit still pending, the NYPD issued an
internal order last year withdrawing the regulation permitting
unrestricted photographing and videotaping of all political activity
in the city, the NYCLU said. The order restored guidelines under the
so-called Handschu decision, named for the lead plaintiff in a case
that included 1960s radical activist Abbie Hoffman and others as
plaintiffs.

The NYCLU claims that it wasn’t notified of the change until last month.

“While we’re glad that the NYPD realized its surveillance policy ran
counter to the Handschu decree, it’s disturbing that the department
did so in secret, wasting precious tax dollars to engage in an
unnecessary legal battle,” said Arthur Eisenberg, legal director of
the NYCLU.

The city’s Law Department disputed that claim, saying it notified a
judge about the changes in videotaping policy in February 2007.

The revised written policy removes broader language permitting
recording of “events, actions, conditions or statements made” when
“such accurate documentation is deemed potentially beneficial or
useful.” It mandates a “bona fide need” to tape, such as capturing a
crime in progress or assessing crowd conditions.

Cranksgiving in NYC and elsewhere

Cranksgiving is a alleycat race which raises money for hungry people each year around the Thanksgiving day Holiday.

A little history about the event: Here.

a little bit about it from this years race organizer Ken Stanek:

“Cranksgiving is coming up again. Last year was the biggest NYC Cranksgiving ever. We donated over $500* worth of food to a Lower East Side Soup Kitchen.

If you’re not familiar with this race, it takes place the week before Thanksgiving every year. There’s no registration fee, but you’re going to need to bring cash with you, because the checkpoints are all grocery stores. At these grocery stores, you’re going to have to leave your bike outside, run in, and purchase** a specified food item. A bag & a lock is absolutely essential! Once you’ve collected all of the food items and have finished the race, we do a group ride to a soup kitchen & drop off all of our donations. Keep all of your receipts, because I’m going to check them to make sure you made it to each of the checkpoints.

This year, Cranksgiving and the New York Bicycle Messenger Fund (NYBMF) is coordinating a fund drive for City Harvest along with the food drive. We are asking sponsors and individuals to pledge a dollar amount per racer to City Harvest. If you pledge $1 per racer and we have 100 racers, that’s a $100 donation. 15% of that will go to the NYBMF’s injured messenger fund, and the remaining funds will go to City Harvest. Download this form and send it to the NYBMF if you or your employer would like to donate. ”

Urbanvelo.org listed other Cranksgiving day races in other cities:

Omaha, NE –November 15th
Santa Fe, NM –November 15th
Champaign, IL –November 16th
New York City –November 22nd
Orlando, FL –November 22nd and Myspace page
Des Moines, IA –November 22nd
St Louis, MO –November 23rd
Kansas City, MO –November 23rd

There is also a Bike Against Hunger race in Oklahoma City, November 16th.

Reverend Billy Record Release Party-November 9th.

The Reverend, there’s a documentary about his movement by Morgan Spurlock, with the Church of Stop Shopping traveling the country preaching about the evils of over consumption: What Would Jesus Buy?

See it, just in time for the early Christmas rush gets you to go buy things in a time period of the worst economy since the late 20’s.
Trailer:

Recently the Reverend and his gospel choir have been hard at work trying to save Union Square from private developers. Running from the evil bulldozers.Now they have a new ablum out, the ultimate Holiday gift (hint hint)

SHOPOCALYPSE

This Sunday, November 9th will be a Record Release Party at the Highline Ballroom.

Find out more at Revbilly.com.

Andrew H. Green Memorial and Bike Tour…November 8th.

Ok, so who the hell is Andrew H. Green, besides having such a prodigious last name? (mine)

Well, according to Wikipedia the H is for Haswell, and he was a New York lawyer, civic planner who championed for great civic works like Riverside Drive, Morningside Heights, Fort Washington Park and for making the plans effective for Central Park as we know it now.

He has a stone bench dedicated to his service and today their is the sixth annual Memorial Ceremony and Bike Tour.

Here are some detail from the website:
“Green Tribute Ceremony & Bike Ride

The Sixth Annual Andrew H. Green Tribute Ceremony has been scheduled for Saturday, November 8, 2008 at 12:00 noon at the Green Memorial Bench in Central Park. The bike tour will depart immediately after the ceremony. Both the ceremony and ride are free and open to the public. No reservations required.

Directions to the Andrew H. Green Memorial Bench:

Note: Looking at the map, the bench appears approachable from all sides. It is not. Because of hills and drop-offs not shown, it can only be reached using the footpath mentioned below.

From the East Side: At Fifth Avenue and E. 102 Street, enter the park via the automobile entrance road. Bear right, merging on to the main drive. Continue walking north on the drive for about two blocks. When you come to the standing three-sided map on your left, turn left on to the wide, well-paved crossover road that heads to the West Side. Take an immediate right on to the blacktop footpath that heads uphill. The bench is at the top of the hill.

From the West Side: At Central Park West and W. 100 Street, enter the park via the automobile entrance road. Bear left, merging on to the main drive. Continue walking north on the drive for about two blocks. Before the drive crosses a stone bridge, turn right on to the wide, well-paved crossover road that heads to the East Side. This road will be marked with an “Authorized Vehicles Only” sign. Continue down this road, passing a little police kiosk on your right. Just before the road intersects with the main east drive, turn left on to the blacktop footpath that heads uphill. The bench is at the top of the hill.”

According to Forgotten-Ny.com, which is a great site for info on hidden finds in NYC, this is also the spot where Green was shot in 1903 in a case of mistaken identity…oops.