Tod Seelie of Suckapants is having another photo show…opening in Portland, Maine.
Tod is a rising photography superstar and prominent member of the NYC bike community. His images take us on the road with high energy music tours, down rivers on homemade barges and reveal to us the exciting underside of art on the cutting edge.
My second solo show for the year, Constant Quarry, opens tonight at SPACE Gallery in Portland, ME. DJs Dirtyfinger, Stache, and Porkchop of the Black Label Bicycle Club will be spinning at the opening from 5-9, and then afterward they will ramp it up to a down-n-dirty dance party till 1 am. Tomorrow night (Saturday) will feature performances by Matt & Kim and Japanther, accompanied by another set by the Black Label boys. If you happen to be within striking distance of Portland, Maine, come on by. It’s beautiful up here, the leaves are starting to change and the air is crisp with the scent of the ocean. I will be in Portland for the next week as part of a small residency with the Bakery Photo Collective. I’ll also giving an artist talk at the gallery on Monday, Oct. 6th, and a guest critique at the Maine College of Art on Oct. 7th. Details below. Thanks!
The neighborhood’s kids are psyched, waiting to unveil bikes they’ve transformed at the bike decorating workshops in September. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra and the Bari Koral Family Band are ready to play. Local chefs are cooking up treats for after the parade. And 47 bike-less kids now have donated bicycles that have been tuned up, decorated, and ready to take home after the parade.
Here’s the schedule:
10:00 am-11:00 am: last-minute bike decorating, bike helmet fitting, Learn to Ride workshops.
11:00 am: speakers including Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, New York State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, and City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.
11:30 am: parade forms up; music by Rude Mechanical Orchestra
12:00 noon: the parade!
1:00 pm: Celebrate with music by the Bari Koral Family Band, free snacks, games, face painting and more.
1:45: Bike decorating winners announced; raffle prizes (free raffle for all participants)
Still don’t have a bike? Among the items in the free raffle are five bikes in great condition, courtesy of Recycle-A-Bicycle.
The LES Kids’ Art Bike Parade, sponsored by the East Village Community Coalition, celebrates sustainable transportation and community building, with the help of local artists, businesses and politicians.
Co-sponsors include Transportation Alternatives, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bike New York, New York City Housing Authority, Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association, New York City Department of Transportation, and the Children’s Museum of the Arts.
Yes, I made the switch to WordPress. Things are moving along here at bikeblog and my life is a bit chaotic right now but welcome to my new site. I will be spending time updating this blog as I learn the fine intricacies of word press.
Not only did my blog move, but my wife and I moved from the hip and trendy Williamsburg to the South Side of Park slope, which I like to call Parkslopia. We are expecting our first child in November and well thats the law…you’ve got to be one of those people with the stroller and the food coop and the amazing park.
As I unpack the boxes and look for those field manuals on newborn care, I will continue you to do my best to bring you the good, the bad and the ugly sides of bicycle culture in NYC and beyond.
Local paper City Beat has an article on the unfriendliness of biking in this Ohio city.
Cover Story: No One Rides for Free Lack of vision, planning and investment have made Cincinnati a ‘bike unfriendly’ city
BY Danny Cross | Posted 09/03/2008
It’s difficult to ride a bicycle in Cincinnati, and not just because it’s hilly and the weather sucks and our neighborhoods sprawl 30 miles away into another counties and states.
It’s not because there are few bike racks and even fewer bike lanes. It’s not because each neighborhood presents its own set of problems for planners and engineers or the fact that Cincinnati hasn’t had a planning department since 2002.
It’s not because the newest map of the city’s bike routes is from 1998 or that you’re just as likely to get a biggie-size Coke thrown at you while riding along Central Parkway than you are to receive a friendly wave.
From right here in New York, Stuart Post got his article in City Limits about his experience at the August Critical Mass:
WHO’S AFRAID OF A PEACEFUL BIKER? A spontaneous evening goes awry, leaving skid marks on this cyclist’s view of his city. By Stuart Post
City Limits WEEKLY #655 September 8, 2008
Editor’s note: Using a bicycle for transportation on the streets of New York City can be an intimidating, and downright dangerous, endeavor. The Bloomberg administration is working to make the city more bike-friendly â€“ through newly designated bike-only lanes, to cite the most visible example. But how bike-friendly can a city be if its premier grassroots cycling event operates in an atmosphere of police hostility? That’s one question that occurred to self-described “accidental anarchist” Stuart Post, a 48-year-old resident of the Gramercy Park area, who joined last month’s Critical Mass bike ride.
San Francisco held its inaugural car-free “Sunday Streets” event last weekend. New Yorker Jen Petersen was there and files this report.
Whatever the weather, San Franciscoâ€™s Fishermanâ€™s Wharf doesnâ€™t suffer from a shortage of dollar-shelling, strolling tourists on weekends, and so clearing street space for more people-powered mobility on a sunny morning had instant takers. As was the case at New Yorkâ€™s Summer Streets, more than a few participants simply stumbled upon the event. And since Civic Center and Fort Mason was hosting the U.S.â€™s first Slow Food Nation, a foodie-drawing tribute to regional, small-scale food producers, there was an even greater influx of slow and deliberate pilgrims on this particular weekend. There wasnâ€™t a chance that the northern part of the route would go un-used, though I wondered how many San Franciscans actually ventured that way. But save for the artisan street vendors set up as usual at Market Street and Embarcadero, the weekend-shuttered financial district was still a tourist no-go zone.
South of the Ferry Terminal Building (itself a regional foods marketplace), however, cyclists, walkers, rollerbladers, and runners transitioned to the physical activity-promoting leg of the route. And so rounding the bayâ€™s curve to South Beach, where the SF Giantsâ€™ AT&T Park was open for base running, and the China Basin inlet, where Cheryl Burke Dance Studio offered Tribal Belly, Afro-Colombian, Salsa, and East Coast swing dance classes all morning, the re-appropriative potential of the street came to life. I maintain: there is no higher social use of street space than dancing!
Speaking of San Francisco. Chris Carlsson, one of the original riders of Critical Mass, author and world traveler will be the keynote speaker at this years Conflux festival. Sept 11th-thru the 14th. in NYC.
Conflux Festival is the art and technology festival for the creative exploration of urban public space.
September 9th, 2008 | Category: General | Comments are closed
September 9th, 2008 | Category: General | Comments are closed
If you have enjoyed the last 8 years: the failed economy, the highest unemployment rate since 2003, invading a country based on false information, the erosion of our civil liberties, then be my guest and vote for these two.
You deserve another 4 years of the same crap.
One of the most frightening indications of the direction our country has taken isn’t thousands of miles away in some strange country we have occupied or are about too. Its right here in the USA and it was on display in the actions of thousands of police unleashed to handle demonstrations at this years Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Maybe we can expect journalists to be jailed and beaten in Iraq. Maybe we can read about prisoners being tortured with black hoods over their heads in Abu Ghraib. Perhabs we can know about citizens being accused of terrorist acts for helping to plan protests in Fallujah. But all of this occurred and was documented outside the Xcel center where the Republicans announced their acceptance to the general election. It is the new face of homeland security in the privatized era of neo-conservative ideals. While Sarah Palin was busy bad mouthing community service, the police were doing a disservice to the community by indiscriminately using tear gas, rubber bullets, concusion grenades and mace on a few protesters with different political ideologies and wearing black bandannas. Knocking down newspaper boxes and blocking traffic is called: civil disobedience and should be dealt with by a procedural non-violent arrests. Instead it was brutal oppression by a militarized police force who think they are fighting insurgents in Afghanistan. An abusive display of violence which harmed innocent bystanders, accredited journalists and anyone who got in the way of a law enforcement and national guard rampage gone wild.
Now why did bikeblog report so much on these conventions when this is supposed to be a blog dedicated to the bicycle? Well, I’d love to report on warm and fuzzy stories like bike sharing programs at these gatherings…but it just doesn’t seem important when my fellow citizens and friends are being abused, chased, attacked, beaten and arrested. Sorry, I just can’t be silent. And besides I like to follow up on things.
So here is a wrap up report from I-witness video. A dedicated group of citizens, armed with video cameras who go to demonstrations to document police activity.
Here is an overview of what the members of I-Witness Video saw and experienced over the past week or so in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Regards, Eileen Clancy
for the I-Witness Video Collective
Violence and cruel treatment directed at protesters by police; Journalists targeted for arrest, harassment, intimidation and surveillance
Police Violence in the Streets
The members of I-Witness Video have been appalled to see a high level of violence directed against peaceful demonstrators, medics, legal observers and journalists at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Concussion grenades, smoke bombs, CS gas (tear gas), rubber bullets and pepper spray were used to attack and herd demonstrators.
In particular, pepper spray was used excessively and indiscriminately to torment and punish demonstrators in a manner that violates widely accepted law enforcement standards. In one instance a man was pepper-sprayed while handcuffed and then punched in the kidneys. Peaceful demonstrators have been restrained and forced to kneel on pavement for hours after being pepper sprayed without being given medical attention. In another instance where pepper spray was used to preemptively punish a person who was perceived by police to be a protester, a lone street medic was entering her car when police drove up, sprayed a small fire extinguisher sized canister of pepper spray into her car, completely soaking her head to toe before driving away, leaving her gasping for air and collapsing. The medic was neither arrested nor charged.
The treatment of arrestees in the jails has been shockingly bad, even grisly. Medical care has been withheld from many arrestees. In one instance a hemophiliac was offered gauze as treatment for a wound. Elliot Hughes, a 19-year old arrested while bicycling, was forced to wear a bag over his head while being gagged and beaten. Hughes tells his story at a press conference: Youtube video
The punishment of arrestees did not end at the jailhouse door. In almost every instance, the Sheriffâ€™s Department did not return any personal belongings to arrestees upon their release. Many, including under-age women and girls, were put out in the cold in the middle of the night wearing thin prison-grade shorts and a white t-shirt. Some were dropped off as far as five miles away from the jail without their house keys, car keys, cell phones, identification, or money. In some instances this meant that they were not able to access critically needed medication.
Targeting of Journalists
Many journalists working during the period of the RNC experienced obstruction, harassment and arrests. Thirty journalists were arrested including reporters from ABC News, Fox News, and Indymedia. On September 1, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, two producers from Democracy Now! were slammed on the pavement and against the wall, arrested and charged with a felony riot. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman was also arrested and charged with interfering with a police officer. On September 4 Kouddous was arrested again, along with Democracy Now! producer Rick Rowley.
Harassment of I-Witness Video
Members of I-Witness Video were visited by the FBI and a Wisconsin sheriff, were falsely arrested without charges being filed, underwent a search under an invalid warrant, were threatened on the street by police officers, extensively surveiled by police officers with video cameras and followed by undercover officers.
Two days before the convention opened, St. Paul police surrounded the house we were staying in, effectively placing us under arrest for two hours. When a search warrant was finally produced, it was for the wrong house.
When we declined to allow them to search our house under an invalid warrant, they broke in and held us at gunpoint. We were handcuffed behind our backs and held in the backyard while the house and our belongings were searched.
During the same period three other member of the collective were detained while leaving the area on bicycles and two others in a car were pulled over and detained for four hours.
An excerpt of a video by the Glass Bead Collective shows the St. Paul police breaking into our house and pointing guns at us: video here.
In a sinister progression of events, police officers arrived at our office building four days later with batons at the ready, carrying a battering ram and alleging that we were holding people hostage in the I-Witness Video office. A prompt response by National Lawyerâ€™s Guild attorneys thwarted further police action. The unfounded and absurd allegation by police that hostages were barricaded in our office could have allowed them to enter our office without a warrant and possibly even shoot us. 5th. Please check our website for updates – we will continue to let you know more about the 2008 RNC and DNC as we investigate further.
But police brutality isn’t limited to just these big demonstrations, they happen all the time including at a concert last Friday, Sept. 5th in NYC.
Buffalo Bill at Moving Target Zine has a description of the Marcus Cook Award. Each year this prized trophy is awarded to an outstanding member of the international messenger community. Its time for the nominations.
Velotopia from my old home town of Seattle Washington. Their editor and chief, David Cole had a great quote: “Bicycling is the source and cure of all of my problems.” (I wish it were that simple)
Here’s what it says about their site: “About Us
We like bikes. We firmly believe that anything with two wheels and pedals will lead you down the road to happiness. This website is about that road.
There’s quite a few different bike subcultures out there: from brakeless fixie kids pedaling in skin-tight denim to hairless racer dudes drafting in skin-tight lycra and we tend to like them all. We like organized rides with bountiful food stops and numbers pinned to our jerseys just about as much as we like to get surly and take over the streets on the last Friday of the month. We like pump tracks, dirt parks, Sunday rides, midnight races, velodromes, single track, watching the tour, touring the countryside, climbing hills, Thursday crits, truing our wheels, anything to do with bikes we like. And that’s what this website is about: Bikes!”
Its hard to believe but somehow Christopher Long did not cause assault to rookie officer, Patrick Pogan’s forearms in the July Critical Mass bike ride.
His charges of assault were miraculously dropped today in court, thanks to the power of video. Over a million views make it painfully clear that this officer of the law was egregiously acting like a some sort of…member of the NYPD.
He can have some time at his desk to think about his actions and not out on the street keeping us safe from the threat of people riding their bikes in groups.