Category Archives: Personal history

Great Christmas gift: Book of Surrealist Games

My sister always gives me the best gifts. Her card read: “This should keep you warm.”

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on not participating in the Kent Ave Bike Clown Protest…

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Photo Credit: frizzick on Flickr

From Gowanus Lounge:

The ongoing Wiliamsburg Bike lane wars, which have pitted bicyclists agains the Hasidic community, will take an interesting turn on Wednesday when Bike Clowns show up to protest. This Wed (12/17) from 8:30-10am, clowns will be riding amuck through the streets from the Williamsburg Bridge and following a route South on the new Kent Ave bike lane, and loop thru Williamsburg? Why? To defend their turf!!! It seems a number of people are thinking the new Kent Street bike lanes are there for their own personal double parking needs, and they’re just getting in the way!

I ride Kent Ave fairly frequently, have nearly been run off the road by maniac mini-vans, and forced in traffic by double-parked trucks of business owners who are loading and unloading on Kent.   Still, the thought of dressing up like a clown to protest that ‘treatment’ (which I’d really categorize as indifference) by the predominately Hasidic drivers that work along Kent Ave. has me a bit confused.  I’m sure the message is crystal clear in the minds of the participating cyclists, but from a distance it smells an awful lot like mockery and intimidation, with a healthy dose of disrespect for the community.

Drivers in that area DO need to realize that bicycles are traffic too, that the City made those lanes in a continuing effort to encourage bicycle transportation and start scaling back automobile congestion.  Cyclists in that area need to accept that there are going to be cars.  When those business people go to Community Board meetings to protest the lanes, follow them there and testify that the bike lanes mean a lot.  But clowns?  Not so much.

A ride on the “Nostalgia Train”

IMG_0701 On Sunday, I got the chance to catch the “Nostalgia Train” on its run from Queens Plaza to 2nd Ave along the V line. The trip brought back a flood of memories – not because I ever rode an R-4 subway car in ‘real life’ (too young for that, thanks) but because as a kid, I regularly visited the Transit Museum and its collection of antique cars and buses. As the old subway trundled along the heat and ozone generated from the old motors was really the best part of the experience, considering that nowadays, a ride on the subway is clean, air conditioned, sterile – even the brusque voice of the conductor has been replaced by the pleasant, automated ‘Shining Time Station’ – like voices.

That reminds me, the MTA has also been touring one of their classic buses from the “Jackie Gleason” era, but I can’t seem to find any info on the MTA Website about the tour and I forgot my camera on the day the bus sat outside the Library at Grand Army Plaza.

On the way back to Queens, I ran into a couple of friends and their kids taking the ride to Rockefeller Center.  One of the kids happily assured me “we’re not on a real train.”

The Nostalgia train runs from Queens Plaza to 2nd Ave for two more Sundays, December 20th 21st and 28th.