Was at the Civilian Art Projects the other night and saw this bicycle locked to the tree and thought it was funny. Reminded me of this Washington City Paper article on another artfully locked bicycle.
Locking a bicycle high up in a tree stymies short thieves, but damages trees
|| 8/19/2008 || 7:08 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||
Bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge in time-lapse
|| 8/14/2008 || 8:55 pm || Comments Off on Bicycle ride home from the 18th Street Lounge in time-lapse || ||
After listening to one of my favorite bands, SEE-I, at the 18th Street Lounge, I decided to record my short bicycle ride home in time-lapse. What is nice about the ride home is that I travel in a special bicycle lane for much of the trip. The music that I added is a sample from Thievery Corporation‘s upcoming album “Radio Retaliation,” which is due in stores on September 23rd, 2008. You can watch a live recording of Sleepy Wonder singing “Radio Retaliation” on Thievery Corporation’s Facebook page.
Streetfilms: “Summer Streets 2008” in New York City
|| 8/11/2008 || 6:35 pm || Comments Off on Streetfilms: “Summer Streets 2008” in New York City || ||
Looks like the first Summer Streets was an absolute success! When I wrote about Ciclovia in BogotÃ¡, Colombia, I mentioned how I thought it would be fun to have one in DC and even went so far as to demarcate a few streets that could be the starting ground. Watching this video made me seriously wonder how difficult it would be to organize something like this in DC in the not-so-distant future. With the new Smart Bikes coming on-line, I bet there will be more support for this type of community activity. I know I’d have a sound system setup on the closed-off street bumping music mad decent block party style. I already ride my bike everyday.
You Street on YouTube || East Meets West || A Game of Locational Awareness
|| 8/5/2008 || 2:28 pm || 2 Comments Rendered || ||
The other day after I watched the interview conducted on a bicycle the idea that had been swimming in the back of my head resurfaced. Originally it was going to be something simple, as in, one YouTube video for U Street (sometimes written out as You Street) in Washington, DC that featured me riding down the street at night and another video that would be filmed on the exact same stretch of road, but filmed during the day. By using the YouTube Doubler, the on-line mashup helper, the viewer would be able to simultaneously see the same stretch of road at two different times of the day.
After thinking about the concept more thoroughly, I literally went in a different direction (actually two) and came up with a game of sorts. Last Saturday I filmed myself riding on the same stretch of U Street going to one end of the street and then filmed myself going back to the same point where I started. I then edited the videos so they start where the other on ends and then I placed the two videos side-by-side using YouTube Doubler.
The object of the game is to find the exact location where the videos cross paths. As in, the video on the right features me riding my bike on U Street going due East and the video on the left features me riding my bike due West and somewhere in the videos there is a specific point where the two videos cross paths.
Since they were filmed at different times you won’t actually see me riding down the street, but there is an exact point on the street where the two videos intersect and its up to the viewer to figure out where East meets West or West meets East.
Since I had more traffic going West than I did going East, the West video is slightly longer, but the spot where the two videos cross paths does not change. It might take a couple tries, but eventually you’ll be able to figure out the spot in question. If you need help with a map or two, I created a special Google Map that shows the starting locations of the two videos.
I’ve already found the location, but do you think you can find it? If you do, leave the estimated time in the comment section!! The answer is quite easy.
Click the screen grab below to try it out:
One disappointment with this game is that YouTube’s compression still stinks. I uploaded the videos at 640×480 in size with minimal compression with the hopes that they’d show up less pixilated, but alas the option to view the videos in high-quality was not there when I checked last. I still don’t know why either. The unfortunate result is that you are unable to see as much detail in the videos, which means the game is slightly harder to “win.” Currently Vimeo does not have an autoplay option which makes this mashup impossible on their platform, so there really isn’t much I can do to fix the compression issue.
One idea is to remove the YouTube Doubler component and redesign the videos in Final Cut Pro. By adjusting the size of the final video, I can place both East & West into one video and release the game without compression. This will take me longer to complete, but I think it might be a worthy effort. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy this game.
Video of “Gas Prices” by Hutchy
|| 8/4/2008 || 10:37 am || Comments Off on Video of “Gas Prices” by Hutchy || ||
Two weeks ago I ran into Hutchy outside of Wonderland Ballroom here in DC. I was there for the monthly Funk DC party. Hutchy gave me the CD and said “This iz da fresh shit mon,” which I laughed at because anytime someone gives you their CD it’s always the freshest in their head. I put it my pocket for the rest of the night and left it on my dresser until last Saturday afternoon. I popped it in my CD player and actually enjoyed the track. I think I liked it so much because this reggae tune takes on a few contemporary issues that are important to people; namely gas prices, corporate control, and the mortgage crisis.
This morning I got word via my RSS from Brian Liu that ToolboxDC, a creative firm owned & operated by a couple of my friends, had made a video of the tune (below). It was directed by my friend Robin, who I’ve mentioned here before and it features some bicycle riding, scenes from around Washington, DC, and a bunch of cameos from my friends- including one of the DJs who I saw the night Hutchy gave me the cd!
An interview on a bicycle conducted while riding through Amsterdam
|| 7/31/2008 || 5:56 pm || 3 Comments Rendered || ||
Yesterday I watched the video above and smiled. It was the first time I’d seen an interview conducted whilst riding down the street. Have you ever seen one conducted in this fashion?
The 9 minute video above features the author of the Dutch bicycle advocacy blog Amsterdamize as he rides side-by-side & interviews the co-author of Copenhagen’s bicycle advocacy blog Copenhagenzine. They discuss the differences in bicycle riding in their respective cities while showing the beautiful scenery of Amsterdam. It truly made me want to go back to Amsterdam just to ride around the city and take in the city’s car-free culture & rich history.
Anyways, this year I’ve added bicycle advocacy to the disparate topics this website covers. It makes sense as well because my main transportation method is a bicycle and the 120-year-old house I live in is on the site of a former bicycle racetrack.
Since I recently purchased a digital camera I’ve been running through a bunch of ideas as to how I can creatively use this simple technology to make new content for this blog. Expect some more bicycle related entries in the coming days….
In case the video above didn’t satiate your appetite for urban bicycling, here are few of my favorite bicycling videos from Amsterdamize, Copenhagenzine and it’s sister site Copenhagen Cycle Chic for you to enjoy:
Hipster : The Dead End of Western Civilization By Douglas Haddow
|| 7/28/2008 || 2:48 pm || 8 Comments Rendered || ||
This entry has depreciated, please click here to read the official article on the Adbusters website.
Below is the feature article of Adbuster’s Magazine Issue #79, which should hit newsstands either today or tomorrow. As a subscriber to the magazine, I received my copy in the mail last Thursday and after reading the entire issue I decided to spend an hour Friday afternoon transcribing the feature article for this blog entry.
Normally I don’t waste my time transcribing articles, but I have a strong feeling that this article will not be published on their website in its entirety and I feel that by sharing it here I’m able to direct more people to the magazine’s website than would otherwise visit. I don’t think Adbusters will take too much issue to my reprinting of their article, but if they do I’ll remove it from my website. I’ve already been their anti-advertisement lackey before and probably helped sell dozens of their corporate flags when I was featured in the Sunday Style section of the Washington Post on the 4th of July, 2004.
What I enjoyed most about this article is that it hits close to home. Depending on what clothes I might be wearing I could easily be considered a hipster under the definition outlined in the article below. However, what’s lacking in the demographic the author outlines are those that bridge the gap between socially aware and unaware. As in, can someone stand for something, but not have it thrown in the face of the unaware? On my behalf, I can say that I’m fully aware of what style I am supporting just as I am aware of what corporations I am not supporting in my clothing, music, and transportation choices (I have two bicycles; neither of which are fixed-gear). Aren’t culture jammers supposed to be wolves in sheep’s clothing that can blend in, but stand out when the time arises?
In this respect, the author makes little room for someone like myself to exist within the rubric of hipsterdom. Can one be stylish, but not hipster? Or can one be socially conscious while maintaining the decorum of that which the author loathes? The inherent irony is that many of the clothes the author points out are also clothing items that were not made in a sweatshop.
As a mashup of all demographics before it, how then will the future be defined by the absence of this mashup? Essentially, if hipsterdom is to die, then how can a new demographic be born anew without stealing some its tenets, much like all previous generations did before it? In that respect, the author attempts to answer this by stating we are at the end of the Western Civilization because we have no where to grow, move, or redefine ourselves. Yet the author doesn’t give much direction as to how we are to accomplish this.
I ask those rhetorical questions above because I generally agree with the author’s conclusions, yet as someone that straddles the demographic at hand, I don’t see the how the demographic will end or morph without some cataclysmic event that forces the delineation between those who have both substance and style and those that are simply posing for the camera blissfully unaware of their choices. Only time will tell…I hope you enjoy the read and if you do, go out and purchase the magazine yourself.
Hipster : The Dead End of Western Civilization
By Douglas Haddow for Adbusters Magazine, Issue #79
I’m sipping a scummy pint of cloudy beer in the back of a trendy dive bar turned nightclub in the heart of the city’s heroin district. In front of me stand a gang of hippiesh grunge-punk types, who crowd around each other and collectively scoff at the smoking laws by sneaking puffs of “fuck-you,” reveling in their perceived rebellion as the haggard, staggering staff look on without the slightest concern.
The “DJ” is keystroking a selection of MP3s off his MacBook, making a mix that sounds like he took a hatchet to a collection of yesteryear billboard hits, from DMX to Dolly Parton, but mashed up with a jittery techno backbeat.
“So… is this a hipster party?” I ask the girl sitting next to me. She’s wearing big dangling earrings, an American Apparel V-neck tee, non-prescription glasses and an inappropriately warm wool coat.
“Yeah, just look around you, 99 percent of the people here are total hipsters!”
“Are you a hipster?”
“Fuck no,” she says laughing back the last of her glass before she hops off to the dance floor.
With Washington, DC about to begin the first bicycle sharing program in the United States, I’m posting some videos featuring the Parisian bike sharing service called Vélib’. The names in French is a combination of vélo liberté or vélo libre and in English it means free bicycle or bicycle freedom.
Bikes Belong presents: Velib
Bikes sharing is transforming how cities look at public transit. We went to Paris in November 2007 to see for ourselves what Velib is all about.
[I really like the use of the infographics]
“In the morning, you can go to work in the tram and come home by bike; it depends on the weather, it depends on your mood and on your friends,” said Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe Sunday.
Delanoe aims to cut car traffic in the city by 40 per cent by 2020.
I post more when I find them….
Related Bicycling Entries:
DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued [Yeah!]
|| 6/2/2008 || 5:28 pm || Comments Off on DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued [Yeah!] || ||
Great news from the DC DMV:
DC Bicycle Registration Law to be Discontinued
Bicyclists Encouraged to Register with National Bike Registry
Media Contact: Karyn Le Blanc at (202) 671-3490
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announce a major change in DC bicycle registration law.
Beginning June 1, 2008 bicycle registration is no longer required by law in the District of Columbia. Subsequently, registration will no longer be available at any District police or fire station as of this date.
DDOT and MPD now encourage citizens to register their bicycles with the National Bicycle Registry (NBR). NBR is a service that allows users to register their bicycle by serial number in a national database.
Accessible by law enforcement anywhere in the United States, NBR makes it easier and faster for police officers to identify and prove ownership of stolen bicycles and return them to their rightful owners.
â€œUsing the National Bicycle Registry will help streamline bicycle registration for District residents and provide for an easier registration process be it online, by telephone, or by mail,â€ said Emeka Moneme, Director of DDOT.
â€œEach year, over a million bikes are stolen. Most are left unclaimed and cannot be returned to their owners because the bicycles have no label or identification. It is simple to put an NBR label on the bike to register it, and we want to encourage all of our residents to do it,â€ said Chief Lanier.
To register a bicycle with NBR residents may do any of the following:
* purchase a NBR registration kit for $10 at area bicycle shops
* register bikes and find additional information online at www.nationalbikeregistry.com
* call 1-800-848-BIKE
For additional information contact DDOTâ€™s Bicycle Program Office at (202) 671-0681.
Truth be told, I’ve been riding around Washington, DC on my bicycle for the last six years illegally. After hearing only horror stories from friends dealing with DC’s antiquated registration system, I boldly decided to never register my bike. There was a great City Paper article on how the registration program basically allowed DC police to pull over ANY bicyclist to check the status of their bicycle’s registration, and if the bike was not registered, it was confiscated by the police. The unfortunate result was that this law was used disproportionately to arrest young black youth suspected of crime instead of going after the actual bicycle thieves (I’ve had 3 bikes stolen in the last few years!). I actually read over the current bicycle laws over the weekend and have some interesting findings, but I will save them for when the current laws are updated.
Rush hour bicycle traffic congestion in Copenhagen, Denmark
|| 4/16/2008 || 4:34 pm || Comments Off on Rush hour bicycle traffic congestion in Copenhagen, Denmark || ||
The last couple days I’ve been posting about bicycling, so why not add another one of my favorite examples of how people in another country have embraced bicycling? Everyday I check out Copenhagen Cycling Chic, which is a blog about styliciousness of bicyclists in Copenhagen, Denmark. More specifically, the blog usually features well-dressed, attractive women on bicycles. As xenophile, I love seeing how the people commute and how drastically different it is from the American way of life. It seems that the majority of bicycles for sale at my local bike shops are racing bikes, mountain bikes, and single track bikes. Thus it appears that the stores mainly cater to the athletic folks who treat bicycling as a physical activity (or business: couriers), and not a simplified, slowed-down, lifestyle as the author of Copenhagen Cycling Chic and myself view bicycling. I have not owned a car in nearly 10 years and I don’t miss being car-crippled one bit. The money I’ve saved in car payments & car insurance is astounding and I’m healthier because my transportation is also my exercise. Yet this is the difference– I view the exercise as a lesser byproduct of a conscious decision to live a more mentally & ecologically sound life. I’ll pick the rush hour in the YouTube video above any day over sitting in traffic enclosed in a metal box pumping toxins into the atmosphere. Better views too.