Unlike our dear sweet Peter, who unequivocally hearts it, I wrestle with New York.
I’m no country bumpkin, but still, the place overwhelms me. The people, the concrete, the noise, the haste. I don’t hate it, but it does make me weak in the knees, and not in a love way. More of a swaying-side-to-side-with-dizziness-as-the-world-swirls-around-me sort of way.
This is why it’s good to have friends.
Especially friends I can email with such random requests as, “Hey, do you know anyone in New York who could help me build a Christmas-tree-ish window display out of bike parts?” And who can write me back in less than a day with not only a,“Yes, totally,” but also a, “While you’re out there, do you think you’ll need a bike to ride?”
Which is how I met the crew at NYC Velo. Charged with the mission to pull together a new window display for here/nau/nyc that touched on alternative ways to move through the city, I arrived in NY with the name and number of one lone bike-enthused guy: Mike.
Mike introduced me to Andrew, owner of NYC Velo, and Andrew introduced me to Justin, one of his employees who held a special affinity for installing bikes in unorthodox, gravity-defying ways. Collectively these guys evolved my zoo-bomb inspired vision of a holiday heap of bikes into a much more elegant display using their own, personal frames (Surly’s, IF’s, and Civia’s among them), all swirling around our front window like a band of wild horses.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the crew at NYC Velo also turned me on to my two new favorite things to do in their fair city: 1) ride a Kona humuhumunukunukuapua with monster knobby tires through the narrow streets and sprawling boulevards, fearlessly dominating the cobblestone of Soho and the potholes of everywhere else, and 2) riding straight to the best americano the city has to offer, at the hole-in-the-wall café in the East Village, Abraço Espresso.
Thanks to my friends, and my friends of friends with bikes, I’ve seen New York in an entirely new light. Less about its world swirling around a static me, and more about me – on a bike – swirling around it. It’s fun. You should try it.
And if you’re in New York, you can see NYC Velo’s fine work in our window ‘til December 13th. You’ll also find more pics of the display here.
(photo courtesy NYC Velo)