Thursday, June 16, 2011

Urban Exploration: I Once Was Found But Now I'm Found

(Okay, I removed the album cover.)

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a Kickstarter pitch involving a bicycle brake light. While I may have made light of this pitch, I assure you that I take the matter of bicycle illumination very seriously. Apparently, so do the French police, because they recently busted Giro d'Italia winner and indiscriminate meat eater Alberto Contador for training without lights on his bike:

Clearly French authorities have been taking their cues from the NYPD, though they're also woefully behind, since while they're still pestering cyclists the NYPD has moved on to more serious matters like arresting people for not playing chess:

Anyway, despite--or perhaps because of--the fact that he has won their eponymous tour three times, the police would not allow Contador to continue riding. Instead, he was forced to train in the French manner by giving up and putting his bike in the car. I'm sure Contador was not pleased, but to his credit he still managed to flash a desultory "fingerbang" before climbing inside:

Presumably Contador will be better prepared in the future, because bicycle blinky light concern Knog have just announced that they will make their first foray into Pro Tour sponsorship by providing him with a fingerbang-compatible "hipster cyst:"

The above model in the limited edition Giro d'Italia maglia rosa colorway will be available for only $175, though if you're handy you can also retrofit an ordinary pink "hipster cyst" to your own fingerbang by, well, placing it on your index finger.

Speaking of hipsters, not since the Europeans came to the Americas has a group of people proved so profoundly adept at "discovering" places that were already inhabited. Since arriving in Williamsburg way back in the 1990s, these bold urban pioneers have bravely explored the city astride fixed-gear bicycles festooned with "hipster cysts," and over the years they've discovered and settled exciting new neighborhoods that nobody knew existed except for everybody else.

In turn, these expeditions provide essential narratives for periodicals such as the New York Times, whose greatest journalistic strength is reporting on the unlikely corners of the city in which douchedom manages to take root. The latest installment in these Gentrification Chronicles is this article about how hipsters have found the Rockaways:

If you've read my book (and no, you cannot have your money back), you know I have a special connection to and affection for this peninsula. As a child, I rode her streets on my Tuff Wheel IIs; I thrilled to the undulations of the roller coaster at Playland; I pulled killy fish from her waters in a bottle baited with bread; and I pulled her tenacious ticks from my unmentionables.

For this reason, I had mixed feelings when I read this article. On one hand, I was pleased that people are finding what really is a beautiful place that in some places could stand to be beautified further by newcomers; on the other, I was horrified that it could be becoming "the new Bedford Avenue:"

Arriving by single-gear bicycle, Zipcar and the occasional skateboard, they’ve turned the once- neglected beach community into an anti-Hamptons, where polo games and Champagne galas have been replaced by bungalow barbecues and piña coladas at old Irish pubs. “The boardwalk is the new Bedford Avenue,” said Mr. Kaye, 34, referring to the cafe-clogged commercial spine of Williamsburg.

I can't imagine I'm alone in finding the prospect of an ironic Hamptons rather daunting. In particular, the big draw for hipsters seems to be Fort Tilden, a beach once touted in an Outlier press release as being "secret" and "accessible only by bike." Well, apparently the secret that was never a secret is now out, and hipsters are now flocking there so they don't have to cope with the sickening sight of children:

“I didn’t see one kid,” said Chris Martin, 27, a skateboarder and photographer from Williamsburg, who car-pooled to Fort Tilden on Memorial Day. “It was awesome.”

Take note Chris Martin, 27 year-old skateboarder from Williamsburg: when you look around and you don't see a kid, the kid is you.

Of course, no article about an up-and-coming gentrification hotspot would be complete without the dreaded "A" word:

Instead of freezer-burned hot dogs, Mr. Selig has created a kind of Brooklyn Flea by the sea, recruiting artisanal-minded vendors that send chowhound devotees into a lather.

Or without describing something totally mundane as a "movement:"

A unique scene has also emerged at Rippers, the boardwalk burger place near 86th Street that is a joint venture between Roberta’s and the Meat Hook, a butcher shop in Williamsburg born out of the nose-to-tail movement.

You may think "nose-to-tail movement" is simply a set of instructions for how to pet a cat (they don't like it when you pet them with the tail-to-nose movement), but you'd be wrong. Actually, the "nose-to-tail movement" is pretentious for eating a whole animal:

I've noticed a recent culinary trend in my Brooklyn community where restaurants are choosing to purchase entire animals raised naturally on nearby farms, butcher in house, and use most of their parts in the establishment's cuisine, leaving little animal to waste.

In other words, the "nose-to-tail movement" is a self-importantly nü-Brooklyn version of the "Clean Plate Club."

By the way, in other New York Times hipster news, Rockaway is also hotbed for bike polo:


Sure, the article is from 1902, but I have a feeling it may be poised for a comeback.

In any case, at the very least the people of Red Hook, Brooklyn can relax, since it looks like the New York Times has found another unique and transit-starved waterfront neighborhood to entertain itself with--at least until the summer's over. Also, if the hipsterization of the Rockaways continues, we should be in store for some exciting bike lane drama:


Just make sure your "single gear bicycle" and/or beach cruiser is equipped with a "Rockaway handgrip," as in this photograph sent to me by a reader:


Here's a closer look:

Actually, the reader spotted the bike in Salt Lake City, but it's a catchy name nevertheless.

Lastly, when I receive an email from a reader with the subject line "'fully loaded' touring bike pr0n," you can bet I'm all over it like hipsters on a childless beach:


"Fully Loaded" is clearly the "Barely Legal" of the beard-and-pannier set.

86 comments:

samh said...

AYHSMB

Anonymous said...

NINE TIMES!!!!!

Anonymous said...

3. I can not Belive it

I am the engine said...

Instead, he was forced to train in the French manner by giving up and putting his bike in the car.

Made me snort my gu.

Anonymous said...

Bromptoneers!

ken said...

hah! exactly my childhood in the rockaways too, every single thing!

"If you've read my book (and no, you cannot have your money back), you know I have a special connection to and affection for this peninsula. As a child, I rode her streets on my Tuff Wheel IIs; I thrilled to the undulations of the roller coaster at Playland; I pulled killy fish from her waters in a bottle baited with bread; and I pulled her tenacious ticks from my unmentionables."

Kenny Banya said...

Top Ten Kenny

Anonymous said...

gonna be close...

Anonymous said...

Top Ten!

Perry said...

More Top Ten!

grog said...

Wilcat Rock Lobster,
Queen!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

crosspalms said...

Maybe it was raining and that was why Contador had to take the bus. Or else he needed a hit off his fingerbong

Nogocyclist said...

I'll take it. Pretty good placing for being fully loaded.

Astroluc said...

Imma gonna wait a minute b/c I don't want to be thirteenth...

...hmmnnn hmmnn hmmnnn

la di da di, I like to party...

shibbiddy dibiddy...

rock rock rock rock rockaway beach...

...ok.

Bill Smith said...

Oh come on, don't pick on the kid in yesterday's video. Make fun of his dad if you want to, but give the boy a break.

dovestrobe said...

Dear Snobby,

Why are you emphasizing lighting one's bike when it's summer here in Portland and the sun doesn't go down till 10 pm?!

Shouldn't you be writing your cause in winter, when it's bleak and black outside?

Buster, get your timing right!

OBA said...

Sheldon had the "Rockaway Grip" beat years ago with his "Bayonetz" bar-ends.

shu-sin said...

i can't believe hipsters have 'discovered' rockaways, where in lob's heaven am i supposed to go now on my bike in the summer? i discovered that beach in... 1997...

Marcel Da Chump said...

Brakelight boy did two album covers: Queen & Jethro Tull (props to xyxax).

Anonymous said...

I wish I had the kind of privileged upbringing to have tuff-wheels. I had to run plain old spokes.

Twistyface said...

I tried to get my money back, but apparently that is frowned upon with library books.

I would probably have gotten away with it, if I hadn't used some of the crayons.

Pick on someone your own size said...

Why pick on the helment-haired kid?

And why make him Freddie, FFS - that's just wrong!

Anonymous said...

I thought the "nose-to-tail movement" was the new hipster trend of sniffing each others' butt upon meeting.
And since when is using all of a locally-procured animal in your cooking a new idea? The inventive cooks in the East Village's Curry Canyon have been doing this with rats and stray cats for decades...

Anonymous said...

NOS2 TAIL

Anonymous said...

mr. snob,

Usually, when you're making fun of people's go-pro films and such I'm right there laughing with you. I had some reservations when you singled out the Lone Wolf, and said something to the effect at the time.
Bagging on a little kid is just reprehensible. Really, there's a limit, and I think you're being a dick.

BSNYC - in association with RIGHT GUARD said...

We'll withdraw our sponsorship if you don't apologise to the helment-haired kid.

Jen said...

Riding without lights:
+ Contador = IN the car
+ Midnight Ridazz = ON the car
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/06/car-smashes-into-cyclists-in-baldwin-hills-area-one-critically-injured.html

"Mitigating factors"? Oy.

Slayed! said...

The kid from yesterday is actually Dave Hill of Slade, who has cloned himself so glam rock can live again.
http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/slade.gif

Anonymous said...

Told ya, bike polo has been here awhile.

hillbilly said...

I'm forming a bowel movement.

Anonymous said...

"When you look around and don't see a kid, the kid is you."

Priceless.

J. Scott. Bowlcut Crit. said...

"Instead, he was forced to train in the French manner by giving up and putting his bike in the car."

The helment hair is my engine.

wishiwasmerckx said...

BSNYC, I too think that you are being kind of a dick. That is precisely why I stop by and read every day.

Reggie said...

"Speaking of hipsters, not since the Europeans came to the Americas has a group of people proved so profoundly adept at "discovering" places that were already inhabited."
-Profoundly funny, BSNY! You provide many gems, it is becoming hard to keep track.

Anonymous said...

Best touring photo by far -- a penny-farthing:

http://www.pbase.com/canyonlands/image/130501563

Pebes said...

yo snobster,
By "killy fish" did you mean "killifish", or were these angry, murderous fish? I hate when fish get killy and leave bloated corpses in their aquariums.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Pepes,

I don't know, I'm still reeling from Kidgate.

--RTMS

Chazu said...

If you start writing for TV I just might order cable and start watching the thing again. Actually, if you could stream it online, I'd appreciate it.

Cameron said...

You call THAT fully loaded? That is Showtime softcore to this.

Quasimodo said...

Kids need to know the truth. Hell, my mom didn't tell me I was ugly until I was 16! That was a real shock!

Anonymous said...

i thought nose-to-tail was more on the level of ass-to-mouth. oh well...

It's not big and it's not clever said...

SWTY JRNO
CRAP BOOK
FREE LODR

Jasper said...

I can just picture the bike polo match in 1902 - carefully curated moustaches, tweed outfits, and I bet they ate their meat from nose to tail as well - plus ca change, eh?. I guess they just wouldn't have been filming themselves to get in a lather about how cool they were.

Anonymous said...

"Take note Chris Martin, 27 year-old skateboarder from Williamsburg: when you look around and you don't see a kid, the kid is you."

Best line all week. I can't stop laughing.

SteveL said...

Which Tunnels in Galibier?

Having done Galibier from both sides, I don't remember any Tunnels. There are some on col do Lauteret if you are coming up from the western (Alpe d'Huez) side before turning north to tick off Galibier, but that's about it.

Maybe Contador was actually lost.

Marcel Da Chump said...

The P.C police, they live inside my head
Thr P.C police
The P.C police...

Anonymous said...

Chris Martin, douchebag from Williamsburg, unless you are a pro and making a living off it don't indentify yourself as a "skateboarder" sound ridiculous for a 15 year old, but at 27?

The hipster plague is certainly going to be a blight on what is otherwise a nice neighborhood. hopefully it won't go the way of the east village, les and most of brooklyn. i can see it now, a tidal waive of white, upper middle class suburban raised white kids, with various tattoo and beard arrays decked out in the finest ironic beach wear descending on poor unsuspecting far rockaway. do i dislike hipsters, maybe.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Cameron, thanks for proving that rule 34 is alive and well.

crosspalms said...

If Snob had walked out on the sidewalk and taken a picture of some random kid in order to mock his haircut, I'd agree he crossed a line. But this was from a video publicly posted by the kid's dad to solicit money for a project. Dad put his kid out there; Snob just pointed and said, hey, look at the kid.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Bring back the album cover.
Freddie! Freddie! Freddie!

G'Cakes said...

To Jen @ 1:44:

The Ridazz weren't riding lightless, they were stopped underneath a dead street light. Say what you will about the Ridazz, they tend to be lit up like a rolling seizure train (at least from what I've seen of their videos).

Dipshit DUI driver managed to partially overtake and then plow a group of +100 cyclists. So of course the LAPD would insinuate that the cyclists are at fault because they were stopped in a dark section of street (in the bike lane, according to witnesses).

I will not be deleted said...

You cannot censor me!!!!!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Sorry I'm late. I'm usually up by the front. On vacation today so forgot actually.

samh: Nice Form

I will not be deleted: That would look awesome on a black t-shirt.

bikeSnobNYC: Thanks funny stuff this week.

SingleSpeedMark said...

Ah come on! What album cover was it? I'm dying to know....

yogisurf said...

Only New Yorkers 'of means' go to the beach? What kind of 'means' do you have to have to go to the beach?

I Go Around and Around said...

I think East New York is most truly the anti-Hamptons, don't you think Snob? I mean, they have a little shoreline there. Houses are cheap. Seems like some are even free. Just pull the plywood off the windows & doors, and welcome home!

Rockaway just seems like a place lazy Breukelanders with poor map reading skills end up on their way to an East Hampton party.

Anonymous said...

two sensible people and an idiot dude discussing SMUG urban cyclists:

http://www.slate.com/id/2295828/

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

Anyone who's ever eaten a hot dog has partaken in the nose to tail movement. In fact, in the 70s, it was pretty much the nose and tail movement.

Anonymous said...

"Instead, he was forced to train in the French manner by giving up and putting his bike in the car."

As far as anti-frog jokes go, this is one of the most refined inside the genre.
You may collect your Legion of Honour medal from the toilet, upon leaving.

Twistyface said...

If anyone should see Weiner sitting on a bench in CP, with a paper cup, looking for spare change... please be generous.

Fred said...

I thought nose-to-tail movement was speed shimmy in my recumbent.

I Go Around and Around said...

@Twistyface - Hah! I was just thinking someone should name a bike lane after Mr. "I'm going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your [expletive] bike lanes" Weiner.

Maybe a park bench would be just as good.

John said...

That Japanese dude touring Poland on his Velo Wood Bell has got me geeking out on his water canister and cage. He has his long distance hydration problems sorted!

Anonymous said...

mr. snob

thanks, I always knew you were a class act.

Cameron said...

Doh! I didn't actually read the 'Cold Splinters' where it links to the very same pbase site I linked to.

Sorry for the redundant redundancy!

Anonymous said...

The Breakaway artist got dropped

Chris Martin said...

All You Haters Suck My Skateboard!

I am the clean and trouble free engine said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/sports/cycling/altercation-between-lance-armstrong-and-tyler-hamilton-interests-fbi.html?_r=1&scp=7&sq=cycling&st=cse

oops how did we miss this?

J Scott. Bowlcut Bandit. said...

KIDGATE IS ALIVE AND WELL. YOU WILL PAY!

leroy said...

My panniers runneth over.

Anonymous said...

Bingerfang! Panties! Panties! Bangerfing! Fangerbing! Panties!

Anonymous said...

Last?

leroy said...

I learned everything I know about hill climbing in the Rockaways.

(Least, but certainly not last.)

Doug said...

Thanks for the daily bigot comment about the French...why not a little variety, and an anti-Semitic comment just to spice it up a bit? The Hasidic community in NYC should provide plenty of materiel. For example, there's the poster they put up advising women to step out of the way when they pass men in the street.
I love your blog anyway! And who can blame you, when it's SO fashionable to be an anti-French bigot.

Anonymous said...

GETA LITE

anti-Doug bigot said...

Doug, you're a moron. Sucks to be you.

Bill Smith said...

The "training in the French way" slur was hilarious.

frilly said...

I wouldn't mind getting in the back seat with Alberto.

grog said...

Senator Snobby,
Sad you took down the album cover.
Happy to see the Babe, twice! Listen.
Weiner is out, there's an empty seat. I'm thinking it's yours! Go file your paperwork and the campaign begins.

I Go Around and Around said...

Bigot is a French word from the 16th century, originating in the battles between the Catholics and the Huguenots, and meaning one who is a religious hypocrite.

I think the Huguenots later went on to make the very durable Hugi hubsets.

Lightingguy said...

Wa-Ow as Chris Walken would say, I engaged in my very first Cat6 race last Thurs., on the (bike) commute home from central Brooklyn to south short LI, with a true hipster - single speed, cowhorn h-bar, black jeans, cycling cap, messenger bag, heading south on lower Flatbush, us doing the leapfrog thing to the bridge. I was wondering where he was heading, as he didn't have a fishing pole like most folks on cycles on this route. He was heading to the new hangout in the Rocks !. I wonder if he's going to ride the bike lane on Rockaway beach Blvd. in the wrong direction like all the other "Rockaway Wrong-Way's" as I call them.

Morton Thiokol said...

Just found this site; way late to the ride. Good, stuff!

But help a newbie out - WTF is the "Rockaway handgrip" actually for? So you can sit up straight and still reach the bar? Why only on one side? Having not actually seen one in use yet, I'm stumped. Never any surprises with the trendy but ridiculous minutia that Billyburg's brilliant find so valuable!

Keep mocking hipsters and the orthodox religion loonies as often as possible. Seriously. Never stops being funny for me. The more self-centered and self-righteous, the more fun it is to knock 'em over.

Philip Williamson said...

Mr. Thiokol - lucky you! You're the last one in; this scene is now closed.

If you look closely, you will see that the Rockaway Handgrip is for stabbing people. Presumably the owner/rider is right handed, and still needs to control the bike while slashing wildly. Dual-wielding steak knives while riding a bike... let that image sink in for a minute. Now I want to see some epic and bloody bike polo gladiatorial combat. As a non-porn corollary to Rule 34, it's probably already on Youtube.

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Fixie Bikes said...

Oh shit, would have never noticed the finger bang thing!