Monday, April 30, 2012

Quality of Life: Pee Me a River

"So where the heck have you been?," you may be asking yourself as you read this.  Well, I wish I could answer you, but after weeks of travel I'm not so sure myself.  The truth is, I'm disorientated--so much disorientated that I can't even compose properly sentences with correctly grammaticals or spealing structure, much less reconstruct an accurate timeline of the past month.  Really, as far as timelines go, the best I can do is this:

Nevertheless, I'm doing my best to piece things together, and to that end I figured I should at least try to get a handle on where I am now.  This isn't as easy as it sounds, because you can spend an entire lifetime here in New York without ever really making sense of the place.  And even when you do start coming to grips with it, you leave town for awhile and then come back and find you have to start all over again.  It's like almost solving a Rubik's Cube, leaving on the coffee table while you go to the bathroom, and then picking it up again afterwards.  Once you're out of the groove, it's difficult to get back into it again.  That's why you should always bring your Rubik's Cube into the bathroom with you.

At the same time, traveling also helps you appreciate New York.  Sure, it's fun to visit entry-level cities like Portland and Austin, and even intermediate-level cities like Seattle and San Francisco, and after awhile you can even delude yourself into thinking that these places are in the real world.  Eventually though it becomes undeniably that they aren't, and that they're merely the urban equivalent of group rides with a no-drop policy.  Sooner or later you start craving actual competition again (as difficult and ruthless as it may be) and you're relieved to return to the race that is New York.

But while this may be true culturally, it's quite the opposite from a cycling perspective.  Indeed, in terms of cycling, the New York City area is a backwater, and her riders are mostly just a bunch of rubes.  The artisanal smugness of Portland; the dynamic flambullience of San Francisco; even the Ben Franklinesque ethos of Philadelphia all serve to emphasize New York's place as the Christian Vande Velde of American cycling cities.  Sure, it wasn't always this way.  We once boasted the vibrant racing scene that produced riders like George Hincapie, and we singlehandedly created the bike messenger archetype.  Now though our racing scene consists of dueling investment bankers who hire coaches and spend tens of thousands of dollars on crabon exotica, and our messengers are clothes horses who spend the obligatory three-to-five years in New York before retreating to an entry-level town. As far as business and entertainment go we may be the City that Never Sleeps, but when it comes to cycling we're the Aluminum Jamis With a Pie Plate.

Even our riding destinations are hopelessly lame.  If you live in New York, you know that every weekend a gigantic Fred Migration takes place, traveling over the George Washington Bridge and up Route 9W towards Piermont and Nyack and even Bear Mountain.  In the early hours these migrants are the aforementioned investment banker club racers, though as the day wears on they yield to an interminable procession of tridorks in arm warmers and sleeveless half-shirts who drink from aerobar-mounted sippy cups:

Anyway, you might think that once you leave the city and arrive in these quaint towns that you'd finally find people who embrace bicycles, but this simply isn't the case.  Consider this profile of Piermont from this past weekend's New York Times Real Estate section:

According to the article, the "boons" of Piermont are that it "evokes a Mediterranean hillside, or maybe Sausalito, Calif."  Now, I happen to think Piermont is very pleasant.  It's pretty.  It's quiet.  There are quaint little shops that sell shit you'd never want.  However, I've also been to both the Mediterranean and to Sausalito, and Piermont evokes both of these places in the way Boone's Farm evokes actual wine.  Mostly, the relatively few similarities simply serve to underscore the vast superiority of the genuine article.  Still, it's a lovely place as far as the greater metropolitan area goes.

But what are the "banes" of living in Piermont?  Well, apparently they're high taxes--and of course bikes:

So magnetic is the village today, according to residents, that tourists and bicyclists often arrive in droves on weekends. The bicyclists often pay little heed to the designated bike lanes, said Robert Samuels, a former journalist and author who has lived here since 1982. “They talk loudly and shout back and forth to one another, often waking me out of a sound sleep on a Sunday morning,” said Mr. Samuels, whose book “Blue Water, White Water” (Up the Creek Publishing, 2011) details his struggle with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a muscle disorder.

But other than the bicyclists and high annual property taxes, most of Piermont’s 2,500 residents consider their village as close to perfect as it gets, said Mr. Samuels, the president of the 500-member civic association.

Now, I'm no stranger to entitlement.  I've visited Boulder.  I've visited Portland.  I've visited Marin County.  These are the nose-stinging bubbles in our national soda pop of smugness.  However, you've reached a higher plane of entitlement when your biggest quality-of-life problem is the sound of Fred chat.  If you can't handle the gentle whirring of a freehub while two middle-aged men patter on about their wheelsets then you probably can't handle anything.  Would they prefer the constant farting of Harley-Davidsons?  (Of which I've seen plenty around those parts, by the way.)  The whining of high-revving "crotch rockets?"  The thundering of tractor-trailers?  Heedless motorists who run down their children?  Really, when cyclists are coming to your town in droves, that's merely a sign of how good you have it.  It's when the cyclists stay away at all costs that you've really got a problem, because it means that your town sucks.

In any case, I was so disgusted by the whining of the people of Piermont that I made the following pledge:  From now on, I will hold in my pee-pee until I get to Piermont instead of publicly relieving myself near the George Washington Bridge where it's merely the Port Authority's problem.

Together we can reach our goal of a yellow Piermont, and I I hope you will join me in this effort.

In any case, given New York City's status as a remedial cycling city, it was sort of sweet that we had a bike show this past weekend:

Watching New York City have a bike show is like watching a baby try to work an iPhone: it's extremely cute, something fun might happen by accident, but really they have no idea what they're looking at.  I don't exclude myself from this, by the way, because I am very much a New Yorker, and I had no idea what I was looking at either.  For example, I saw this bike outside of the show, which led me to wonder if apehanger bars are the new chopped riser bars:

Well, apparently they are, because there was a whole booth dedicated to them:

I would have asked this person to explain what I was looking at, but I was too afraid of his pants:

Equally confusing was the matter of why, if I was at a bike show in New York, I was looking at a Mini Cooper with Jersey plates:

And then there was this thing:

In addition to being confused as to why you'd ever want to carry a bottle of wine in this manner, I was also confused about why I couldn't touch the bike, and so I just said "Fuck it" and touched it anyway:

("Yeah, I touched it.  What are you gonna do about it?")

I'm about as big a "woosie" as you're likely to find (yes, I cried when those adhesive wristbands ripped out my arm hair), but even I'm not afraid of someone who uses a leather wine bottle holder on his faux old-timey bicycle.

Of course, this being New York City, there was also plenty of media.  For example, I got to see a real-life hilpster interview taking place:

There were also publishers of the sorts of periodicals you buy at airports because you're desperate for something to read on the plane, you've already read everything else at the newsstand, and it's slightly more interesting than the in-flight magazine:

In case you can't tell, the above placard is stuck to a curtain, so I just assumed between that and the "Your Ideal Weight" headline that "Bicycling" was running some sort of carnivalesque weight-guessing stand.  Eager to "fool the guesser," I peeled back the curtain, but to my surprise I instead found people listening to other people talk into microphones:

This turned out to be a happy accident, for I myself was supposed to talk into a microphone immediately after these people, which is what I did.  I was also supposed to show slides while I talked, but I don't really know how to work my computer.  Furthermore, the show had apparently hired a surlier version of Nick Burns as their A.V. guy, and he was resolutely unwilling to help me in any way.  Therefore, I simply talked without the slides, which probably didn't make much difference since people can't see slides while they're sleeping anyway.

Lastly, in a final bout of total incompetence, I managed not to get a frontal photograph of a woman outside who was walking around topless:

Hopefully she doesn't decide to visit Piermont, since between the bicycles and the toplessness life there would become a waking nightmare.

Monday, April 23, 2012

This Just In: You're On Your Own For a Week!

Dear Loyal Readers, Occasional Readers, First-Time Readers, Last-Time Readers Who Are Totally Over This Blog But Are Checking In One Final Time In Order to Leave a Nasty Comment, and Random Internet Browsers Looking for Images of Naked People on Recumbents:

Owing to an urgent and unforeseen family matter I will be unable to update the BikeSnobNYC blog this week.  (ShedSnobNYC updates, however, will remain unaffected.)  I apologize for the inconvenience, especially on the heels of my book tour, but I assure you that despite my flippant tone it's an unhappy circumstance and the absence is very necessary.  I also assure you that I made every effort to engage the services of a substitute blogger for the duration of my absence, but I'm sorry to report that Cormac McCarthy refused, and as far as I'm concerned it's him or nobody.

What a dick.

In any case, I will return to my posting post on Monday, April 30th.  I will also be appearing (which sounds disconcertingly spectral) this coming Saturday, April 28th, at The New Amsterdam Bike Show in New York City:

Sure, New York City's something of a cultural backwater as far as cycling is concerned, but it happens to be my home so I figured what the heck.  Evidently I'll be speaking in the "Bikelandia" area at 4:00pm, after which I'll be at the Brooks booth where I'll happily ruin your copy of my book (or anything else you stick in front of me, including cherished pets) with my signature.

In the meantime, rest assured I look forward to my return, at which point I will address numerous pressing matters, including but not limited to:

--Giving away some Knog Blinders;
--Sharing photos from my west coast BRA;
--Other stuff;
--More other stuff.

And remember, if you're looking for someone to blame for all this, I suggest you start with that selfish prick Cormac McCarthy.

Thanks for understanding, ride safe, and I look forward to seeing you on Monday, April 30th.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

Friday, April 20, 2012

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

In recent years there have been numerous proposals to build a velodrome in New York City.  It's crucial that we get a new velodrome, so that the people who currently make a bunch of excuses for not using the one we've already got can finally have access to a better, modern, more centrally-located facility that they won't use either.  Well, a reader tells me that this dream of a new velodrome may finally become a reality, for someone is apparently donating $40 million to make it happen:

I like bikes, I like bike racing, and I like the idea of a velodrome in Brooklyn Bridge Park.  At the same time, I can't help thinking that anyone who would actually foot the bill for one must be completely insane.  If I had $40 million to donate, the last thing I'd do would be to spend it on bike racers.  (Of course, I don't have $40 million to donate--I only have $20 million, and it's all going to the statue of myself I'm giving to the city of Portland, OR.)  Really, it's hard to think of a group of people less deserving of philanthropy than bike racers.  Giving money to bike racers is like giving Chuck E. Cheese tokens to sex offenders.

Of course, there are those who will probably say that building a velodrome also benefits "the youth," but as far as I'm concerned encouraging kids to race bikes is even worse.  If you've ever renewed a USA Cycling racing license, you know they always ask you to donate to the USA Cycling Development Foundation.  However, to actually do so would be incredibly irresponsible, for nothing could be more destructive to America's youth than a life of Fred-dom.  Really, you're better off just buying these kids a bag of weed.  At least that way they might actually get interested in something.  On the other hand, the best-case scenario for an American bike racer is living out of your car, doping for crits, and carping about how your town doesn't have an adequate velodrome.

Then again, as cycling becomes more popular there is more financial opportunity as far as racing is concerned, and thanks to all the sponsorship we're almost at the point where "alleycat racing" is becoming a viable career.  Yes, alleycats have gone mainstream--so mainsteam in fact that they're being covered by in-flight magazines, as I just learned via the Twitter:

("Delta Sky Magazine" is synonymous with "Street Cred.")

"Pick a [rider] and follow him" indeed--that would appear to be the template for the entire "urban cycling" lifestyle.

Speaking of Twitter discoveries, another Tweeterer also alerted me to this:

Date: 2012-03-17, 2:47PM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

Mid-1980s Eddy Merckx 61 cm. Reynolds 753 frame.
Green and White main tubes, silver forks and stays.
Raised black lettering, gold outline.
Campagnolo Record Components- 3 years old new condition.
DT Swiss R1.1 Rims, Black Rims, Spokes, Hubs.
Ritchey carbon-bar and stem
No pedals, front derller has broken screw.
Bought frame 4 years ago w/ original campy BB and headset.
Frame has 5-6 paint chips
2000 $ OBO CONTACT 443-857-[deleted]

Complete with a photograph of a disembodied body presiding over a rather perplexing cockpit:

As far as I'm concerned this photograph fully qualifies as art, and in spirit and composition it evokes Grant Wood's iconic "American Gothic:"

Now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you'll be delighted, and if you're wrong you'll see some offroad action.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and always pick a rider and follow him blindly.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

1) This bicycle is made from a "vintage" Erector Set.


(George Hincapie kidnapped by Freds)

2) As part of your $240 entry fee for the Gran Fondo New York, you will receive:

(Typical Italian "Gran Fondo" taking a post-ride stroll.)

3) The term "Gran Fondo" is actually Italian for "Big Fred."


(Steamy late-night chat session takes a fateful turn.)

4) Whose missile is he going to ride?

--Mark Cavendish's
--Mario Cipollini's
--Ivan Dominguez's
--Kim Jong-un's

5) How much for these leather cycling shorts?

--This is a trick question, nobody would possibly sell leather cycling shorts

("First Winter:" A facial hair-raising story of survival.)

6) The film "First Winter," about a group of Brooklyn hilpsters forced to survive in the wilderness, has garnered controversy because:

--The filmmakers illegally downloaded much of the score
--The filmmakers killed a deer without first obtaining a permit
--The filmmakers shot the film entirely on location at Bard College without first obtaining a permit
--It sucks

7) This is my Saab.


***Special Old-Timey Bonus Question***

"Back in the day," who won an impromptu "Cat 6" race between a cyclist and Oliver W., the famous trotting ostrich?

--The cyclist
--The ostrich
--It was a tie
--Neither, they were both beaten by a monkey on roller skates

(via "Serial Retrogrouch")

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hand-Folding: It's Not Just For Laundry Anymore

When you think of folding bikes, no doubt you think of tiny-wheeled circus affairs straddled by people in blazers and DayGlo pant cuff retainers.  What you probably don't think of is actual folding, like what you do with your underpants after you wash them.  (Assuming you wear underpants, and assuming you wash them.)  However, you will soon--at least if Ronin Bicycle Works gets its way:

Finally, it's a frame made out of folded sheet metal, and the inventors only want $100,000 to mass-produce a bicycle that employs the same groundbreaking technology used to make origami and marijuana cigarettes:

This folded bicycle frame is held together by "rivets and glue," and it boasts the elegance and clean lines of a light switch box--which I'm fairly sure is what they used for the headtubebox:

You can keep your fancy tubing and your hand-carved lugs--give me a bike that's made from baking sheets and shelf brackets:

Every handmade bicycle tells the story of its builder, and often merely looking at one tells you everything you need to know about what he or she was thinking at the time.  This bike is no exception, and I'm fairly certain that what the builder was thinking here was, "I can't believe they let me work in the prison metal shop.  Should I build something to bust out of here, or should I build a bike?  Ah, fuck it, I'll build a bike."

But that doesn't mean the Ronin bike doesn't boast meticulous attention to detail.  For example, the underside of the downtubesheet is creased for uncomfortable "portaging:"

Though they really should have equipped it with a more appropriate saddle:

So help these guys reach their goal, and if you give enough then you too could own a bike with all the elegance of one of those tin foil leftover-"portaging" swans they give you at restaurants:

Because really, it's just an uglier and less practical version of a bike share bike:

The above image, by the way, is from the NYC Bike Share website, and I can't wait until the program launches this summer.  Here's another image of a woman pretending to use the bike share system at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, which is probably the least bike-friendly intersection in all of Brooklyn:

In all sincerity though I am an avid bike share enthusiast--so much so that I'm considering going to work for them:

I particularly like the sound of the "Ambassador" position, though apart from having "prior exposure to the local market" I meet none of the qualifications:

All Candidates Must Have:

• A fun and upbeat personality that reflects the NYC Bicycle Share brand and spirit
• Experience interacting with very large groups of consumers ranging from kids to adults
• Knowledge of Bicycling in NYC and prior exposure to the local market
• Ability to take direction well
• Excellent attention to detail, organization and communication skills

My personality is dour and morose, I do my very best to avoid large groups of consumers, I refuse to take direction, and I'm so disorganized I don't even fold my underwear.  Still, that's not going to stop me from submitting my résumé:

I admit I padded it a bit, but I really do like soup.

Speaking of innovation and cycling, a reader informs me that a Tucson man has invented an arm-and-leg-powered recumbent:

I strongly recommend watching the video that accompanies the story above, but I'm not embedding it because it seems to be one of those videos that plays automatically when the page loads, and the last thing you want is to get caught watching recumbent videos at work.  In fact, getting caught watching recumbent videos is pretty much the only time you'd actually toggle over to a porn site in order to save face, so follow the link at your own risk.  Or, if you're too much of a "woosie," here's the gist of it:

"If you're a cyclist, you know that a long ride will leave your leg muscles feeling fatigued. But have you ever wished you could get an arm workout at the same time? One local rider had a similar thought, and has now patented his arm and leg powered recumbent bike."

Here's what he wound up with:

I can think of another way to engage your arms in a repetitive back-and-forth motion while riding a recumbent that doesn't require a proprietary bike.  Instead, just get a Shake Weight and use it while you ride:

Or, even simpler, simply omit the Shake Weight and ride around while "foffing off."  Actually, it's a great way to squeeze in an arm workout at any time of day--even when you're just sitting around on the couch.

Meanwhile, in other suggestive recumbent innovation news, another reader has just alerted me to the revolutionary "Ball 'Bent:"

I bet it offers a smooth ride, but unfortunately it's a total ripoff of those Uniball Unicycles:

At the very least he could have equipped it with a folded metal frame.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saving Your Hide: Gran Fondos and Grand Illusions

News!  People love it!  You want some?  I have some!  Why am I writing in breathless prose?  Well, I have just received a scorchingly urgent, pressingly pressing press release, released to the press by the Gran Fondo New York, which is a Gran Fondo that will happen in New York. I'm so excited I'm talking in circles!  So what's the news contained therein?  Well, they're administering drug tests to the participants:

New York City, April 18, 2012

For Immediate Release

On April 12, 2012, Gran Fondo New York conducted out of competition doping controls among riders training for May 20, 2012 Gran Fondo New York. The United States Anti-Doping Association (USADA) handled the controls.

Gran Fondo New York’s CEO Uli Fluhme stated “At Gran Fondo New York we are committed to a drug free sport.  For this year's event we allocated $10,000 towards the fight against doping. Anyone testing positive for a substance on the list of banned substances by World Anti Doping Association (WADA) will be banned for life from Gran Fondo New York. Plus, anyone who has ever been banned by a federation will not be allowed to compete. We are not afraid to take drastic measures to keep the competition at Gran Fondo New York clean.”

My understanding of gran fondo racing is that you're supposed to dope, and that it's kind of like professional wrestling.  Isn't that why Raimondas Rumsas became a gran fondo specialist?

You may recall Rumsas as the rider who placed third in the 2002 Tour de France and then let his wife go to jail when they found a trunkful of his drugs in her car.  Incidentally, the rider who came in sixth in the above gran fondo was none other than Mario Cipollini, presumably as preparation for his alleged 2012 professional comeback:

1; Raimondas Rumsas (Gfdd ALTOPACK Promotech); 03:12:37 
2, Bruno Sanetti (Pol Cral Fire Department Genoa Punto Sport); 03:13:25 
3, Massimiliano Lelli (Max Lelli Asd); 03:13:25 
4, Juri Gorini (Genetik Asd Cycling Team) 03:14:20 
5, Jamie Burrow (Pol Cral Fire Department Genoa Punto Sport); 03:14:20 
6, Mario Cipollini (); 03:14:21 
7, Vladislav Borisov (Team Guru Planet X); 03:16:01 
8, Mark Morris (Team Olimpia Bolis); 03:18:01 
9, Marco Masetti (Asd Serravalle); 03:18:02 
10; Emanuel Ristori (Team Guru Planet X); 03:18:04 

I don't know if there was drug testing at this particular event, but for Cipollini's sake I hope there was no STD testing for the top ten finishers, otherwise he might be relegated, injected with penicillin, and ceremoniously stripped of his coating of body oil.

In any case, it's sad, sad day when what is, in essence, a gigantic Fred ride has to introduce drug testing, but the fact is that the organizers have to protect the integrity of their prize money.  Sure, on a certain level the Gran Fondo New York instituting drug testing is a bit like Robert Mackey deciding to slip on the World Champion jersey before throwing a hairy leg over his Cervelo, but at the same time I also have no doubt that at least a few riders are in fact doping for this thing.  Still, the good news for doping Freds is that if you want to compete while doping in New York you're still welcome to take part in any of our local race series, where there is never testing and where people have been doping to dominate the parks for years. You too can enjoy your slice of the Prospect/Central/Floyd Bennett prize money pie--that is, unless you're dumb enough to make the podium at a "real" bike race somewhere, and your toxic pee-pee pings the naughty meter.

But just like power meters and crabon wheels and coaching and all the other stuff that trickles down from the pros to the amateurs, I'm sure drug testing will eventually be the must-have accessory for any Fred ride.  It's only a matter of time before you'll need to submit a biological passport to participate in the Five Boro Bike Tour, or before someone from Strava comes to your house to collect a blood sample:

Just imagine the shame you'll feel when the "achievement" you received for racing up a hill all by yourself is stripped or followed by an asterisk.

Speaking of Prospect Park, yesterday I was in it and I came upon an unpleasant scene.  A cyclist was lying on the pavement, surrounded by the usual assortment of good samaritans and gawkers, and he looked to be injured.  I didn't stop to help, since between all the people already present and the Parks Department truck that had just arrived on the scene, I'd have only been in the way.  (I also didn't take any photos, because that would have been in bad taste even for me.)  However, I did gather that the rider had been pushed by teenagers who had then run away.  All of this is to warn my fellow cyclists, particularly those who pass through Prospect Park, that you can now add marauding teenagers to the "epic" list of dangers for which you should always be prepared.

In other Fred news, a reader who was present at my LA BRA last weekend was kind enough to alert me to the "Freddie Pedaling Shorts."  These have everything you could possibly want in a pair of cycling shorts, because not only are they leather, but they also cost €850:

Plus, they've got a "seamless crotch to facilitate movement:"

--meticulously created in Japan
--made from fine japanese calf leather
--traditional five-pocket design
--seamless crotch to facilitate movement

This is great news if you've got an "extensive crotch" and you're prone to spontaneous erections.

Best of all, if you buy now, you'll also get a professional-sized tube of antifungal ointment, complete with a handy applicator:

Believe me, you're going to need it.

And it should also go without saying that the Freddie Pedaling Shorts will look great with your perforated yak leather Fred flippers:

("It's actually like having your foot in a bovid's rectum!")

And that you should tie the whole look together with this smart leather racing vest:

The best part is, if you have a creaky bottom bracket, the sound will be completely drowned out by the creaking of your wardrobe.

Speaking of leather, once uton a pime I mentioned a film called "First Winter," which was about hilpsters in the wilderness and was being funded via Kickstarter:

Presumably much of the funding was for beard grooming, since facial hair like that doesn't detangle or delouse itself, and Hollywood-caliber beard fluffers don't come cheap.  Here is the trailer to refresh your mammary:

Anyway, since then, "First Winter" has received what people in the film industry call "buzz," and a reader tells me it has even garnered some controversy as the filmmakers killed a deer (or, more accurately, two deer) without a permit:

Here's how the director explained it:

"We are idiots. We didn't know how to do this [hunting] stuff," said director Ben Dickson, whose film is scheduled to premiere at the prestigious festival on Thursday April 19.

Interestingly, the hilpster approach to hunting seems to be exaclty the same as the hilpster approach to cycling, which is to unleash a potent combination of cluelessness and entitlement upon it.  Also, while most people who visit the country can barely avoid hitting deer with their cars, the hilpster filmmakers couldn't find even one for several days:

The kill was part of a 23-day film shoot for Dickson's feature about naive Brooklyn hipsters learning to survive in the wild after an apocalyptic event. It took them several days to find a deer, he said, and they had started to think they would have to revise the script to drop the scene.

That's like having trouble finding a Hacky Sack at a jam band concert.

In any case, I'm not necessarily troubled by the loss of a couple of deer, though even a citified wussbag like me knows there are rules about shooting them, and the sheer haplessness of the affair is somewhat stomach-turning:

Actor Paul Manza, a 34-year-old Brooklyn yoga instructor who plays "Paul" the yoga instructor in the film and had no prior acting or hunting experience, pulled the trigger. It was unclear who owned the rifle or whether it was registered.

The bullet pierced one deer and passed into a second one behind it, killing the first deer and wounding the second one, Manza and Dickson said. The crew chased the second deer into the woods and shot it again to put it out of its suffering, Manza said.

But you can rest assured that the director had the requisite moment of hilpster catharsis:

"It was actually pretty horrible," said Manza. "I was forced to see what life was really made of, the weight and the value of things."

Wow, was it really pretty intense to, like, shoot something to death?  Who'd have thought?  You might think that 34 years old is fairly late in life to come to this realization, but in Brooklyn hilpster terms he's positively precocious.  And in the end it was worth it, because the beardwork in the film is positively magnificent:

It's a sure bet to win the Palme d'Uh: