If nothing else, it is certainly getting plenty of media attention:
It's also effectively painted the entire region white:
(In winter, Anus bleach you!)
The above photo, by the way, shows the Bronx, Manhattan, and New Jersey all at the same time. There aren't a lot of vantage points where you can pull this off, and this is also probably not the image that leaps immediately to most people's minds when they hear any of those place names. In fact, if you take away the bridges (and forget about the various dredgings and reroutings of the Harlem River over the centuries), it's not hard to imagine what the area looked like before the white man came along:
(The White Man)
I couldn't care less about the latest recreational trends among the young gentrifiers (it's shuffleboard, by the way), but I confess I do get a great big emotional boner when I catch an inadvertent glimpse of what New York must have been like back in the "olden days." That's one of the reasons I love riding a bike. (The inadvertent glimpses of what New York must have been like back in the "olden days," I mean. Not the boners.)
Consider Broadway, for example. It's been here for a very long time:
Broadway was originally the Wickquasgeck Trail, carved into the brush of Manhattan by its Native American inhabitants.
And here's what it looks like now as you ride south towards the city, the skyscrapers of Manhattan looming in the distance:
If this weren't a shitty cellphone photograph taken by a moron, you'd see the way Broadway follows the ridges and valleys as it makes its way through Yonkers, then the Bronx, then Manhattan, yielding that yellow-brick-road-wending-its-way-to-Oz effect. Sure, it's the "Great White Way" of the popular imagination, but it's also more or less the same road that once led from a small settlement to the deep, dark woods north of Wall Street:
(New Amsterdam totally looked like a wang, which I suppose would make Broadway its urethra.)
Anyway, it's a lot easier to get plugged into the past when you're on a bike (especially when you ride a pennyfarthing like I do), and once you are you start noticing all sorts of historical residue along the way, like old houses and interesting street names and even occasionally the mysterious "Hudson River Wanking Ghost," who has surprised and beguiled travelers for centuries with his phantasmagorical displays of spectral onanism:
(Artist's rendering of the Hudson River Wanking Ghost.)
I suppose if you're a science fiction dork you probably experience an aching desire for a glimpse into the actual future. (When you're not experiencing an aching desire for a date--which, if you're a science fiction dork, is equally elusive). As for me, I don't have much curiosity about the future, since I know it's going to suck and we're all screwed. The past, on the other hand, I find quite beguiling, and I'd give anything (well, maybe $30) to go back in time to 1894 and try a ride like this:
If you're not from New York none of the above will mean much to you (partially because you don't know the area, and partially because you're just slow), but if you are maybe you can appreciate it. Then again, bike dorks were probably just as annoying then as they were now. Plus, it's easy to idealize the past when it was probably even shittier than the present, thanks to all the racism and polio. Still, the sight of all those 19th century proto-Freds walking around in their "handsome souvenir medals" was probably pretty hilarious, and almost certainly the equivalent of the doofuses in their Gran Fondo New York jerseys who clog up the bike path on the George Washington Bridge today.
Yes, the more things stay the same, the more they change, or maybe it's the other way around, but either way it's especially true in New York, where we're constantly inventing new names for neighborhoods, such as "Dumbo:"
Anyway, I only mention the article because of this:
In Brooklyn’s Dumbo the streets are carved from cobblestones, the hulking industrial edifices ooze prewar charm and approximately one-quarter of the companies leading the Big Apple’s design and tech boom, including West Elm and Etsy, lie within, alongside art galleries, artisanal shops and boutiques with precious names like Peas & Pickles and Recycle-a-Bicycle.
Uh, there's really nothing precious or artisanal about Recycle-a-Bicycle. They fix up old bikes. It's all rather prosaic. In fact, it's increasingly an island of relative normality in a sea of extreme douchiness.
Speaking of douches, Danilo Di Luca is telling us what we already know, which is that pretty much every pro cyclist is on drugs:
One thing you probably didn't know though (or at least I didn't) is that he once turned in a urine sample that didn't contain any hormones:
The 38-year-old has twice served suspensions for doping: first as the result of the "Oil for Drugs" investigation, for which he received a three-month ban in 2007. Shortly after returning, Di Luca's urine samples at the 2007 Giro d'Italia turned up suspiciously absent of any hormones, leading to suspicions that he was using a substance to break down any traces of drugs in his urine.
Sure, that may sound suspicious, but anybody who's seen Di Luca knows otherwise:
Also, for some reason, people are angry at Di Luca for saying everybody in the Giro was on drugs, which obviously they were, because I mean come on:
I feel genuine hatred towards Di Luca. He's a worthless lying scumbag making false statements that hurt the sport I love.Wow. This, from somebody who rides for Garmin? Team Garmin-Sharp, presented by "I only doped in cycling's deep, dark past?"
— Andrew Talansky (@andrewtalansky) January 21, 2014