Monthly Archives: August 2011

I Got a Sweet New (Used) Bike

All photos courtesy Peter Kleeman

For the last seven years I’ve dedicated my bike preference to kid-size, vintage, fixed gear, Peugeots. The first one I purchased was from this butch chick in Williamsburg off craigslist for $250, an imaginatively sparkling small orange frame glistening with potential. It replaced an even smaller, heavier, but badass white bmx bike I used to whiz around from interesting quiz to quiz while in college. I felt I needed to graduate to the hipster friendly trend rippling thru Williamsburg where I spent my time as an intern at Pierogi naively inspired by the “creative independence” of young folks around me. At that time I aspired to be a hipster, before it was an expression of ironic self-deprecation and dismissal. I’ve never ridden a fixed gear before and didn’t realize I’d be sacrificing seven years of coasting to be hip and cool.

My first ride was frightening as I rode over the Pulaski Bridge from Brooklyn to Astoria where I then lived, too dumb to find the walk path and heading straight into the car lane as if I had four wheels and a tin frame to protect me. Of course I wasn’t bold enough to purchase a fixed gear bike without a brake but even still I’ll always remember this pants-shitting experience, pathetically pedaling non-stop, desperate to get off the road, regretting the sale of my safe, thick-tired easy bmx.

Of course it got better and soon became what biking has always been for me: an exhilarating release. I used to get butterflies in my stomach every time I got on my bmx, anticipating the speed and freedom the wind and wheels provided. I felt untouchable, powerful, rebellious even. This little bicycle that could was faster, lighter, thinner, and badass. I never learned to skid or do funky tricks. It was my main mode of transportation (in addition to being my version of a pimped ride) and I never failed to feel good when riding my baby. My thighs and calves will show for it too.

Five and a half years later the bike needed constant care and repair, leading to custom welded cranks and wheels and all sorts of other things as a result of my use and abuse. Last year my dear friend Peter the bike seller found the same exact bike frame, in white. I was ecstatic and immediately bought it, transferring what pieces I could from old to new including bike seat, cranks, wheels, and handles. The frame was unusable anyway so I took the skeleton to my father’s garage and plan to hang it as a commemorative wall decoration in the future.

Before Angel and I got married I somehow convinced him to purchase a matching bike from Peter the bike seller: an adult size men’s version of a white multi-geared Peugeot. The tires were a bit shaky and he didn’t feel too comfortable but I absolutely LOVED the idea of having matching bikes. How cute!!

Few months into riding my new (old) white stallion I realized I was a bit too big for it. I’ve always been a tad bit too tall for it. It IS a boy’s bike after all. I don’t know if its from getting older, unconvincingly despising hipster culture, or just growing lazy, but I craved coasting. I didn’t want to crouch down and put all my weight in my arms and hands, pedaling to oblivion. I wanted a coaster, bad.

So I consulted Peter the bike seller and, sure enough, last week, he had an adult size women’s version of a white multi-geared Peugeot. Ha! Talk about matching bikes!! I wasn’t 100% ready yet to let my fixie go but I eagerly swapped bikes and rode home from Greenpoint to LES. Coasting felt divine but there was a problem. I felt like a sissy. I felt tiny and powerless. All the weight was on my butt and my legs BARELY reached to the bottom of the pedal cycle. Riding with my arms up slightly above the waist made me feel like, a girl. That night I decided to be quite selfish and indulgent: I texted Peter and let him know that I’d be paying for this sissy coaster and take my fixie back too.

I now not only have an exact matching bike as Angel that we can cruise around in, I still have my fixie that lets me be as badass as I please.



Filed under Culture

Reader: August 25th, 2011

Animal Farm.

– Steve Jobs in a commencement speech in 2005. Inspiring. Also, 10 unforgettable Steve Jobs video moments.

– Everything you need to know about culture in 10 books.

– 25 influential women tweeting about entrepreneurship.

– New Yorkers, pack your bags and get the fuck outta here cuz the hurricane’s a’comin straight to NYC. We’re taking an evacuation road trip to Pittsburgh.

– Physics of a crumpled ball.

– On the future of food & tech.

– Jaime Oliver in Greenpoint.

Booklamp is like Pandora, for books.

– O.M.G. Poor poodles

– Warhol haz hamburger.

– Joanne McNeil, editor of Rhizome, is interviewed by we are NY Tech.

– 5 awesome daily email newsletters.

Foooooooood Pooooooooooorrrn.

– Anxieteam is stuck inside a laptop.

– Steve Jobs says goodbye. End of an era.

– A photo series of makers in all shapes and sizes.

– Art, salon style.

– Pretty cigarette card backs.

– Meditate to be more rational.

– A farewell to M. Wells.

– Goddamit I wish I could afford a blogshop class.

– How to get a job via Hunter S. Thompson.

Studiomates space is enviously beautiful. And they’re looking for an apprentice.

The Color Project features one color a day for 365 days.

– I don’t know how I feel about established artists pushing the commercial stint like Marilyn Minter, Marina Abramovic, and Cindy Sherman. I’m especially disappointed in the latter.

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Reader: Aug 23, 2011

– Bravo is launching ANOTHER art world reality show? Really??

– OK Go does it again, now with the muppets.

– Holy fucking swoon Ryan Gosling stops a fight in the middle of Astor Place over a painting.

Tips from an entrepreneur who left a cushy job for the unknown realm of startups. Here’s another interview with an entrepreneur.

Cubicles and collaborative working.

Death note. Why not?

– Pictures of Libya’s revolt.

– The rules of quitting smoking.

– Whoever worries about not meeting their soulmate is a fool. Period.

– Did internet kill performance art? via Hyperallergic

– Vik Muniz takes a whole lotta cranes to make another crane. via Hyperallergic

– Jerry Saltz on de Kooning. “Well, after 1950 de Kooning wasn’t interested in making a good painting, as that is conventionally understood. He said as much. He was interested in exploring, in seeing how far he could go with the paint, in finding new resolutions. He could have taken a nap, rested on his talent, seduced the critics, but he chose instead to make confrontational paintings that are like nothing else.”

– So sad to have missed Annie’s rooftop farm benefit.

– IndieGoGo’s most successful crowdsourcing campaigns.

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Entertaining Tweets About the Teeny Earthquake in NYC

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One at a time.

Three years ago I started updownacross as a lame attempt to document my life and inconsequential experiences. I’ve posted about dishes I’ve cooked, art shows I’ve seen, quotes I’ve read, and events I’ve produced. Content was never quite consistent or enticing enough to breed an army of followers but I’ve also yet to dedicate a significant amount of time and dedication to the blog.

Hopefully, this is changing now.

I’ve experienced quite the personal challenge over the last few months. Between quitting my job, moving in with Angel, getting married, producing a huge art festival, and starting a new job, it’s incited enough destabilizing forces to keep me undulating in shaky grounds for quite some time now. As Angel and I started spending more time together whilst dating I felt time gracefully slipping away from my fingertips, feeding a whole new life and relationship that’s led to where we are now as a married couple. The downside of this on top of everything else that was happening in my life was a sudden crash of self-confidence, perseverance, focus, determination, courage, and umph to continue to pursue the myriad self-started projects I’ve launched over the last couple years. The transition from making a shitload of money to being unemployed blew a significant chunk of ego and self-worth out of my system, and the never-ending list of goals, wants, and to-do’s led me to spin and cry in an overwhelming labyrinth of information overload.

Reading this New York Times article about white collar cubicle humpers dropping their cushy jobs to become entrepreneurial bakers and boutique owners made me a bit sick as these folks seem to have been duped into thinking going off on your own was an easy task. Yea, I’ll start a pilates studios, meditate on peace all day and have weekends off to play with my friends and my money. Really?? Clearly these folks are unconvinced, lazy, and their realities are completely warped.

I’ve never not “worked”. The crux of this is always deeming something that has the potential for fun and non-work is deemed as something that “needs to be done”, hence “work”. I need to cook this dish for dinner, photograph it, then blog about it. I need to flip through this pile of magazines and weed out whatever info I want to save and archive, I need to check out these museums and write about it. I need to keep up on twitter and all the links and announcements and sites people are referring to. I need to stay up to date with what going on in the food world, the art world, and now the tech world. I am completely overwhelmed and don’t know how to stay afloat. I get caught up in trying to stay present with emails and websites that I rarely get the opportunity to actually DO shit like write a thoughtful blog post or produce something other than an email or a Reader post. It gets in the way of producing ideas and creating action steps to execute, turning the idea into a viable project and ultimately a product of my own making.

I’ve always been a self-starter. I’ve been called bossy, bitchy, type A moron. I’ve mislead a team and made many mistakes offering my time and labor just because I believe in the project and have a hard time putting monetary value into my skillset and experience.

Hopefully, that stops here.

Design Sponge responds to the article by providing some tips on de-stressing: meditate, write in your journal, prioritize your goals, and do shit just one at a fucking time. I suggest letting go of your ego and accepting the fact that you really can’t do everything, you’re not all that important, it’s perfectly ok to not be liked, +1’d, retweeted, and shared. Put aside the spastic thoughts I have to do this and this and this and this, shut your trap and relish in slowing down time and doing things one precious task at a time. At a time when I am CONSTANTLY overwhelmed, unfocused and discouraged I need the comfort knowing I can do just this.

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Reader: Aug 22, 2011

– A Missoni designed bike. For Target. I’m getting one.

– My dearest Cory Monteith is not coming back for Season 4 of Glee. 😦

– Marijuana doesn’t cause brain damage.

– 16 out of the way restaurants to check out.

Kitchen Office envy.

What to watch, what to watch…

Five small studio apartment layouts. We can learn from this.

– Alternative wedding rings for guys.

– Cute headphones.

– Stylish cat owners.

– This is THE ultimate food porn site.

– White Hot Magazine launches a residency program in Bushwick.

– Things to do in downtown Manhattan.

– How to make your own inforgraphics.

Tight braid.

Briano Eno on being an optimist, sonic immersion, and being unadventurous.

– What corporate structure is best for startups considering VC funding?

– Make an infographic of your internet use.

– Learning coding for designers at Brooklyn Brainery.

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Reader: August 18, 2011

Basic bike maintenance every woman should know.

– An eye doctor invents gold plated, diamond encrusted contact lenses. FREAKY.

Blunt, unbreakable umbrellas would come in handy, especially this month of brutal summer storms.

NY Film Festival lineup announced.

– helps you build geek cred.

Visual working memory can influence our perceptions.

– Share lists with links.

– Publishing a newspaper circa 20 years ago.

– Exquisitely designed menus.

Steakhouse or gay bar?

– Looking forward to watching El Bulli: Cooking in Progress.

– An Apple store is coming to Grand Central.

– Contribute to the Museum of Broken Relationships.

– Cory Arcangel’s solo show at Whitney is basically about the failure of art and tech. “Arcangel offers us objects that have been hacked and broken, that refuse or distort our interaction, or whose simplicity, effortlessness, nostalgia, and humor mask complex socio-technical systems.”

– Really excited about Handsome Furs tonight. I also love that they have a blog.

– Seven things a twentysomething can’t do.

– Anne Hathaway rapping.

– A book about the best design books.

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