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Posts from the ‘Wow’ Category

50 lbs of Bike, 100 lbs of Kids, 459 Miles

It’s still summer! There’s time for one more vacation.

In case you’re wondering what would it would be like to put two children on your bicycle and ride from the Bronx to Lancaster County and back, Brad Farwell, photographer, bicyclist and DAD extraordinaire has that covered for you.


Trip Index:

Most railroad crossings in a single day: 8

Most firehouses in a single day: 10 (est.)


Max consecutive little yellow tabs on the road that they put down when they haven’t painted stripes yet: 73

Minutes the kids chanted “Grow (name of whatever is at the side of the road, e.g. ‘Corn’), Grow!!”: 5? 10? Felt like 60.




Times we had to get off the bike to push it up the last bit of a hill: 4

July 4th Edition Marshmallow Peeps given to us by strangers: 20

Plastic souvenir water cups from restaurants the kids insisted on taking home with us: 4

Swims in hotel pools by Hannah and myself: 5

Swims by Riley: 0

Days it was below 90 degrees out: 1


Water carried per day: ~4L

Flat tires: 0 (whew)

Total time spent biking in the (light) rain: 15 minutes

Total time spent waiting under a building overhang for thunderstorm to stop so we could walk back to the hotel after dinner: 35 minutes



Times I used Hannah’s cuteness to convince older couples I did not know that we were not psycho killers and they should give us a ride back to our hotel during a thunderstorm: 1





Ice cream cones consumed, per person: 5 (est.)

Bar-shaped nutrition things consumed, per person: 20 (est.)

Penn. RR Cabooses seen: 6








Photographs taken with big expensive camera I lugged around on the bike the whole way: 5

Brad Farwell’s work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, McSweeneys Quarterly, Etiqueta Negra, and Draw it with your eyes closed: the art of the art assignment. His photographs have been exhibited worldwide, including the The Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands, the American Academy in Rome, Rick Wester Fine Art in NYC, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. 
Brad teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology and the International Center of Photography.  He lives in the Bronx with his brilliant wife and their two small but disproportionately  mischievous children.


BikeBANQUET November 7 with Recycle-A-Bicycle and special guest Randy Cohen

Thank you to everyone who came out to the BikeBANQUET to benefit Recycle-A-Bicycle November 7!

Guests enjoying the banquet part of the BikeBANQUET. In the foreground, (L-R) Hilda Cohen, Randy Cohen, Janet Liff and Josh Bisker

Randy Cohen

Karen Overton (L), Executive Director of Recycle-A-Bicycle, in conversation with  Melissa Garcia

Arriving at the BikeBANQUET

Sarah Haga in conversation

Sarah Haga in conversation

Nomad Cycle owner Damon Strub

Nomad Cycle owner and host Damon Strub

Randy Cohen and janet Liff in conversation , Hilda Cohen and Josh Bisker in foreground

During dinner, Randy Cohen Janet Liff, Hilda Cohen and Josh Bisker in conversation

Randy Cohen listening during dinner

Randy Cohen listening

BikeBANQUET Nov 7 2015

Dan Solow, of Southern Queens Greenway, and Marc Van der Aart, of Rolling Orange, in conversation during dinner

Angela Stach, Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee in conversation during dinner

Angela Stach, Transportation Alternatives Queens Committee, in conversation with other guests during dinner

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Randy Cohen spoke about biking in the city

Lesley McTague and Daniel Solow visioning their Bicycle Utopia

Instead of cognac, a visioning activity and BikeART Party followed dinner and Randy Cohen’s talk. Lesley McTague and Dan Solow collaborate to make their Bicycle Utopia

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Lesley McTague going for a spin in Bicycle Utopia

Stella Bronwasser of Rolling Orange creating her Bicycle Utopia

Stella Bronwasser of Rolling Orange making her Bicycle Utopia

Esmé Brauer (L) and Hilda Cohen taking their Bicycle Utopia visioning rather seriously

Esmé Brauer and Hilda Cohen's bike portrait

Esmé and Hilda in their Bicycle Utopia

Nathan and Lion Brauer getting their bike portrait taken

Nathan and Lion Brauer getting ready for their BikeART portraitLion + NathanFL

Nathan and Lion in Bicycle Utopia

Luzmina Sindi Hernandez gets her bike portrait with completely unnecessary encouragement from appreciative onlookers

Luzmina Sindi Hernandez gets completely unnecessary encouragement from other guests as she gets her BikeART portrait taken

Luzmina Sindi Hernandez's bike portrait

A passerby asks “Why does life have to be so terrible?” when no bikes are ALLOWED in Luzmina’s Bicycle Utopia

Will Knoesel from Recycle-A-Bicycle making a very special Bicycle Utopia...

Recycle-A-Bicycle’s Will Knoesel works on making a very special Bicycle Utopia…

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Will’s Bicycle Utopia

Raffle prizes donated by Nutcase Helmets, Vanmoof, Thule, Levi's, Bloomsbury Publishing and ABUS

Raffle prizes donated by Nutcase Helmets, Vanmoof, Thule, Levi’s, Bloomsbury, Johanna Kindvall and ABUS

Avril Greenberg raffle winner of Culinary Cyclist at BikeBANQUET to benefit Recycle-A-Bicycle, with special guest Randy Cohen at Nomad Cycle, November 7, 2015

Avril Greenberg, raffle winner of a copy of the Culinary Cyclist, by Anna Brones and illustrated by Johanna Kindvall

Nathan Brauer, raffle winner of an ABUS lock and Hilda Cohen, winner of Infographic Guide to Cycling at BikeBANQUET with Lion and Esmé Brauer

Nathan Brauer, Hilda Cohen, Lion and Esmé Brauer, winners of an ABUS Bordo lock and a copy of the Infographic Guide to Cycling

Angela Stach's bike portrait

Angela Stach in Bicycle Utopia

Reed Rubey and a Vanmoof bike are all that survive in his Bicycle Utopia

Reed Rubey goes for a spin on a Vanmoof bike in Bicycle Utopia

BikeBANQUET would not be possible without the generous support of Bicycle Utopia’s sponsors.ami nyc sp mailchimp sponsors logos-01



AM I INVISIBLE? NYC | SP : the Exhibition

Scenes from the exhibition and public art installation Am I Invisible? NYC | SP, in New York City and São Paulo, on view from September 15 – November 8, 2015.

Panel discussion at Centro Cultural São Paulo, September 15. Speaking is Nabil Bonduki, Chief of Cultural Affairs, SP

A projection of images submitted to the Am I Invisible? NYC | SP Open Call at the opening party at Delancey Plaza, September 15, 2015.

Panel discussion at Centro Cultural São Paulo, September 15. From left to right: (L-R) Nabil Bonduki (Chief of Cultural Affairs in São Paulo), Ignacio Aronovich (LostArt), Ronaldo Tonobohn (Department of Transportation), Anderson Augusto (6eMeia), Leonardo Delafuente (6eMeia) and Baixo Ribeiro (Instituto Choque Cultural). Speaking, Anderson Augusto of 6meia.

A visitor to the installation at Delancey Plaza, NYC, September 15, 2015. Works visible (L – R) Gustavo Gomes, Jessica Findley, David Horvitz, Bijari.

Wide view of Invisìvel? SP | NYC at Centro Cultural São Paulo. Works visible by (L – R) William Lamson, Jessica Findley

Visitors to Am I Invisible? NYC | SP October 10, 2015 look at works by Jessica Findley, Gustavo Gomes. Partially visible at extreme left, 6meia.

A visitor to Am I Invisible? NYC | SP takes a picture at Lomography Gallery, NYC, October 10. L-R: works by William Lamson, Hai Zhang.

Public art installation of Invisìvel? SP | NYC with work by William Lamson

Visitors to Am I Invisible? NYC | SP at Lomography Gallery, NYC, October 10, 2015

Public art installation of Invisìvel? SP | NYC with work by Jessica Findley



What Becomes a Protected Bike Lane Most?


A protected intersection!


Modern Ruin,  premiering at Queens Theatre on Friday, chronicles the rise and fall of the iconic New York State Pavilion. A landmark of the 1964 World’s Fair, it is now, alas, a magnificent ruin at Flushing Meadow Park. Highly visible from the Grand Central Parkway, the Long Island Expressway, and by air for those flying into or out of La Guardia or JFK airports, the Pavilion stands a sentinel to past optimism of the future which is today.

The movie opens with a hardy group of volunteers determined to help save the structure. It starts with small steps. Simple steps, such as painting the perimeter wall of the pavilion. Set against the scale of the structure cutting a modernistic, timeless silhouette against New York’s ever changing skyline, these simple gestures seem so out of scale—almost futile. Instead, it is the start of something larger.

The time of the World’s Fair was a period when technology was viewed as a key ingredient to building a better, brighter future—and the world was on display. New York State was ascendant.

Writer/director Mathew Silva does a very nice job of taking the viewer on a tour of the site: its origins, as a landfill made infamous in the Great Gatsby, the role of this the Pavilion in the 1964 World’s Fair, the conversion of the fairgrounds to today’s Flushing Meadow Park, and its the Pavilion’s various uses since the Fair, including a period as a roller skating rink, and its eventual decline.


This evocative film resonated with me on several levels.I visited the 1964 World’s Fair as a youngster, on my first trip back to New York from Indiana, where I lived at that time.Visiting New York City was already exciting enough—but visiting the World’s Fair is like visiting the “center” of the center of the universe.




I recall with wonder the many pavilions, monorail, sky rides—and even the fun of riding the Flushing Line (Number 7) train to the Fair. It was sensory overload for an impressionable young boy. The 1964 World’s Fair was a crucible where the excitement and energy of the world seemed to converge to produce a miraculous world full of vision of and almost unlimitless possibilities!




Watching this documentary we learn of how the magnificent New York State Pavilion was allowed to fall into disrepair—neglect or the need to apply limited resources to deal with the more pressing, urban problems that characterized New York City in the late 1960’s and 1970’s. We also learn of an exciting adaptive reuse plan to convert the pavilion into an aviation and space museum—only to learn that it never came to fruition. Credit goes to Mr. Silva to not linger too much on nostalgia, or to engage in a blame game for why the structure fell into disrepair. But the savvy viewer can draw his or her own conclusions.

The question going forward is what will become of this structure? An engineering feat in its day, is it destined to become a permanent ruin akin to the Coliseum in Rome or Stonehenge? Or will there be a force for adaptive reuse which will eventually re-purpose the structure for use by future generations?

Which force will prevail?

Modern Ruin: A World’s Fair Pavilion – WORLD PREMIERE

Friday, May 22, 2015 at 8:00PM

Queens Theatre

14 United Nations Avenue South

Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

7 train to Mets-Willets Pt.

Tickets can be purchased here.

DocoMomo Tri-State is sponsoring transportation from Manhattan with a party bus.

Movie tickets and bus tickets are sold separately and can be purchased by following the links here.

Kenneth Lin, AICP is a Senior Planning Manager for a transportation consultancy based in New York City. Ken has a lifelong interest in architecture, urban planning and transportation, and has traveled to 128 countries on six continents.

Ana Benaroya at ArtCrank


We loved Ana Benaroya’s poster at ArtCrank this year. “I wanted to create a raw, powerful image of a woman riding a bike nude. She and the bike are one and they are rebellious, powerful and free.”

Ana’s work merits a Buzzfeed listicle, 8 Life Hacks Every Woman Should Know, excerpt from her forthcoming book 120 Ways to Annoy Your Mother (And Influence People).

Stay moist and go slow.

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Highlights From Last Week’s East Harlem Art and Culture BikeART Tour

Great weather, great art, great food, site-specific spoken-word performances by JC Augustin, and wonderful music by Blue Maky at the East Harlem Harvest Festival were just some of the highlights of the BikeART tour on Saturday, October 27.

We’re looking forward to more of the same and just more on Saturday, November 2 for the Day of the Dead tour!

Sign up here!

October 27th East Harlem BikeART Tours: Play(LABS)!


Muralist, graffiti and tattoo artist Badder Israel puts the finishing touches on “Yellow Brick Road” his tribute to the cultures of the Indians of the Americas–Maya, Inca, Aztec and Taino. The mural is part of Play(LABS), a public art installation in four East Harlem community gardens, organized by the West Harlem Art Fund and New York Restoration Project.

Join us on Sunday, October 27th on our bike tour! Starting from the East Harlem Café we’ll make stops at Play(LABS) and other art and culture locations, the East Harlem Harvest Festival. We’ll taste some great food, listen to some great music–it’s going to be a great day to be in Harlem!

Tours start at 10 am and 2 pm.

For more information, and to book a tour, go here.

The Art Gallery That Calls Itself New York City

Out riding with four cycling friends, I recognized the bodega we were passing, and knew instantly we were about to speed by Welling Court, a short one block long L-shaped street on Vernon Avenue in Astoria. I squeezed my brakes and shouted for everyone to stop.

Stop the ride mid-block?


They looked at me as if I had developed a case of temporary insanity.

welling court

I told them we were at the entrance to one of New York’s great art galleries; they looked around at the nondescript setting, then back at me, now certain I had lost my mind. But I knew that we were at the entry point for a great urban exploration; in June, I had gone on my first Graffiti Art Ride with Shawn Carney.  Talk about an eye opener!

On Shawn’s ride we had reached this very corner and had only looked at Welling Court itself.  What we missed was an urban wonder.

Just four years ago, the residents of the Welling Court area of Astoria, seeking a way to battle urban decay and at the same time differentiate and beautify their area, decided that street art offered a unique way to improve their neighborhood.

Since then, more than 80 artists from across the world have come to this small enclave and painted storefronts, walls, and doors.   Chris Stain and Beau Stanton, members of the highly regarded Bushwick Collective , have pieces here.

For me, Beau Stanton was the turning point, the artist who showed me that graffiti was not an urban nuisance, but an art form which just happened to include buildings, walls, fences, and other public structures as materials for artwork.

beau stanton

“The Heirophant” in Bushwick.

Whimsy, beauty, depth of field, a high level of skill; Whimsy, beauty, depth of field, a high level of skill; a real piece of art.

Many people seek out what is “new”:  The new club or restaurant.  The hottest new neighborhood.  Is the public canvas that graffiti art,sometimes called “muraling” or “tagging”, takes for its own can the art world’s latest new new thing?

Is this a new form?

Graffiti, which some believe to have originated in Philadelphia and developed into  an art form in the past 20 to 30 years in New York City…only goes back a few thousand years.

Those hgh dietary supplements cave levitra viagara cialis which is best paintings in Lascaux, France?


The scratchings, phrases, and sexual innuendo painted on the walls of Pompeii ?


Why limit the art experience to museums and galleries when a bicycle turns the entire city into an opportunity to view great art on a group ride to some of the most interesting and exciting street art sites?

The Five Borough Bike Club  has an upcoming day ride that will interest both art lovers and cyclists looking for a great ride through the city.  After last year’s successful Graffiti Ride, another was held earlier this summer; its success led the 5BBC to offer another Graffiti Ride, this one on August 10th, leaving at 10AM from Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.

Each ride will be co-led by cyclist/artist Shawn Carney (check out her drawing of the day) and Fritz “SprayCan” VanOrden.  Locations visited will include a variety of sites across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The route varies depending on the whims and interests of the leader; riders may visit Long Island City’s famed 5 Pointz , the above-mentioned Welling Court or the murals of the Bushwick Collective, but what is certain is that  riders will encounter beauty and invention that will open your eyes with wonder. The experience will be an intriguing urban exploration full of surprise and ah-ha moments of discovery;  and at least one artwork that will stop you dead in your tracks.

Along with viewing the graffiti art, the 5BBC ride promises riders a good workout, several bridge crossings to test your legs and your lungs, its famous two-minute bike check, and the warm camaraderie Club rides are known for.  Each ride has a lunch break, giving riders a chance to sample some of NYC’s finest eats before (or while viewing) the fine art on the walls of our city.

All riders on 5BBC rides must wear a helmet and all 5BBC rides are free and open to any cyclist.  Check out the link for more information.

Bicycle Utopia is pleased to welcome guest contributor Geoff Cohen. Geoff is a member and ride leader with the  Five Borough Bike Club. His many interests include writing, photographing the odd and beautiful in and around New York City, and cycling all over the place. When not occupied with the above, he is Executive Director of Shen Wei Dance Arts.

It’s Still Winter

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Apparently it’s going to continue to be winter until at least the end of the week. Lots of people are talking to me about how long the winter is feeling this year–I suppose that’s to be expected when can a person get off ativan it gets such an early and spectacular start with a hurricane.

While wading through the wind and rain, focus the mind’s eye on Kim De Marco’s better world. (and see more of her work at

Am I Invisible? Open Call