Tag Archives: adeline adeline

Lame Adventure 91: Pedal Pushing

I was walking down Hudson Street on a lovely summer day in the city, a phrase seldom said this steamy summer, when I noticed the carcass of the dead bike pictured below chained to a pole.


Every so often when I see the remains of bikes like this one I’ve wondered how this happens.  What was the owner thinking when he or she initially chained it to this pole?  “Goodbye bike.  Thanks for all the rides.  You’re on your own now”?  When this bike was originally locked to this pole, I imagine it was intact.  It probably once looked as appreciated as this one I saw later that day on the Upper West Side.

Someone's beloved Raleigh.

When the owner of the dead bike went to wherever he or she needed to go, did the bicycle vultures promptly descend and strip it bare?  Was this a bicycle hate crime, or a case of bicycle abuse?  Should there be organizations established called the ASPCB (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bikes) or PETB (People for the Ethical Treatment of Bikes)?  Did the owner see the ruins of his or her bike and just walk away?

Milton surmised that the owner may have originally removed the front wheel, but for whatever reason, never returned for the bike.  He thinks that over time, hungry bike vultures picked it apart.  Albee offered a more succinct observation,  “Cyclicide.”

Since I was not inclined to get very CSI about what led to this particular bike’s demise, I continued my walk and strolled past my favorite bike boutique, Adeline Adeline, located on Reade Street.

In case you blank on the first name, try to recall the second.

I would not dare enter this store, but often I have gazed at the lovely bikes within from the outside. I drool inconspicuously and tastefully.  I hold a small plastic cup under my lower lip.

It just so happened that on this particular day, they had my all time favorite bike, a Dutch model called the Batavus Breukelen, which normally sells for about $1150, on sale for $1035, ten percent off.  As much as I love the Batavus’s design, it seems like the ideal city bike to me.  The frame is lightweight aluminum.  It’s weatherproof so it won’t rust when chained outside on rainy or icy days.  It’s a solidly built vehicle that can withstand the rigors of potholed Gotham City streets.  It’s in my favorite color.  Last but not least, if I rode this bike most of the time to and from work, instead of the crowded subway, I would be in much better shape physically and mentally.  There is also the added bonus of saving the $89 a month I spend on a Metrocard.  Within 11.62 months, I will have recouped my $1035 investment and find myself the fittest I’ve been in years!

Four Dutch beauties.

Nice price.

Even though this looks like such a sweet deal, if I only had an extra $1035 to throw around, but if I did, am I kidding myself?  I’m going to buy a Dutch bike? If I had an extra $1035, I’d probably get an iPhone, a burger at The Spotted Pig, and a mole removal instead.  Even more realistically, the second the first flake of snow falls, I am certain the last thing I’d want to do is ride a bike half-way though Manhattan to work, even one as cool as the Batavus Breukelen.  If I found myself riding a bike in a snowstorm or Nor’easter, I am certain that the mantra playing inside my head would go something like this:

Me:  I’m not Dutch, I’m miserable; this is insane. I’m not Dutch, I’m miserable; this is insane. I’m not Dutch, I’m miserable; this is insane.

By December, I would sheepishly return to paying $89 for Metrocards until April.  If anyone would dare ask me if I’m still riding my Batavus Breukelen or when do I plan to resume riding my Batavus Breukelen again, I’d probably be so irked I’d beat them with a wrench.  So much for my master plan where I foresee my sexy black bike paying itself off within a year.

Yet, I am certain even if I chose to quit riding this bike I covet forever, I would never leave it chained to a pole so it could suffer a humiliating and public death.   I would not want to flaunt that this idea that appears so brilliant in August, proves to be rather boneheaded by December.  Still, that’s a nice price for a lovely bike.

Lame Adventure 84: Street Walking

Last month The New York Times published a popular article that weighs heavy on my mind about Americans being under the impression that Frenchwomen know the secret to aging well since they seem to have mastered the art of looking attractive at any age.  Any age means still looking good over 40 and before death, but the optimist in me suspects that they can look just as lousy as their pudgier American counterparts full frontal in rude light.  What I got most out of this article is that Frenchwomen view exercise as a form of torture.  They stay thin by not stuffing themselves with crap and walking.  That works for me, so after polishing off a few fistfuls of my new favorite vice, dark chocolate covered pretzels, I went for a stroll through the streets of Gotham where I photographed some signs that caught my always roving eye.

This inviting sandwich board I saw sitting outside Puffy’s Tavern, a watering hole on Hudson Street in TriBeCa near where I work, but I resisted the invitation to chat up the bartender and kept walking.

Free - my second favorite four letter f-word.

When I crossed Hudson at Duane, this message drew my attention considering that I earn a get rich slow salary forcing me to live much more like the Flintstones.

I wish.

While walking down Reade Street toward the Adeline Adeline bicycle boutique, I encountered some more nostalgia in the guise of sidewalk snark.

Street philosophizing.

According to Dictionary.com the term yuppie originated in 1980-85.  It’s a noun for “a young, ambitious, and well-educated city-dweller who has a professional career and an affluent lifestyle.”  As with the Jetsons, this type of person is essentially another relic of the past.

Back uptown in my Upper West Side stomping ground, I traipsed over what I first thought was a sideways rocket ship before determining that it was a street penis.

Upper West Side street penis on permanent display.

I wondered who was compelled to draw a dick in wet cement, and imagined it was a guy with penis envy.  This impression made me recall the time I witnessed one cab driver rear end another on Columbus Avenue some years ago.  The Rear Ended cabbie stepped out of his vehicle, as did the Rear Ender.  They immediately got into a shouting match, with the Rear Ended cabbie tugging at his crotch and screaming repeatedly at the Rear Ender, “Suck my dick!”  Not to be undone, the Rear Ender grabbed his junk and shouted back, “You suck mine!”  My social anthropologist side found this tirade intriguing for I could not imagine two irate women in a similar situation stroking their nether regions while demanding of each other, “Eat me!”  If these two cabbies were indeed compelled to perform sixty-nine together, I was baffled how this would have provided the solution to the problem of the busted taillight.

Returning to the subject of the street penis, it is located on the sidewalk in the foreground of the grey building in the middle of the three residences pictured.

Street penis building.

I wondered if when the residents order take out or invite friends over, they identify their building by address, their apartment number and a landmark comment such as, “Look for the penis in the sidewalk.  That’s my place.”