Prince Antoine’s moment

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It was a good day for the guy in the hoodie. He rode with Prince Antoine northbound in Riverside Park around 81st or 82nd Street hoping, just hoping, that they’d be seen and photographed and posted to this blog. It would make them famous. They passed a guy – who they didn’t notice – with a camera who’d gotten off his bike to try to get a good shot of a Red-tailed hawk. That was me. I couldn’t get a clear view of the hawk, but I did get the guy and the dog and the bike. Four years later, the time is right and Dogs and Bikes posts the iconic shot. Four years hoodie guy and Prince Antoine have waited. May all of their dreams come true.

Along the West Side Highway

A few years ago, I had been on a longish ride from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge, down to Battery Park and back to where I started. I had my camera with me but despite the perfect weather had not seen a single dog in a basket all day. I was somewhere in the 50s, block-wise, and passed this young woman and dog going the opposite direction. I did a u-turn, passed them and waited for them to ride by, which they did.

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The car passing in the background ruins the shot, however, we live in a car world and if you think about it, cars ruin everything except road trips on winding country roads. And fooling around in the back seat.

Anyway, we moved from New York a few years ago and I don’t see dogs in baskets anymore. You need that critical mass of millions of people crammed onto an island to have a chance of catching dogs in baskets. Sure, you’ll see one now and again, but do you have your camera with you at that moment? In NYC, there’s a better than 50-50 chance of seeing a dog in a basket on a weekend ride or a walk along the loop in Central Park.

On our infrequent trips back to the city, I’m there, camera in hand, looking for that freewheeling pup. Meanwhile, I post stories on another blog and if you like stories, many set in New York, here’s the link.

 

Linus

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In anticipation of the upcoming Summer Streets in NYC, another never before posted photo from the found archives. If you’re visiting NYC this weekend, get your hands on a bike and take a ride – there’s really no better way to see a nice stretch of the city sans cars.

Probably un-posted since I cut off half the rider’s head.

Dogs in Greece

In many parts of Greece, dogs and cats run free. The state, however, identifies, spays/neuters, provides necessary shots and collars (the dogs) and the animals are allowed to run free, fed by tourists, merchants and residents. Many areas have independent adoption programs.

Two black dogs in Santorini. I watched them climb up and down the steep slopes and walk the narrow walls.
Two black dogs in Santorini. I watched them climb up and down the steep slopes and walk the narrow walls.

A dog in the Roman Marketplace, Athens. He was chasing a cat that was too quick for the camera.
A dog in the Roman Marketplace, Athens. He was chasing a cat that was too quick for the camera.

A cat in Athens.
A cat in Athens.

Poodle?
Poodle?

A springer spaniel encased in glass, Athens.
A springer spaniel encased in glass, Athens.

Modified Perfect Standard Time proposal

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“I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning.” Well, who hasn’t since daylight savings time has returned? Is it time to rethink this bizarre annual resetting of the clocks designed to make waking up more difficult? Spring ahead, fall back, sure, but why do it twice a year…?

“But,” she said, “I like the extra hour of light in the evening. I want to keep that part.” And why couldn’t we? Here’s a win-win proposal that keeps that extra hour at night, but doesn’t suck the daylight from the early morning.

Start with Standard Time. Let’s keep that full time, but with a slight modification. 6:00 AM is always 6:00 AM. Then, each afternoon at 2:00, clocks leap forward to 3:00 PM. That gives us the daily extra hour of sunlight we so crave. And it eliminates what is a basic productivity black hole in the work day that we’d all rather do without. Imagine the improvements in worker morale!

But the real benefits kick in during the night, a time when studies show we don’t get enough sleep or sex or both. At 4:00 AM, the clocks will revert back to 3:00 AM, returning the hour lost in the afternoon and giving all the good people of the planet an extra hour of sleep. Imagine the boost in productivity and overall good feeling!

According to research conducted while writing this posting, my plan MoPeSTY (Modfied Perfect Standard Time Year-round), will result in happier, more fulfilled lives, will eliminate morning crankiness and increase productivity 94%.

Write your congress person now and enact Modified Perfect Standard Time Year-round now.

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The musher

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The day after a storm dropped a few inches of snow, the thermometer breached 50 degrees in New York City and I brought my bicycle out from its dusty basement storage rack. I wiped off the grime with a damp cloth, cleaned the chain, and applied White Lightning, a clean wax lubricant. Slipping a camera around my neck I took my first ride since just after Sandy came through and rearranged the urban furniture.

Hey you ‘cyclers out there – take care of the chain and everything it touches will serve you for a long time. I’m talking about derailleurs and cranks mostly. If you ride a lot, spring for a new chain every thousand miles or so. And when you do change the chain, wax lubricants are nice – dry, resist grease and grit and much cleaner than oils or teflons in my opinion.

I am a resident tourist and love taking photos in the city. But what I really enjoy is shooting from the saddle and getting a good image while maneuvering park or street traffic. Or passing the image I’m going to shoot, speeding ahead and waiting for it/them to ride by.

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I passed this fellow with his pit bull pulling him up a hill in Central Park. The man kicked the ground to help him up the hill, but his animal did most of the work and seemed quite happy in doing so, tongue flopping around, breathing hard, tail wagging. This was work and most dogs live for work, or some I’m told. I’m not a dog and I live more for days like yesterday and today with a good deal of leisure and a 32GB SD card at my disposal.

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I saw a lot of dog people running with their dogs but none in a basket. It was a short ride as my conditioning is meager. Do you want to see those photos? I do this blog mostly to entertain my wife, family and a few select friends. However, the “like” button has had an influence. I feel unreasonably ecstatic when I get more than a few likes and am hurled into a somber self-critical mood when there are but one or two.

Well, Here’s one of a running dog.

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