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Years ago I began spotting these hats around town. And when this trend hit, it hit big. Men by the thousands now parade the streets of Brooklyn in their summer uniforms: Seersucker shorts, white v-necked tee, aviator sunglasses, with a straw fedora on top. I was sick of this look by the first day. Hey hipsters, I’m gonna let you in on a secret: You are not members of the Buena Vista Social Club; you are from Ohio. Time to throw away your cliche of a hat.

NYC is the Wild West. Traffic laws are not enforced. And everyone hates bike lanes. I have no idea why. Bike lanes encourage folks to bike instead of drive, which decreases traffic and decreases air pollution. What’s not to like? But the way some drivers treat bike lanes is disrespectful at best. Let’s use this lady I photographed yesterday as an example.

Parking: you're doing it wrong.

She was blocking a bike lane parallel to a COMPLETELY LEGAL and giant parking spot. How is this okay? What was her logic? “I am just gonna sit here and block the bike lane AND keep someone from enjoying this beautiful parking spot. Frak all ya’ll. I cannot be bothered to actually park, that would take whole seconds.” This would not get my goat as much if it was an isolated incident, but I see this crap all the time. This is worse than the run of the mill double-parking in the bike lane for deliveries or errands or whatnot. This kind of professional laziness is totally unnecessary. Pull into the parking spot and stop being a prick. I know, I know, you do this all the time, and will continue to do so…because you will never get a ticket.

Within the same mile as the obnoxious grey Yaris driver I encountered this MTA bus doing a smashing job of blocking the bike lane.

MTA: this bus stops whenever it's groovy, baby.

Notice the placement of the bus parallel to a space on the curb. But this driver is an overachiever; he has managed to block the bike lane, a half block of parking, AND a good portion of the southbound lane. With a little maneuvering this bus would be blocking nothing. But this genius driver was in such a hurry to spend every bit of his break a few feet away smoking a fat skunky cone of a joint that he didn’t have time to worry about traffic patterns or safety. Those things be damned! This is just the type of attitude you want in a bus driver, right?

Is it ok to let my dog off leash?

So, you have taken your precious pup to the beach. Great. They will probably have a great time. But please do not lose your mind when you see a townie’s Labrador taking itself for a leisurely solo swim. You have brought your city dog here; the dog that has never been off leash and the dog you have not trained at all. This dog will not return to you when called, will bark at squealing children, will kill wildlife, and will generally annoy everyone. Saying the dog’s name over and over again will not help the situation and could become an even larger annoyance than your rampaging accessory pet. Please do not expect that your dog will magically or though osmosis gain the manners of these splendid beach dogs. Their responsible owners have put in the time to train and teach them BEFORE letting them off leash. Your dog is the same little shit here as it is in the city so, NO, you should not let it off the leash.

Danger: Splashing Area

Your children are lovely, but you are a jerk.

If you take your kids to the beach they will splash you with water. No amount of lecturing or beating is going to change this behavior, so why don’t you lighten the frack up about it? If you wanted no contact with water than you have chosen the wrong vacation spot. I suggest a family trip to the desert; sure, everyone will be miserable the whole time but you will not get splashed with any completely harmless water and people nearby will not have to listen to you screaming at or threatening your offspring. Sounds great.

Also, if you let your children play in the sand and swim in the ocean all day they could be tired and cranky at dinner. How about not taking them to the most upscale restaurant at your destination. At this fancy place you will be paying $30 for a serving of quinoa and locally sourced scallops that they will just mush around the plate and try to throw at each other. I had to listen to your, “How dare you speak to your father that way,” lecture twice while attempting to enjoy my overpriced vacation cuisine and I felt terrible for your poor children. Wouldn’t they prefer hotdogs? Yes, they would be much happier with hotdogs and a set of parents with both empathy and the ability to relax.

Local seafood is expensive and should be thrown only during emergencies.

Does this beige swimsuit make me look naked?

I am not offended by most swimsuit fashion. I hate buying a suit and would not deride anyone for ill-fitting beach attire or displaying flesh that would never pass muster in glossy publications. We are all real people with interesting and unique forms. BUT, can we all agree to get a suit that is a few shades or more different from our skin color?  Either that or just go to the nude beach because that beige suit is so flattering that everyone thinks you are naked.


This is what happens when you block the driveway of Economy Fuel Oil on Humboldt. Good luck scraping all the stickers off after you return from shopping. Hey, at least they didn’t have it towed.


Congratulations, you have completed step one; you have bagged your dog’s excrement. The difficult part is over. Now move on to step two: PUT THE SHITBAG in a GARBAGE CAN. If this two step process is beyond your comprehension maybe dog ownership is not for you.


I was disappointed to hear that the Brooklyn Museum has canceled its street art show. ‘Cause who would wanna promote this type of glorious vandalism when plain corrugated metal walls are so attractive?

I bike and I bike often. If you need to get from north Brooklyn to most other points in Brooklyn or Queens, without taking the roundabout subway route into the city, and back, you must. Or wait for a bus. Or pray that the G train is running if your destination is lucky enough to be in that narrow region where the G is useful.

All this biking is not without danger. There are always those frightful seconds when I am in the blind spot of a turning car. Or have a pedestrian pop out from between two parked cars; these pedestrians are usually gleefully isolated from their near death experience by headphones or cell phones and scamper away without even a glance of acknowledgement as I bounce off a parked car or squeak my hand breaks and veer into traffic to avoid them.

And then there are the car doors opened directly in my path. The driver of the recently parked car is so exuberant at his parking prowess that the door must be flung ajar in celebration. Or the driver emerges from the car as if returning to the world from a long winter’s hibernation; outstretching his arms to the sides, his face grimaced and contorted with a yawn, eyes closed, and head pointed up to feel the sunlight for the first time in months. Neither the proud parker or the returning hibernator can be bothered by a quick check in the rearview mirror to insure there is no cyclist in the vicinity that they are going to kill with their door.

East River State Park is a nice place to get your bearings after an assault.

And the dangers go on and on, but at most times there is no malice involved in these distressing encounters. But twice now I have been the object of road rage. Both incidents involved a car speeding up from behind, blaring the horn then swerving into me, pinning me against a parked car or truck.  And once I am affixed in place I am insulted, graphically and at high volume. Once the driver has had his say they leave. Rapidly. Leaving me scuffed and terrorized, adrenaline surging and hands shaking, alone on the side of the road.

I am at a loss to explain the objective of this vehicular terrorism when it happens. I continue my ride stunned and anxious, flinching at every elongated honk. But the next time I prepare to ride it takes a little more determination to put the pedals in motion. Am I sure I want to submit myself to another attack? Can I risk feeling that vulnerable today? What is going to happen now? And these questions make me angry. That was just what these anti cycling motorists had in mind: To frighten me into surrendering. Yes, I will yield when assaulted by a driver wielding their sedan like a multi-ton battering ram, but I will continue to have the audacity to bike. I will not let the terrorists win.