Bicyclists & Hasidic representatives debate the Williamsburg Bike Lane

update 9:40am below w/ video
I learned a couple things tonight at the Bedford Avenue bike lane debate, where bikers met representatives of the Hasidic community (namely: Isaac Abraham, bit more on him here) and hashed out their differences. I also left feeling that, though civil, the debate didn’t really get anyone anywhere, other than a few shared laughs and a feeling that neither side is budging more than mere inches.
At one point, Abraham asked a fellow pro-bike lane panelist, “How long have you lived here?” Before she could answer, he belted out, “I’ve lived here for 56 years!” (ed: number may be off by one or two, but 50-something.) At other moments, the audience broke out in laughter over the absurdity of Isaac Abraham’s claims (ie. cars don’t kill children, asthma does). He admitted he felt like a sheep in a lion den, a claim not far from the truth.
Going into tonight’s bike lane debate at Pete’s Candy Store, it’s safe to say I was of the camp that believed the whole dispute was primarily a cultural thing — the Hasids didn’t like to see scantily-clad women biking through their neighborhoods, and the bikers didn’t like the Hasids using their political power to remove their lane.
But I’m not so sure that’s the whole picture anymore. (Continues after the jump…)

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Fever Ray Out Gaga's Lady Gaga

Fever Ray receives the prize for the year’s best dance artist at “P3 Gold” in Gothenburg. [thanks Carlos]

Just Announced: moe. Playing Brooklyn Bowl Tuesday Night

Bad Girlfriend was supposed to play a free show with TV Baby tomorrow night, but that show’s now being rescheduled as moe. is stepping to play 2 sets. Doors are at 6, show’s at 9. Tickets: $25 at the door. There will be no advance ticket sales, so as @Moelinks says, you’ll want to be there around 6 to get tickets. moe. fans are nimble.

Self-Guided Bushwick Graffiti Tour

A fantastic self-guided graffiti tour off the Morgan Ave. L stop overlaid on Google Maps. For more on the pieces & better photos, see Off Manhattan.

Barcade is Haunted! Built On a 19th Century Cemetery

As if drinking and playing video games on a school night wasn’t enough to weigh down your conscious, it turns out Barcade was built atop a 19th century cemetery.
From Gothamist:

“The cemetery was known as the Old Methodist Burying Ground which serviced the Attorney Street Methodist Church and the First Methodist Protestant Church of Williamsburg. When the church closed in 1856, the bodies were allegedly moved to Cyprus Hills Cemetery, but the Scout wonders if a few bodies may remain.”

And of course, owner Paul Kermizian told them “The only ghosts we’ve seen have been in our Ms Pac Man game!”

The Daily Footprint 1/25/2010

North 4th and Kent

M.T.A. Designer Bob Noorda Dies


Mr. Noorda’s best-known work in the United States was for the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which in 1966 commissioned his firm, Unimark International, to modernize and unify the look of the subway system’s signs. At the time, Mr. Noorda was based in Milan overseeing the firm’s European projects. But the M.T.A. commission lured him to New York, where his design partner Massimo Vignelli had opened a Unimark office.
‚”I remember when Bob came to New York and spent every day underground in the subway to record the traffic flow in order to determine the points of decision where the signs should be placed,” Mr. Vignelli said in an interview.
He and Mr. Vignelli set about standardizing the type family to make sure that the signs were cleaner and clearer; they settled on Helvetica, originally a Swiss design known for its sans serif economy and sterility, against a white background. Mr. Noorda worked on every detail, from typeface selection to color coding.
He ‚”had a very systematic mind,” Mr. Vignelli said, adding that ‚”his work was extremely civilized.”


Machete To Become Real Film

We can’t wait to see it:

Certainly you’ll recall the big cool quotient around Machete, that famously fake trailer by Robert Rodriguez from Grindhouse. It was considered the single best thing about that Weinstein Co double-feature flop that also included Quentin Tarantino’s pic. Rodriguez’ fake trailer hinted at a good story (Mexican day laborer is set up, double-crossed, and left for dead — then starts everyone’s worst nightmare) and carried an even better catchphrase (“They just fucked with the wrong Mexican.”) Machete’s YouTube video alone has 1.4 million views, which wasn’t lost on Hollywood. The result was 6 studios all very interested in domestic distribution rights to Rodriguez’ latest.