Posts Tagged ‘Hudson Urban Bicycles’
Big sheets of cardboard from leftover bike boxes waved up and down behind the small audience. Marlo and Sean and Kristoff and Stephanie took turns with the fans that perfectly matched the HUB’s DIY thriftiness. Our stage was a large piece of plywood, elevated by the buckets we use to water our growing garden. The curtain was a long maroon sheet of fabric that Molly draped over the rope I’d tied below the loft. Because we didn’t have electricity, a generator powered a single spotlight that washed light over the stage. Candles sat in a planter in the bathroom. LED bike lights shone from the metal branches of a sculptured tree that a neighbor donated to us.
Yesterday’s record heat didn’t deter the storytellers and poets from taking to the stage and sharing their words while sweat dripped from their brows. There was no sound system, just the acoustics of our garage space and a captive audience. Our first open mic was small, but cozy. Six people preformed to an audience of about thirty. I’ve been saying lately that I’d rather read the work of someone I know than buy a bestselling novel, and it hit me as I was sitting there, listening to one of my friends recite a poem he wrote, that I’d finally gotten exactly what I wanted. We had a forum to share our stories or poems or music with people that we knew and experience the art of someone we could talk to rather than some distant persona. After the readings were finished, everyone stayed around and drank and mingled and laughed. Community. All of this was about building community. Though none of the pieces had to do with bicycles, the whole event mirrored the HUB’s ethos of fostering real relationships instead of upholding some cold business-customer relationship.
I’m deeming Logophobia a success, and so we’ll be continuing it as a bi-monthly event. The next one will be on Tuesday July 20th, with the theme of childhood (chosen by one of the contributors, as we will continue to do from now on). I’ll be posting more information about other events, and the exact layout of future Logophobias some time this weekend. Tune in and stay cool!
…The fear of words, and the title for our first event. On the night of TUESDAY JULY 6TH, Hudson Urban Bicycles will be transformed into a West Village salon, hosting the first of its bi-monthly open mic nights. The theme of the evening is fears and phobias. Poetry reading, storytelling, (acoustic) music making, and sharing in any form or medium is welcome, so long as it applies to the theme. For those who would like to participate, there’s no need to sign up ahead of time, but please do arrive slightly early. Entry to this first event is free, and we’re working on getting free wine and beer as well. Please RSVP on Facebook so that we have enough for everyone. Come share, listen to your artistic neighbors, and meet new people! …all amongst our beautiful bikes.
WHEN: Tuesday, July 6th at 8:30 PM
WHERE: Hudson Urban Bicycles, 139 Charles Street
The Hub Log launched eight months ago when George Bliss and the HUB team got together and decided to host a bicycle fashion show. The blog was meant to chronicle our efforts to create the show, and the philosophy behind it– that bicycling is a viable and fashionable mode of transport for every New York commuter. Bike Style’s happy success was soon followed by the sad news of the HUB’s closure, but in May the HUB opened in its new location at 139 Charles and has since been doing as well as it ever had on Morton Street. So we’re back, and we’re stepping it up a notch.
We have a new website, created by a new addition to the HUB team, Lori Samsel. I’m also going to update the blog with new photos and more orderly pages. We’re looking into selling clothing in the store. George keeps saying that we’ll get solar panels to power the now electricity-free shop (I hope it happens!). Mostly, we’re talking about how we can use our space in the service of the community. We want to host movie screenings, start reading groups, host fundraisers and art shows, talk about how bikes fit into the future of urban commuting. So here’s the space to voice your opinion and to share your ideas. Comment, discuss, brainstorm. Let us know what you would like to see.
Now, in the absence of Bike Style, the Hub Log must serve a new purpose. This will be the place to learn about our events, and to document the community that is forming around the HUB. But it can be more than that. Kaveri and I are talking about creating short videos with one of our mechanics, Steve Bike, with tips on how to fix your own bike. We want to do short profiles of our customers, and maybe share NYC biking news. Comment on that as well! And stay tuned; this is going to be a full summer.
October 24 was a day of deluge. The rain would let up every fifteen minutes or so, only to rush back in stronger downpour. My first trek into the wetness was to print out letters to our neighbors from George, telling them that we had the appropriate permits for the show and promising that we’d be finished by 12. Huddled under an umbrella, I shoved the damp papers under fancy doors bordering the west of Hudson Street. And then the craziness began.
Clean off the display case, rearrange the helmets, line up the show bikes. Shawn and Nick crouched up on the elevated catwalk, powerdrilling wooden panels into the floor. Steve cleaned off his workbench, flipped it over, and cleaned it again. “Look at that,” he said with a laugh. “One, two, three, and we have a bar.” Lindsi sat at the front of the shop on her black Macbook, typing out the program for the night, calling to me occasionally to check the model list for what someone was wearing. Matt taped together bamboo poles to create the ‘mirror’ that each model would pose in before descending the first ramp. George was everywhere. The HUB was in a state of cacophony. The mechanics already moved all of the bikes into the basement next door the day before, but there was still a lot of work to be done before the HUB would be transformed into a venue worthy of New York’s first bicycle fashion show.
Around five, things were starting to come together, and the rain had fallen into one of its lulls. George handed me the key to his flatbed and gave me the address to The City Bakery on 18th and 6th. It was time to pick up the catering. Maneuvering Ge0rge’s extended tricycle through Manhattan’s cutthroat streets is never anything short of exciting. To a road bike gal like myself, mounting the flatbed is like moving to a Mac Truck when all you’ve ever ridden is a motorbike. Instead of worrying about getting thrown off of my wheels, I had to be careful not to sideswipe SUVs or plow down pedestrians. And the flatbed has a tendency to take on a mind of its own.
As soon as we decided to have a bicycle fashion show, we knew that we’d need the wise guidance of the East Village’s Kate Goldwater. She’s been a part of NYU’s annual Swap-o-Rama-Rama earth week clothing swap since it first started. She organizes the Swap’s fasion show and promotes her earth-friendly recycled clothing designs. In early September, Goldwater planned a fashion show to promote health care reform(see a video of it below), and now she’s lending some awesome advice and cool designs to BIKE STYLE. Click here to check out her blog, and swing by on Saturday to meet Kate at our show!
Writer Mike Spence on our show: “I’m sure the majority people who ride bikes are not pompous jerks, but I’ve heard the phrase “It’s not a mode of transportation, it’s a lifestyle,” enough to worry that giving cyclists their own clothing line is asking for trouble…”
Click here to check out his post about our show on New York Press, and to enjoy his wonderful snark.
Shawn Drayton wanted to have clothes that he could bike in during his dialy commute from Brooklyn to Manhattan. He wanted something that was practical for biking, but also for walking around in. And so Osloh was born. Shawn works as a designer of children clothes while promoting Oshloh on the side. The line, which was just launched this past July, features three different styles of mens’ pants and bicycle-focused V-neck t-shirts. The pants have adjustable snaps at the calves so you don’t have to roll up your pant leg while riding, and two rings above the left rear pocket for holding a U-lock. Shawn thinks that if bikers see something that “doesn’t look like like spandix or a racing jersey, they’re going to be all for it.”
Shawn’s designs will sold at the HUB starting tomorrow, and they’ll also be featured in our show on Saturday, October 24.