Friday, May 21, 2010

Bicycle Art

     During one summer in my early 20's, I was a bike messenger in NYC. It was one of the many jobs that I tried to support myself while I was dancing and leading the life of an underpaid performer.  I was living on Ludlow St. and biking every morning up to 91st and Park Ave. to get my first assignment.  Then I would ride all day around midtown Manhattan delivering envelopes and packages to smartly dressed receptionists in high heels.  I, of course, was wearing shorts, a tank top and flip-flops... as little as possible to keep cool.  It was a hot, dirty and dangerous job.  As I became more confident, I would take more risks, riding in and out of traffic, around buses, trucks  and pedestrians.  One day I woke up with the feeling that I was going to have a serious accident, so I quit.  The job lasted about two months. That was enough!
     Recently, I got my bike  (not the racer I used to ride) out of storage.  I haven't ridden in about 15 years.  I decorated it with long strips of knitting, a new Pylone bicycle bell, rick rack tassels and a carrier for Pippi on the front.  Its quite a different experience now.  I end up riding on the sidewalk a lot because the street scares me a little - sometimes Pippi and I just walk the bike for a few blocks until we can fine a clear path.  I love my bike now.  Riding around Manhattan isn't a job anymore, its performance art!

1 comment:

Patricia Markert said...

Penelope, I rode down Seventh Avenue today and landed in Times Square at rush hour, and what a horror! You were right to quit that job.

What a great image of you and Pippi.