Whenever I’m in Manhattan, I often imagine the perfectly grid lined flat streets filled with thousands of bicycles instead of trucks and yellow cabs. Now that would be my ideal city. My intense infatuation with Amsterdam began first with the bike culture, then everything else. Having spent the last decade of my life cruising the highways of Texas, I couldn’t imagine a city where the bike ruled first. Where bike paths and bike traffic lights were ubiquitous, and the size and urban layout of the city seemed to be perfectly structured to cater the cyclists.
Of course after three years of biking through rain and snow, I now fantasize about getting in my car with a heater and and all my awesome podcasts and just drive (like a normal Texan would) to a restaurant. Also my trips to IKEA would not involve me balancing chairs and bonsai trees in a subway. But really when it comes down to it, I wish I can just transplant this culture to America. If Austin would just build canals and get bikes, or Amsterdam would just be sunny all the time with endless tacos…ok I won’t get into this conversation.
On the upside, I have been seeing more bikers back home in Texas and New York seems to be aware of my fantasy and is slowly getting more and more bike friendly. A nice project called Downtown From Behind is documenting back shots of various New Yorkers biking through the streets of the city. I love the juxtaposition of the lone biker(s) in the middle of the big city. Could my dream slowly be turning into a reality?