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BrooklynBornThis blog started in my head when I listened in the 90's to friends who feared Brooklyn and newcomers who blogged about BK as if it barely existed before they arrived. Brooklyn as Tabula Rasa. My blog satisfies my need to hear and air feelings of B'klyn from the people whose life experience was born here. Also I hope to provide balance to some of the revisionist historical musings I've seen how Brooklyn and her residents used to be, we're still here. If we can all live as best possible while appreciating the past and neighbors we've inherited that would be great too.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

GhostBikes on the movement

I was out in Fort Greene one night last week, sitting in the fortress that is my dude's SUV when suddenly a spectral object rolled by nearly glowing in the darkness. I recognized the shining skeletal bike immediately and went over.

Ghost Bike in Ft. Greene

Many of you will recognize the thin ten speed bike painted white from top to tires as part of the GhostBike project. Ghostbikes for those who don't know are created by volunteers and in several cities placed near the scene of a cyclist's death, usually with a plaque or sign detailing the accident. I find them appropriately reverent and spooky.

This text from their site describes the project:
The first ghost bikes were created in St. Louis, Missouri in 2003, and they have since appeared in at least 72 cities throughout the world. For those who create and install the memorials, the death of a fellow bicyclist hits home. We all travel the same unsafe streets and face the same risks; it could just as easily be any one of us. Each time we say we hope to never have to do it again -- but we remain committed to making these memorials as long as they are needed.
I felt all ghoulish asking where the bike was to be placed and the duo (clad all in black, mighty like ninjas) told me that bike was headed to Harlem, (Update: here's the bike installed in Harlem) and that they lived in Inwood. I mentioned I hadn't heard of any accidents around Fort Greene so I was surprised to see the bike at all. They then let me know that unfortunately there had been an fatal cycling accident on Nevins near Livingston (Downtown) and that they intended to place a GhostBike memorial there for a child who was killed while riding his bike with his father. That accident involved a postal truck, and the way the story was told to me it seemed just to be a terrible faultless happenstance. Sad indeed.


There will be a memorial ride on January 4th to raise awareness for cyclist's rights and safety, for details check their site: http://www.ghostbikes.org/node/364