Alex Goldmark is a senior producer in the newsroom for New Tech City and Transportation Nation.
What started as journalistic curiosity is now art.
For those of you in New York City, offering up a chance to see abandoned bikes live and in person might seem like trying selling snow cones to Santa Claus. But these bikes are a captivating catalog of plodding decay, each a different shade of rust and crumble. Display them in windows facing a busy downtown sidewalk and, voilà!, you've got art. For proof, see the slide show above, which we recommend you take in as a collection of diverse short stories--all with the same ending.
We've "curated" a collection of the best pictures submitted to our abandoned bike tracker, chosen a broken bike as muse and and added poetry: Bike-Kus, anyone?
The pièce de résistance? We convinced the Department of Sanitation to provide us with several authentically claimed derelict abandoned bikes. (That's different from regular abandoned bikes, as you'll recall from this story). Although we found hundreds of abandoned bikes, there have been just 62 officially removed derelict bikes in NYC this year. Four of them now sit in the The Greene Space along with several others donated by Recycle-A-Bicycle, a youth service charity that refurbishes old bikes.
As a refresher, the evolution of our abandoned bike reporting project began with a simple question: why do busted-up old bikes stay chained to street signs for so long on NYC's crowded sidewalks. We hunted down the answer -- complicated mix of bureaucracy, city law, NYC's density -- and found something else. New Yorkers just love to look at abandoned bikes. And to photograph them.
In chasing what we thought would be a simple answer, we asked for help. That help came in the form of hundreds of geocoded photographs we used to map the phenomenon. Those photographs are what you seen in this post, and in our exhibit.
Come on by Varick Street and Charlton Street in Manhattan. Photos are behind the glass, bikes are inside it!