I’m keeping you in New York a little longer. First because I can 😉 And second because it’s fun.
For the first time since 1664 the Dutch are taking back New York. We are claiming New Amsterdam back by…bicycle. The honorable two wheeler has conquered the city. Not just for sports anymore, but as a way of transport from A to B. As a true Dutchie I explore the island by bicycle. Even though the traditional bike helmet becomes less and less popular and makes way for fashionable bikes and accessories, riding a bike through New York traffic is challenging to say the least. Bike paths ending abruptly, potholes, cabbies honking at me, kamikaze delivery men, other tourists who struggle to steady their steal horses and pedicab tours rushing by in Central Park. I decide to stick to photographing bikes for now.
When my final New York Film Academy assignment is due, I decide to take this 10 picture final series to explore the city by bicycle, staying close to my Dutch roots. I want to document the New York streets and city life by using the bicycle as my main character. I’m inspired by Lee Friedlander’s America by Car. He explored most of the 50 American States by rental car and used the car windows of rearview mirror as his picture frame. This is one of my favorite series and looking back his style has influenced my photography style.
Fast, rest, color, decay
In two weeks I come across many different bicycles in varying states. Bright and colorful bicycles that put our black and gray bike frames to shame. Bicycles used as a comfortable seat or crutch. Fast approaching on the Brooklyn Bridge or rushing by Hudson River Park. To the ultimate decay in a big city. Bikes without wheels, saddles or just a frame held up by a big ass chain. Left behind by their owners or robbed for their valuable parts.
After two weeks of shooting I end up with 175 images and the daunting task to reduce them to a comprehensive series of 10. In the gallery below you can see the final series and judge for yourself if I’ve succeeded in portraying New York by bicycle. I hope you can recognize the New York streets, but also feel a little Dutch pride by our national way of transport. Want to see more of the other 165 bike pictures and unique street photos? Keep a close eye on my Instagram: Top Floor Pics.