40 km (25 Miles) / h 制限速度40キロ


This is the 6th year they have held summer streets and it is now called a “yearly” event. This is our 6th annual ride around Grand Central Station on a route that is normally reserved for cars only. It is an amazing view, one that I will never get tired of. It is great to ride, walk or jog on Park Avenue without cars. This being New York there are actually bicycle traffic jams. This year I was collecting signatures for a petition to add more bike lanes in Manhattan and as I made my way down Park Avenue at 7:30 (the hardy joggers were up and running even though it was raining.) As the day wore on (unfolded) and the weather got better more and more people came out to enjoy the streets. There are lots of activities and many volunteers to make this event happen and work so well but -New Yorkers seem to take it for granted now that they will get to take over this 10km route on Saturdays every August.


The route goes straight up towards Park Ave. from the Brooklyn bridge- so interesting how the street changes as you work your way north. It is almost a forbidden pleasure inhabit these spaces as the motorists do and see the city from the point of view of a car. Soon in New York City we will have a speed limit of 40km (25 miles) per hour for all motorists-everywhere as part of our new mayors vision of zero program from traffic accidents, so maybe the motorists will decide that it is just as fast and way more fun to ride a bicycle?



open to public 3 公共に開く-3


This plaza in Mid Town is open to public as we posted last winter. The site belongs to a private building or a corporation but it is available to the public. You can walk through the block and enjoy the space. Instead of building on this site it provides much-needed space for the public. The site owner can obtain additional volume for the building, more than the regular limit. The thick Plexiglas cylinder is inserted into a cascade to make a tunnel. You can see the water splash and make waves on the glass. You feel like you are passing into a waterfall. The chairs provided at the plaza are solid cast aluminum, not cheesy. This design looks like they allowed an ample budget for the project. Although is it just us who feel this space is too cold? It is too dark because of the shadows created by the adjacent tall buildings? In the summer it is a nice relief, but….


The sound of the water helps to drown out the traffic noise and this mid block walkway connects up to the others in the block to make 6 1/2 avenue….just for pedestrians. As they add more connections each block is different, and over time the connections have become more elaborate and this one incorporates an outdoor seating area.





Horse Shoe Crabs カブトガニ


Several years ago we rode past this beach on the bike lane that follows the north shore of Jamaica bay, a long way by bike but only a 40 minute drive from Manhattan. I have been to this beach  at Plum Beach to monitor the mating of Horse Shoe Crabs. The crabs come out to do their thing at high tide on the full moon.



This beach-Plum Beach was hit by the super storm, but it does not look so much different to me, although when you look out across the bay you see Breezy Point, where many of the homes were damaged by fire or the storm surge. This study of the crabs is done by the Audubon society; the crab eggs are an important food source for shore birds in the marine ecosystem. It was a good night to count crabs, the last time high tide was much earlier in the evening so we got to see more of the crabs, but not so romantic (except for the bugs).


Our job was to take a sampling of how many males and females were in our quadrant of the bay, every 18 meters of shore line the white frame is placed in the water and you count how many crabs of each sex are located within that square. Our 2 teams counted about 200 crabs in our squares along 1 kilometer of shore imagine how many on the whole beach! This night the ratio of males to females was about 8 to 1, if only it was like that for women in NYC. By the way, how to tell a male from a female? The females are buried in the sand and are much bigger, the males are roaming around, but they are not shy; they seem to like our boots almost as much as the female crabs. Probably they detect the turbulent flow when the wave rolls back on the slope on the shore around any object sitting on the sand.



We finished at midnight and headed back to Manhattan, so wonderful to think this wild life and quiet nature are so close to the big city. Moon light over Jamaica bay




Bad Circulation 悪循環


We are having an unusually cold and snowy winter in NY this year. It is a serious problem for someone who has bad circulation. It takes an hour to recover before starting to work in the office after a 20 minute bike ride. Some people say winter used to be like this and  often even colder in New York. Every 2 weeks a snow storm comes and drops a lot of snow, so that the snow on the streets is never completely removed, particularly on the bike lanes. But surprisingly there are still a lot of the public rental bikes-“citibikes” being used in this snow. During the last snow storm some universities closed because of the snow but 3,000 people rode a “citibike”…One problem is that you cannot dock the bike  because sometimes  the locking system freezes up, or the seat won’t adjust, or the dock is full of ice….

今年の冬は例年になく寒くて雪が多い。血液の循環が悪い者には大変な厳しさ。20分の自転車通勤の後、体が解けて仕事モードになるのに1時間足らず掛かる。昔はニュー ヨークではこのくらいの寒さは常だったらしい。0度以上になればまるで春のように感じられる。二週間おきに嵐が来て雪を降らせてゆくから、通りからは雪がなくならない。それでも出前配達の自転車は驚くほど健在。それにバイクシェアシステムの共用自転車も時々見かける。困ったことに、ドッキングのシステムが働かなくて、ステーションで自転車を返せないことが時々ある。


Snow in the car lanes is melted away by the car traffic, but in the bike lanes it stays because riding on snow is too dangerous and the bikes are too light to disperse the snow, so you end up riding in the car lane. The brave, or desperate food delivery people are still out there, trying to find a place to ride to deliver that food to all those New Yorkers who never cook, but the bike lanes are not functioning. Some people dump snow in the bike lanes because they’re not used. This results is a bad circulation. Do we need to wait for the spring?


Open House NY オープンハウス ニュ-ヨーク


DiMenna Center for Classical Music: completed last year

On October 12th and 13th many buildings in New York are opened for public viewing. There are 230 locations and if you mark them on a New York map, it is dark with the points. Some of them are normally closed to public; spaces like the back house areas of theaters and private residences. The collection spans from historic buildings to contemporary cutting edge design. A non-profit group has organized this event for 11 years. In the early years many locations were not so crowded, but now it seems very popular so that some sites require reservations and for a fee you can be whisked to the front of the line. We found that many locations where reservations were required filled up very quickly. This may explain why we did not see their beautiful brochure which they used to publish. This time I decided to visit 3 easily accessible sites with my friends.

Their idea is to promote a greater appreciation of the city’s buildings; broaden public awareness of architecture, engineering and design; educate and inspire discussion about design excellence, planning and preservation showcasing outstanding new works as well as those of historic merit. Are there any other cities which have this kind of event to educate people about urbanism and architecture? Chicago is well-known for its architecture tour which is very popular and they have great pride in their distinctive buildings.

10 月12日と13日、年に一度、ニュ-ヨーク市内の建物がたくさん一般に公開される。普段は入れない劇場の舞台裏や個人邸、歴史的建築から最新の現代建築まで、いろいろ。その数、230箇所。目の前に地図を広げて、ポイントをマークすると点だらけになって地 図が黒くなると言う感じ。このイベントはあるNPO によって運営されていて、今年で 11年目になる。初期のころは、それほど込んでなくて、どこへでもかなり自由に入れたのだけれど、このごろは良く知られるようになったせいか、人気が一気に 高まって、どこへ行っても列がてきているし、予約が必要だったり、有料だったりする。その予約もすぐ一杯になる。かつてはしっかりとした美しい案内本が手 に入ったのだけれど、おかげで今はやめてしまったようだ。今年は友人たちが一緒に行こうと、3箇所訪ねるスケジュールが組まれた。

このNPOの目標は市民に都市の建築環境を楽しく体験してもらうことで、市中にある優れた建築デザインに気づいてもらい、それらの例によって広 く市民の意識を啓発することだと言う。都市計画や保存運動についても考 えてもらおうという趣旨。他の都市でもこのようなイベントをやっているところはあるのだろうか?NPOがそんなことをするのはピンとこないかもしれない……特に、建築設計が 「 理系の技術 」 だと思われている国柄や、都市の環境・景観が「自然の成り行きで」できるものだと思われているところでは。ちなみに、現代建築の秀作が集まっていることが良く知られているシカゴでは、建築ツアーが人気で、ビジネスにさえなっているらしい。一度はク ルーズを体験してみたい。

Morton Loft: A tank from a oil truck is hanged and converted to a bed room. モートン邸; 室内に古いタンクローリーのタンクを吊り下げて寝室にしている

Morton Loft: A tank from an oil truck (?) is hung and converted to a bedroom.
モートン邸:室内に古いタンクローリーのタンク(?) を吊り下げて寝室にしてしまった

On Sunday morning, I decisively rode my bicycle north to the first spot. I was worrying whether I had missed being  the first in line but strangely,  there was no one in front of the entrance, and none of my friends. I wondered why this spot was so unpopular and I waited for 30 minutes. There wasn’t even the faintest sign of it opening and no one came, so I decisively road down south to the next stop, an auditorium. Again there wasn’t the crowd that I anticipated. The receptionist had no idea about Open House NY at all. As a matter of fact, yes, the photos here were all taken by one of my friends.———- They said they went the day before.

当日の朝、一番目のスポット目指して、マンハッタンを自転車漕ぎにて大北上。一番乗りは逃したかと危ぶんだのだが、不思議なことに、予想していた人集りがない。待ち合わせた友人どころか、誰も来ない。ここはそんなに不人気なのかな、と思いつつ、待つこと30分。やっぱり玄関の開く気配さえない。仕方なく次のポイントへ向けて、今度は大南下。こここそはと思っていたのだが、やっぱり誰もいない。受付にイベントのことを訊いても、何のことだかサッパリの御様子。そうゆう次第で、実はこれらの写真はその友人から後で送られてきたもの。――― 彼らは一日前に行ったんだそうな。

UN General Assembly 国連総会


First Avenue is empty except  for fire  engines. 国連正面の通りは空っぽ、消防車の列を除いて。

Here is the annual mess that occurs each fall. In East Midtown the general assembly of the United Nations is in session. Some of our neighbors call it “the week from hell”, well maybe, if hell involved a lot of traffic jams, barricades everywhere, swarms of police and sirens. Hopefully there is more to it than that…



At Second Avenue; one street over from the UN is located, one lane is kept for red cones and another one for high level officials and police to speed through.The other side of the street is…


Chatting police and secret service. Double parking ? No problem!, we do it all year long.

I was riding my bicycle up First Avenue towards the UN. The dedicated bike lane was full of police cars, I stopped at the light and I asked the policeman ”Are you giving them tickets for parking in the bike lane?” He answered ” I had a whole lot more up ahead to ticket.”  A bit further along and I was told to get off the street and ride on the sidewalk, something that really annoys the pedestrians and can get you a $150 fine. I mentioned that to the group of chatting police.  They said “Blame it on the President!”.


Wave Hill Garden (continued), ウェイブヒルガーデン(続き)


This garden was donated by a millionaire and now a not for profit organization is maintaining it. The entry fee is $8 except Saturday morning until noon when it is free (thanks to Target). The garden is designed in the English style with a greenhouse and flower gardens. The site is just beside the Hudson river in the Bronx and has a view of the river and the palisades from almost every part of the garden. One of the photos showing the Washington bridge tells how close the garden is to the center of the city. ( click any photo for the slide show)

One of the reasons we like the garden so much is that you can almost imagine it is your own, it is big enough to find a secluded spot and small enough to know all of your favorite locations. It is like your vacation house in the city and if you have a bike you can ride from Wave Hill across the Broadway bridge and have a riverside ride all the way to the tip of Manhattan. We decided to save some money to return to Manhattan and instead of a $6 and 25 min train ride, we used $2.50 and had a 70 min bus and subway ride.



7 Bikes Stolen in 12 years, 12年で7台 自転車が盗まれる

In the last post we wondered how flour was pumped to a store at a bakery. Now I have a new idea. What about blowing it with fast air flow ? This seems very possible, but what will happen at the end of the pipe? Where does that huge volume of air go? And the flour that escaped into the air? Probably deeply in the storage of the bakery somewhere everything is completely covered with flour dust. Everybody coming from that area has a white face. Are there any scenes like that in a Chaplin or Keaton movie? Does not sound right. Then how?



Soon after we wrote the last post this bike was stolen. The bakery funded it last December. The police came quickly although somehow one hour was spent registering this crime. Of course, we cannot expect that the bike will be returned. But it is too shameful to just let the bike disappear, and I hate that the bakery’s favor ended up in nothing. We used it for just 9 months. Let me up-date our old post to 7 bikes  stolen in 12 years.  If you find this beautiful silver woman’s bike please contact us.

When the bike was stolen, a bike was left unlocked on the sidewalk right next to it. It is as if the person switched his/her bike for our new bike. So I left a note on the bike for the unknown owner to call me. So far no call. The police detective and I have been talking on the phone, and he recommended having the police collect this other bike. When I called the police the same policeman came as the night it was stolen, but he did not want to take it, saying they had no right to remove it. OK! Nothing to do now. I went shopping. When I returned the police were driving off with the bike in the trunk!!…..hmmmm what is going on??

さて本題。前回のブログを書いた後まもなく、パン屋に貰ったこの自転車が盗まれた。警察に知らせてすぐ、警官が来た。かれこれ一時間も費やしたけれど、もちろ ん自転車が返ってくるなんてことは期待していない。しかし、ただ盗まれるに任せるのは情けない。中古自転車の代わりに新品のスポーツ車を くれたパン屋の厚意に対しても悪い気がする。彼らから貰ったのは昨年末だったから、たった9ヶ月しか使ってない。これで、盗まれた自転車は12年で7台ということになる。

この盗難騒ぎには続きがある。消えてしまった自転車のあったすぐ隣に別の自転車が置かれてあった。何日たってもその自転車の乗り手が現れないので、まるで自分の自転車を乗り捨て、消えた自転車に乗り換えたみたいに見えた。担当の刑事とは電話で話しをしていたけれど、結局、「 その自転車のある場所から110番に通報して、この自転車を警察に引き取らせるように 」、と言われた。そのとおりにしたところ、この前の警官が現れた。ところが、「引き取れない、その権限がない」と言う。仕方なく買い物をして帰ってきたら、その警官がこの自転車をトランクに載せて現場を去ろうとしている。一体どうなってるんだろ? 

Italian Bakery in New York (#2) イタリアン パン屋(その2)


I have never seen this. Have you? This is the bakery that gave us a brand new bike to compensate for our old bike that was damaged by their truck. Today we came to buy bread at the same time they were getting a delivery of flour, their main ingredient. At first we thought they were collecting something dirty, sucking it out of the shop like…well you know…. The connection of the pipe is built into the building right next to the water supply for the sprinkler system. But surprisingly it is flour, pumped from a big truck, not in tons of bags like you would imagine. Flour is  a powder, right? not a fluid. We see concrete getting pumped through a pipe at construction sites, but not flour. This may be utilizing the phenomenon which is similar to liquidizing soil when it is vibrated in an earthquake. Unfortunately we could not hear the operation of the pump. The truck driver was very friendly and explained how much he delivers here and how often he makes deliveries ….and so on. We were amazed at these details, we had no idea how much went into making bread, but now we have forgotten them all.

こんなの見たことがない。 前に自転車を弁償してくれたパン屋のことを書いた、そのパン屋にまた寄ったときのこと。ちょうど小麦粉が店に搬入されている所だった。最初は店から何か廃棄されるものを吸い取っているように見えた。パイプが建物の横腹にある連結口に繋がっている。その上にある良く似ているものはスプリンクラーシステムへ消防車が水を圧入する連結口。小麦粉だから大きな袋で搬入するのかと思ったら、トラックからポンプで圧送されるとは! 小麦粉は粉であって、流体じゃないのに…?? 工事現場でコンクリートをパイプで送っているのは良く見かけるけれど。もしかしたら、地震の振動で地面が流動化する原理と似ているかもしれない。残念なことにポンプの運転音は聞き逃したからわからない。赤シャツの運転手は気の良い人で、ここにどのくらい降ろしていくとか、どのくらいの頻度で配達にくるかとか親切に説明してくれた。目から鱗の数字だったけれど、中身は全部忘れた。

He posed in front of his truck for a photo-shoot for us. I am afraid that angle is not good enough but we have no time to find better one now. We were rushing on the way to our office…. , sorry for him!! and for you too.  It would be a nice image for this blog. …..next time. We come almost every  2 days.


GHOST BIKE 白いゴースト自転車


They say this is not the bike that the biker was riding at the time of the accident. The idea for this memorial came from Europe 実際に事故に会った自転車ではなさそう。この習慣は、ヨーロッパから来たらしい。

The other day we ran into this on the way back from a meeting with a client. It is on the Hudson Greenway.  We used to see more “ghost bikes” in the city. The last time we saw them was a year ago at on this green way, and one at 1st avenue near our apartment half year go.  This year we have not  seen any new ones.  We assumed that fatal bike accidents have been declining, but that was too optimistic.  In a way they are quite beautiful, so carefully painted and well taken care of. It must be quite  a work to find a used bike, provide a basket for flowers, spray paint thoroughly and bring it here. We speculated that professionals created them.This means a large number of accidents are happening. It is so shocking to find this scene but they cannot be kept here forever, some day it will be taken away. Actually otherwise the city will be filled with white bikes, I hope not….

先日、クライアントに会った帰りにこれに出くわした。ハドソン自転車道の上だった。去年まではあちこちで ”ゴーストバイク”を 見ていた。一年前にこの専用道で一台、半年前にファーストアベニューでも見た。見るのは慣れているものの、やはりギョッとする。今年は一台もまだ見てなかったので、致命的な事故は減少しているのだろうと、僕らは勝手に診ていた。しかし、それは楽観的に過ぎたようだ。白化粧された自転車はある意味で美しい。良く見ると注意深くペンキが塗られていて、玄人の仕事にみえる。廃棄された自転車を見つけ、花を乗せるバスケットを用意し、ペンキを汲まなくスプレーし、ここまで運んでくるのは結構な仕事に違いない。これを専門にオーガナイズしている人たちがいる、ということはかなりの数の事故が日常的に起こっているということを意味している。でも永遠にこの自転車がここにあり続けられるということはありえない。そのうち, いつか撤去されるだろう。そうでないと町中が白い自転車で埋まることになる…。

Shikoku Island by bike 阿波の南へ


A year ago we posted about our short trips around a small town on Shikoku island in Japan. This year we took a couple of hours ride to a small peninsula on the Pacific Ocean in the opposite direction from our last trip. It is very tiny road that has thousands of  zigzags along the shore line. Only this one tiny road goes around the shore and periodically there is a retaining wall. The fact that the area is not easy to access keeps it from being exposed or over populated. It was so quiet and peaceful. We hardly saw anyone to ask where we were. As we imagined, as the road followed the ups and downs of the coast and sloped with every corner so that it was too tiring to finish the trip we had originally planed. We reached just ¼ of the full route of our destination, the tip of the peninsula. This infrastructure has been protecting just a few houses and tiny tiny farms up to the tip of the peninsula but with a huge construction cost. There is a lot of conversation about the possibility of a huge earthquake in this area. They say without doubt one of a similar size to that which hit Tohoku 2 yeas ago will come within the next 30 years.  At that time, the wall which wraps the shore line may not be tall enough to work. Let’s go home now before the rain hits and think about it later.

1年前、南四国にある小さな町の周りを自転車で尋ねた旅をここに載せた。今年はその反対側、小さな半島のある海側へ向かった。といってもその町から半島の付け根まで自転車で半時間あまり。とても小さい半島だけれど、子半島、孫半島で数え切れないほどの湾ができている。この辺から室戸までは南阿波と呼ばたりする。その海岸線に沿って、細い幾重にも綴れた道が一本だけ通っている。車で県庁まで1時間だけれど、 このアクセスの大変さがこの地域を人目をから隠しているのだろう。とても静かだ。僕らがどこにいるのか誰かに聞きこうとしたが、誰にも会わない。綴れごとに出くわす坂で、案の定疲れてしまった。目的地の半島の先端まで、まだ残る4分の3の道のり、直ものさしで計ったら付け根から一キロも来ていない。海岸線に沿う擁壁は南海地震の後で作られたのだろうか?全海岸線を包んでいる壁で数十年間守ってきたのは猫の額のような農地と数件の農家。この擁壁の無かった太古の海岸線を想像してみる。ほんのちょっと前までそういう景色が広がっていたんだ。この30年内には東北を襲った地震と同じサイズの大地震が間違いなく来るらしい。おそらくその時は、この擁壁も役に立たないだろう。ここまで考えたら空がますます怪しくなってきた。今は帰路を急ごう。後で考えても間に合うだろう。

bike share 共用自転車、バイクシェア


Finally the bike share system has come to town!!!. We have been away and while we were gone very quickly many stations were installed. The program has turned out to be very popular, each day there are thousands of new members, on the tenth day there were 16,396 trips! Unlike Paris or other American cities which have the system, it has just started in New York. Even though we have our own bikes we registered; for instance if it is raining in the morning or if you do not want to lock up your bike we can grab a Citibike close to home. The first 45 minutes are free for those with a yearly membership of 95$. Short term rides are available for tourists or anyone wanting to give it a try for the day or for the week .  Stations are everywhere in midtown, you can find locations as you explore an area or on their website.  You will get a totally different impression of the city than by walking or taking the subway. It may be the most similar to the bus but you are not restricted by any route, you can take a detour at any time. Riding gives you a bigger range than walking. The bike is steady and has 3 gears so you will not have any problem in hilly New York (not as hilly as Tokyo though!). Is there any more convenient vehicle…..?!!! Find out more at Citibike . You can also see our involvement in the process here or here in this blog.

ついにバイクシェアが町にきた!!!。5月に最初のステーションが敷設されてから、どんどん増えている。まだ、パリや他の都市のように、いたるところと言う感じではないけれど、たくさんの共用自転車が走りだした。自家用の自転車を持っている私たちも早速に登録をした。一年間で95ドルの登録料で毎回45分間乗り放題。もちろん観光用の短期の登録もある。ステーションは町中にあって、その辺をちょっと探せば見つかるし、インターネットを使っても良い。歩くのとも地下鉄を使うのとも違う町が見えてくる。バスに一番近いけれど、ルートじゃないところも、どこでもいける。どこで道草をしてもかまわない。足で散策するように、気ままに遠くまで散策の足が延ばせられるようになる。車体はがっちりした感じで、変速も付いているから、坂が結構あるニューヨークも平気。しかも、要らなくなったら、行き先のステーションで乗り捨てられる。これほど便利な乗り物が他にあるだろうか……?!!! これまで私たちが関った経過はこちらこちらに。公式サイトはCitibike

blue bikes

station map

Magnolia モクレン


click for panorama, クリックでパノラマに

This is at the Bronx Botanical Garden in New York. The photo above reminds us of a hanami cherry blossom party which is a spring ritual in Japan. From a distance these trees look like cherries but they are all Magnolias. One of the good things here is that the cherry trees are not monopolized  by groups having parties. And the best thing is there are no blue plastic sheets which are very popular in Japan but are too strong a color to balance with the ephemeral pink graduation of the clouds of blossoms. We took a short but damp nap (the blue sheets do have their purpose) under a gorgeous yoshino cherry. When we left the garden we bought a yellow magnolia for our own private hanami on our terrace.  But now how to carry it back with our bikes? After a lot of pondering we realized we could take it on the train that ends up at Grand Central Station.  This costume of a delivery man with a magnolia does not fit the terminal but you know the New Yorkers  hardly paid  any attention to us, just gave a short blink at the flowers. If we had been on a city bus in the Bronx somebody would have spoken to us about the rare color of our magnolia, but we would no have ben able to take the bikes. NYC buses do not carry bikes yet.



Kips Bay Plaza 広場にしよう 3


Democracy is difficult. The largest commercial neighbor of the plaza we are trying to create recently stated that they do not support creating a public plaza in front of their property. This is after working for three years to develop community support and having 2 presentations by the department of transportation. Why now! It seems so strange, the department of transportation (DOT) has been surveying and collecting data about other plazas that have been created in NYC and they found that businesses usually like public spaces.  People come and sit and chat, have a rest and shop more!

民主主義は難しい。3年にわたる働きかけで地域のコミュニティーから支持と応援をもらえるようになり、ニューヨーク交通局によるプレゼンテーションが市民に向けて行われるところまで来たけれど、今、問題が起こった。先日の二回目のプレゼンテーションで、このプラザに面する最大の土地所有者が反対を表明した。なぜ今になって?ニューヨーク市交通局は他の地域にある幾つかの似たプラザで調査し、データを集めてきた。それによれば、公共の空間はビジネスに役立つことが分っている。不可解 !! の一言、たくさんの人が来て、腰をかけ、そこに留まれば商売に繋がるはず。

presentation by NYC

presentation by DOT/ workshop 交通局のプレゼンテーションとワークショップ

A major part of the design is how to negotiate and make the parking, deliveries and roads work for the space. It is in the middle of the city and there are many different users that all need the space. At the public meetings people shared their ideas for how to use it; why not a dog park, or a reflecting pool and what about the noise of all those trucks. But in the end without the support of that neighbor the plaza will have to wait…we will keep trying, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to sit under an umbrella with a cold drink and watch the world go by…

地域の住民の支持無しではプラザは実現しない。パラソルの下に座って、冷えたグラスを手にして、世の過ぎ行く様を眺めるている…… そうしているところを夢見ながら続けてがんばろう。

from last summer

I support

My Life In His Hands 生殺与奪の権

It does not look like an urgent situation, but these police cars are proudly parking in the bike lane on 8th Ave. This is why bikers  are pushed into the car lanes and several are killed every year. This image tells us the reality of biking in New York but actually it has nothing to do with today’s post, because it is  impossible to take a picture of the situation I am going to describe.  The other day I was almost hit by a car going full speed passing about 12 inches from me. My heart was about to stop. We were both going the same direction and after the next stop light the same car did the same thing again. When I caught up to him stopping at the next red light, I knocked on his door.



He was thinking I was going to yell at him. His language was very protective and he took up a fighting pose, constantly bringing up aggressive counter theories. After all he said “ Do you want to argue about who is right and who is wrong? you want me to apologize to you, right? I can do that for you.” There was someone beside him who looked like his girlfriend and maybe he wanted to prove that he could be a gentleman.  “No, no, I am just asking you  to slow down or wait until there is enough space between us the next time”. In fact, I will never have the chance to meet him again so  I was asking for a favor that would never be required. I am sure he was thinking “Why did this bike guy stop me? The only reason is he wants to blame me and put me down.” I guess that idea came from his world view, or living in New York too long.

Drivers think that they have  total control of their car and would never hit a bike, they are so confident about it when they pass. But pedestrians and bikers do not see it  that way. Can you blindly trust him or her? You cannot see what the driver is like. Your life is 100%  in his or her hands. We do not know the airline pilots of our flights but we can trust them, but we cannot trust an anonymous driver approaching you from behind. They do not understand that even though they feel totally safe it  is far different from what we feel is safe.

The traffic light turned green and he began to go. At the last moment as he was closing his window I heard “OK the next time”. Maybe he did understood what I meant and after all he is a nice guy!!

運転している彼は僕に報復されていると受け取っているのか、酷く防御的で、攻撃的な反論を持ち上げてくる。あげくに、「 どっちが正しくて、どっちが悪いかを決めたいのだろう?謝ってほしいなら、そうしてやってもいいぜ 」 と言う。紳士ぶりたいのだろうか、助手席 にはガールフレンドらしきが座っている。「 いやいや、そうではないんだ、通り過ぎるときはスピードを落とすか、十分間隔が取れるまで待ってくれないか、 たのんでいるだけなんだ。今度からはそうしてくれない?」 考えてみれば、彼に再び会うことは二度とないだろうから、このお願いが将来、僕個人の利益に帰って来ることはない。それならなんで 無駄な抗議をするんだ?この自転車男がそんなことをする意図は一つ、俺を屈服させ、謝らせることだ。――― これが彼の人生観から来る前提だったに違いない。


信号が青になったので、彼は窓を閉めかけ、動き出した。その時!窓の隙間から 「今度は 」、と言う声が聞こえてきた。あれれ、わかってくれたのかな?!ナイスガイだったんだ !!

KIPS BAY PLAZA 2 広場にしよう‐2、キップスベイ


AFTER アフター



As we reported  last summer we are helping to create public plaza from a service road in our neighborhood. We have been working with the Department of Transportation to provide images of how the space could be transformed. It seems odd that the city department that deals with traffic is the one that is working to create plazas and public spaces, but that is because in NY our open space is the street and they realize public open space is an important requirement for city life. Most streets are devoted to cars, so how to take back some of that space for the neighborhood? The department of transportation has been converting pavement into plazas; Times Square is one of the most famous ones. They deal with the functional aspect of our streets; replacing the parking, getting deliveries to the shops and understanding the needs of the neighborhood. The map shows the businesses and local institutions who support the idea, but as with any change there are some who are not supportive and hopefully this image will help them realize what a great addition to our neighborhood it can be.

去年の夏のポスト に載せたように、私たちは近所の道路に広場をつくるボランティアの手伝いをしている。今、交通局と一緒に運動をしていて、この広場によってどれほど変わるか?を示す絵を作った。交通局が公共広場の計画を進めているというのはチョッと変に聞こえる。けれど、彼らは都市の公共空間の大部分は街路で、市民の生活にオープンスペースは大事なものなのだということを認識している。車に占用されてきた街路をどうやって市民に返すか?交通局は市内の舗装道路を広場に作り変えている。たとえばタイムズスクエアはよく知られている。交通局は路上駐車 商店への搬入の利便など街路のハードな面を扱いつつ、オープンな広場を市民の都市生活に生かしたいと、驚くほど私たちの考えに協力的。この地図はこのアイデアに賛成している地域の商店や学校、教会や住民を示している。私たちの作った絵や地図が賛同してくれる人をさらに増やし、これまで通りで何が悪い?と思っている人々を動かせれば、と思う。