With gas prices going through the roof and environmental issues on the rise in most peoples' minds, riding one's bike to work/school/store etc. now makes more sense than ever.
And as you probably already know, this month is 'bike month,' with this week (May 12 - May 16th) being bike-to-work week with different regions recognizing different days as "bike to work day" this week. Today (May 16th) is bike to work day in New York City.
Yesterday, Thursday May 15th, was the official ride-to-work-day in many other places, including San Francisco, where many people cycled to and from their respective places of employment with many coordinated events taking place. One such event was organized by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, who yesterday had their Bike Away from Work Party centered at The Rickshaw Stop, where bikers on their commute home could stop and unwind (they even had valet bike parking provided) and share stories and biking tips with fellow cyclists.
But really any day is a good day to ride a bike (with helmet of course). It is healthy and cheap and even if you work or go to school an impossible cycling distance from your home you can always cycle part of the way and either A) lock up your bike where you board a bus or train or B) bring the bike with you on the bus or train or C) throw the bike in the back of your car, drive most of the long distance, and cycle the last few miles to your destination. One interesting statistic posted this week by the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition on their website is that almost 40% of Bay Area commuters live within five miles of their workplace -- which is the ideal distance for a bicycle commute.
The fine organization Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) is meeting up at 6PM today (May 16th) at Mama Buzz Cafe at 2318 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland for an all-volunteer bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group with music and beverages and lots of information on bike and pedestrian projects in Oakland. Meanwhile, up in Seattle, today Starbucks (who, remember, were once a small hometown coffee business in the north west town) are organizing a bike to work day today (May 16th) Info
For information on other bike events this month in places in and beyond California, check out the League of American Bicyclists website. Meanwhile, the Bike Month NYC group is really well organized with lots of great events -- you can find more info here.
Reading about East L.A. punk while in high school was inspiration. I had known about Los Lobos and knew about the 60’s Chicano bands like El Chicano and Tierra. However, these punk bands were Chicanos and around my age, playing music that I was into. It made me feel less like a freak to know there were others just like me somewhere in the barrios of East Los Angeles. Hippies wanted to move to San Francisco, rockers to the Sunset Strip and I wanted to move to East L.A.
On Saturday, The Claremont Museum of Art will present Vexing: Female Voices from East LA Punk, which will run from May 18 to August 31, 2008. There will be live performances by Vexing artists Teresa Covarrubias (Lead Singer from The Brat) Angela Vogel, Lysa Flores and Alice Bag. I have been looking forward to this exhibit since I heard about it a few months back. The women that are featured in this exhibit were the pioneers of a thriving women's art movement that is happening now in East L.A.
2008 has been turning out to be the year for Retro-Chicano art. LACMA’s Phantom Sightings: Art After The Chicano Movement is currently showing and starting June 15th, LACMA will also feature Los Angelenos/Chicano Painters of L.A.: Selections from the Cheech Marin Collection.
I found some great articles on East L.A. Punk, Vex era and Beyond. The first one is written by Josh Kun and is the story of the Vex. The second one comes from Jimmy Alvarado, who wrote about the history of all the EAST L.A. punk bands that not many have heard about. In this article originally written for Razorcake Magazine. Jimmy covers the minions of pre and post Vex bands as well as all the backyard party giants that were huge in the East Los backyard scene.
Ahhh, my favorite LP oddity. The Mercury/Wing/Emarcy shellac ghosting effect. It seems that something in the printing process that this family of labels used for their 50's sleeves lent itself to clouding up underneath the shellac. You occasionally see it on other releases, but most often it's the Mercury and related LP's that have the best "ghosting." Truly stunning!