Text and photo by Brian J Pape, AIA

Something old, something new appeared on our street in mid-April, in the form of this non-conformist biker. Styled like a vintage 1890s bicycle with its huge front wheel and tiny rear wheel, the rider has to climb up to get to its seat. When you stop, you either grab a post or tree, or you quickly climb down to the ground—very dangerous. You can bet he avoided coming to a complete stop as much as possible. Dressed to the nines in a custom-tailored suit and top hat, with a multi-colored scarf and socks, this gentleman made quite an impression on the crowd. Just in case they didn’t notice him, he made liberal use of an old-fashioned clown horn (Oogah-oogah) as he tooled along. When I asked him, “Have you been around here before?,” he assured me, “I’ve been around here all the time!” He didn’t give me his name, and with his balaclava covering his mouth and ears, I doubt I’d be able to recognize him without his get-up. After riding together for a few blocks, he went on his way to Hudson River Park. Will we see him again?