For the past few years, I have posted a photograph to acknowledge Bike Month or Bike Week and this year, I had trouble deciding on just one photograph. With everything that is occurring with regard to bicycles in New York City this year, I think limiting my post to one photograph would be downright negligent. These three may seem a little random and perhaps they are — they remind me of what’s possible when a person hops on a bicycle. The first one, taken of an unknown young man in an unidentified neighborhood of Brooklyn shows the industry possible with bicycles. Given the size of the front basket, I can assume this fellow worked in a shop that offered delivery service via bicycle. Perhaps he is happy because his delivery is complete. The next photograph is great for the simple composition that emphasizes how far one can go on a bicycle, representing the tranquility that can come from riding a bicycle and ending up somewhere with one’s thoughts. It was taken by Edna Glyde in the Fort Hamilton neighborhood. The final photograph comes from the Edward B. Watson photographs and prints collection. Though taken way back in 1896, it’s indicative of the Brooklyn we might all be familiar with today. Spring has sprung, bike share is so close we can almost feel our key fobs (though mine hasn’t arrived yet), and hordes of people have emerged with their bicycles to ride around in every which way.
On a related note, you might see a lot of people commuting to work on bicycle this week in the first Commuter Challenge sponsored by Transportation Alternatives. Five Brooklyn Historical Society staff members are participating — you might see some of us in Prospect Park or sidling up to the building to park. Anyway, Happy Bike Month Brooklyn! Ride thoughtfully.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing more historic Brooklyn images, visit our new website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Fri, 1:00-5:00 p.m.