Archive for the ‘video’ tag
The Central Park Effect.
This quote from the film (starting at 1:01 on the video clip below) addresses a frequent stereotype aimed at those who enjoy this pastime.
“There’s really no way to look cool. You’ve got your binoculars up. You’re looking at something that nobody else is looking at. And everyone else is looking at you and thinking, you know, ‘what a dweeb’.”
The Big Year. It got poor reviews, but I really loved it. (I hear most real birders hated it).
This little sandy beach is within easy walking distance from my place in Sausalito.
Here you can rent SUPs (i.e. stand-up paddle boards) or a sea kayak or just kick-back on the sand. La Garage the french bistro is nearby too.
That’s appropriate because this view — with the sunshine and yachts — made me think of Marseilles or Saint Tropez; Jean-Luc Goddard; and French Ye-ye music such as this song by Francoise Hardy (which was prominently featured in Wes Anderson’s film Moonrise Kingdom).
Here’s the electric bike I mentioned in a previous post.
The electronic motor is a sensible addition for a city like San Francisco. The Faraday’s other design choices are simply brilliant and informed primarily by real bicyclist enthusiasts (rather than just by engineers).
I’m especially pleased that it comes with my favorite rack design (i.e. the porteur, a front rack pioneered by newspaper deliveryman in Paris in the 1940s and 50s).
Full disclosure: it may not be apparent from these glowing statements, but I am generally biased against electronic bikes. With the motor, it feels like cheating…a little.
I recently came across this little movie (made in 2011-12 when I was living and bicycling in Tucson, AZ). This was my second crude attempt at shooting video from a moving bicycle. My first attempt can be seen here.
The setting is Sabino Canyon — an incredible little jewel in NW Tucson replete with waterfalls and riparian ecosystems. The paved walking and biking pathway ends 4-5 miles up the canyon at which point there are only unpaved, steep switchback trails leading into the wild Santa Catalina mountains.
Two video parodies — that I’m assuming were made by bicycling enthusiasts — which mock the unfortunate pretentiousness so often demonstrated by certain classes of cyclists.
The first video is from the lycra-clad Euro-racer’s perspective. There’s some hysterical satire in here. The first thirty seconds are quite rich and there’s another sequence from about the 1:30 to 2:00 minute mark that had me rolling on the floor (“Le Pelotan!”).
By the way, this was clearly filmed on Panoramic Highway or Ridgecrest Blvd. overlooking the Pacific Ocean. If you’re interested, I’ve posted many images of this gorgeous stretch of road on this blog.
The second video is presented from the righteous, urban cyclist’s perspective. Mind you the video is what is called — NSFW — not safe for work — due to the rather crude, in your face language.
But if you’re interested, check it out on YouTube, where some people seem to think the video is celebrating bad behavior rather than calling these kind of cyclists out.
A couple months ago, I mentioned Michael Embacher’s new book Cyclepedia. Well, the publisher has produced a stunning iPad version.
Sometimes I almost convince myself I need an iPad.
Then, I take a deep breath and remind myself once again about the unlimited nature of desire (and the Buddha’s second noble truth).
I attached my camera (and a big fisheye lens) to my new handlebar mount and made a short trip down the block to test the system.
Below is the video, with a Soloman Burke music bed added in Apple’s iMovie to make it a little more interesting!
Solomon Burke (March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010) was an American singer-songwriter, entrepreneur, mortician, and an archbishop of the United House of Prayer For All People. Burke was known as “King Solomon”, the “King of Rock ‘n’ Soul”, and as the “Bishop of Soul”, and described as “the Muhammad Ali of soul”, and as “the most unfairly overlooked singer of soul’s golden age”…
Burke was “a singer whose smooth, powerful articulation and mingling of sacred and profane themes helped define soul music in the early 1960s”…Described as both “Rabelaisian” and also as a “spiritual enigma”, “Perhaps more than any other artist, the ample figure of Solomon Burke symbolized the ways that spirituality and commerce, ecstasy and entertainment, sex and salvation, individualism and brotherhood, could blend in the world of 1960s soul music.”
I want one of these Cricket Trailers, which are designed and built by an architect who worked on NASA’s “habitation modules” — the small spaces where astronauts live!
Here’s a stylish video with more interior shots of the Cricket, including views of the galley and the loo.
A Smart Car and a Brompton together; I just can’t resist. And because of this video’s Chaplinesque qualities I have an excuse to post two of my favorite clips from the genius himself (see below).
These are the silent actor’s first words (beginning around the 1:00 mark) on screen — in the form of a song from Modern Times:
And finally, the ending speech from The Great Dictator, still relevant today some would argue.
He’s been doing this for nearly a half-century (with 28 bikes stolen) while living a monk-like existence in what is, essentially, a closet above Carnegie Hall with no kitchen and no bathroom.
He has no apparent interest in the superficial aspects of haute couture. The famous people who court him hold no power over him (he won’t even accept a glass of water from the hosts when shooting a high society gala event). Despite this simple, down-to-earth demeanor, Cunningham is a complex character and his deeper philosophy is suggested by what is perhaps the most famous quote of his from the film:
The wider world perceives fashion as a frivolity that should be done away with. The point is fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. I don’t think you can do away with it. It would be like doing away with civilization.
And when honored with the Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in Paris he tearfully reminds us that: “He who seeks beauty shall find it.” At that moment we, the audience, are aware that this is the larger purpose to which Cunningham has dedicated his life.
I enjoyed the film because of its depiction of this individual’s extraordinary humanity and because it was great fun to see him trundle around NYC taking photographs on his bicycle.
I’m not particularly interested in fashion, but I thought this was a spectacular film about a true artist.
In honor of Day 1 — a few videos:
The second video gives an idea of what this race looked like in the early days (the death defying descent at the 11 second mark is remarkable).
A Ken Burns-style mockumentary, which hits pretty close to home.
Being a camera nerd, I’ve begun to notice a proliferation of videos featuring a distinctive photo processing technique using implied tilt-shift camera movements and time lapse photography. The results are videos like these which appear to show itty-bitty scale models of cities. Here’s a tilt-shift tutorial for the uber tech-savvy and the website of Ken Loutit, who helped popularize the genre with his bathtub series.
Another bicycle commuting video I enjoyed. It’s a 12km daily commute through an urban and, what looks like, a semi-rural Japanese landscape.
What’s the nature of your commute? Have a look at this poll.
I believe this fellow is actually quite mad. Check out his website 14degrees.org. He holds the Guinness long distance skateboarding record, traveling over 12,000km across Europe, N. America, and China (Here’s some video highlights).
A quiet, relaxed, exhaust-free commute, and no signs of stress or road rage on the streets of Utrecht (The Netherlands).
- Take home message: The importance of quality bike paths cannot be underestimated.
NOTE: I find the Dutch language inscrutable. For instance here’s the proper pronunciation of Utrecht (listen).
A hundred years ago, we had an abundance of transit options with high multi-modal connectivity: streetcars and trolleys running continuously (no waiting for a bus to arrive); automobiles; bicycles; ferries plying the bay; railroads; even climate-friendly horse-drawn carriages.
If you have seven minutes to spare watch the whole video; it’s rather amazing and with the soundtrack quite mesmerizing (click on the button with all the arrows to fill the screen).
Among other things, look for the progenitors of today’s fixed-gear riding San Francisco hipsters (at the 1:05 mark) and horses galloping and trotting down Market Street (at the 3:25 and 4:05 marks).
Since a trip to Seattle last fall, folding bikes have been on my radar. I made a silent vow that my next bike, whenever it comes, will fold-up for bus and ferry connections and general urban mobility.
This video got me excited about the Brompton:
Then I heard great things about the Bike Friday Tikit. And now, the latest bike on my radar is the Dahon Mu Uno. It’s The Old Man and the Sea of folding bicycles — a minimalist masterpiece. No gears. No cables. Back-pedal brakes.
I first read about it on design guru, Rob Forbes’ site, Studio Forbes. Here’s how to fold it:
I’ve bought and sold a few bikes, a pick-up truck, camera equipment and all kinds of other stuff on Craigslist.
There was often a faint fragrance of humor in many of these transactions, but it took the mad-genius behind this video to fully reveal the sweet perfume of an unconsumated Craigslist sale.
Warning: the video may not be appropriate for viewing at work, due to minor bits of colorful language.
Original video and credits can be found here.
Breaking Away: the movie that first inspired me to take up cycling. It’s a wonderful, quirky little film that stands the test of time.
Two thumbs up!
The two main characters in the absurdist hipster comedy, Flight of the Conchords, get around New York City on bikes! Their rides are featured prominently in the music video, “Mutha Uckers”.
Jemaine’s rig is an urban cruiser with a comfortable seat, fenders and swept back bars. Brett’s appears to be an early 80s steel-framed Japanese sport bike (or is it a Peugeot?). Not a bad way to get around Manhattan’s lower east side.
I’ve spent a little time in Paris and could not resist posting this video clip from the show (if you only want to see the tandem bicycles skip to the :28 second mark). Without the context maybe some of the satire is lost, but still quite good.
The full version can be viewed here.
After writing the previous post on bicycle saddles, I discovered this video about the Brooks’ manufacturing company over at The Velo Hobo. It’s a quaint look at the company behind this iconic piece of cycling history. (Skip to the 7:23 mark of the video to see the very cartoon-like English guy in charge of leather chamfering. He’s great).