New York

Spinning Their Wheels: Hasid v. Hipster Bike Debate Settles Nothing But Is Entertaining


Nobody really expected the Hasid v. Hipster Bicycle War to be settled Monday night at a debate/discussion in Williamsburg — and it wasn’t.

Color there was, yes. But the tsimmis keeps simmering.

Pete’s Candy Store was the scene (see video above). As the debate ended, a bike mechanic who said he was Jewish noted of the anti-bike-lane Satmars: “They have created their own hospitals, their own schools, their own police force. So of course the bike lane is threatening.”

Outside smoking a cigarette, and surrounded by few fellow Hasids, Isaac Abraham (who spoke for the Satmars at the loosely run debate) seemed content. He made a point of noting that he was the only panelist who actually lived on Bedford Avenue. But even if the other participants may not live on Bedford, wasn’t the whole point that they used it as a means of transportation? “So do birds,” he replied. “And they leave their droppings
all over the place.”

Other debate coverage:

NBC New York: “Hasids and Bicyclists Debate Bedford Avenue Bike Lane”

Jewish Telegraphic Agency: “Hasidim vs. Biker Controversy Continues”

Gothamist: “No Truce At Bedford Avenue Bike Lane Debate”

More links:

One biker’s argument that there still is a de facto bike lane on Bedford and that both sides in this dispute wear black hats: “Cycling Hipsters are Full of Shit: Bedford Bike Lane Is Still There”

Background of last night’s debate: “Hasidim v. Hipsters: The Great Williamsburg Bike Lane Debate is Tonight!”.

Good background here (” ‘Hipsters’ Come of Age in Bike Lane Battle”) and here and here (naked protest). Oh, and here.

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