June 2010 Issue: Cycling NYC

Issue Cover

Welcome to our second volume, Hoopla Hoop’s June issue focusing on Cycling in New York City! This month we’re covering what it means to be an active (Bi)Cyclist, how it empowers us as New Yorkers, how it can alienate and how it can connect us together. We have articles covering Unicycling in the city, Bike Polo, planning bike trips with friends and even a photo curation! Keep checking back as the articles are rolled out, and for now enjoy this cover and the “Letter from the Editor”.

Pouring on the pounds

Foodnotes and Anecdotes

It is no secret that we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. A major contributor is the large amount of calories we are consuming in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and even those enhanced water products with healthy claims. The typical 20 ounce cola drink contains 250 calories of simple carbohydrates. Read On

FEATURE: Visual Identification, June 2010

A Photo Curation

When we put out our call for photography for this month’s Bicycle issue, we described the bicycle as a symbol of New Urbanism. It is a part of a self-reliant culture that insists on independence and functionality, one that embraces a city and its often inaccessible ends. The bicycle has been a means for us in New York City to save a precious near-$100 every month in an increasingly unreliant (yet, still, one of the world’s finest) Metro system. It allows us passage between neighborhoods unlinked by train or bus. It unifies places as we rush through, block by block, and witness the changing character of what is around us. Read More

Our Dear Specter

Inner City

When, in the late 1880s, a plea scrawled on a note was plucked from a bobbing bottle in Wallabout Bay, the good men of the police force shook their heads. It was not the content that was mystifying: our dear specter Annie Walker wrote desperately that she had been taken and brought against her will onto a ship where she was treated, as a modest woman might say, “unkindly,” and that she needed so badly to be saved and brought home. This was an unfortunate symptom of the time, when the wild coast was seething with fear and anger, unmarked ships abounded on their journeys, and where one might alight with a horse-headed serpent in the seas whose waves we have now all but choreographed.

Justifying Cupcakes

Foodnotes & Anecdotes

A trend food I’ve bought into in a major way is the cupcake. At least they are somewhat portion controlled… But, oh who am I kidding? Refined sugar and carbohydrates topped with more refined sugar and saturated fat is not exactly a nutritious treat. But I have a massive sweet tooth and it is definitely true in my case that denying yourself treats only leads to binges later on, so I treat myself. My inner nutritionist answer is to take everything in moderation!

Imagine That, a Science Festival!

Science Works!

The on-screen realization that something improbable has the potential to exist, such as genetically generated dinosaurs roaming around an island or bioluminescent animals not on a far-away planet but Earth itself is what makes going to the movies an experience that validates our wildest imaginations. Science enthuiasts, get ready, the 2010 Imagine Science Film Festival, is coming back to NYC, opening on October 15th, tempting peoples’ imaginations while accurately portraying the foundation of science in new films.

Brooklyn Maize Fields

Food Looped In

[Updated: Now with Photos!] Boerum Hill, Brooklyn used to be a Native American maize field. Our urban sprawl has left no evidence of its existence. We joke that New York neighborhoods are in constant flux, but rarely do we examine the extent of the words, “This neighborhood has changed.” Gowanus artist and resident, Christina Kelly, critiqued and challenged this phrase by planting urban corn gardens in Canarsie and Boerum Hill, namely at the intersection of Smith and Bergen. Christina cites that this particular area was cultivated by the Marechkawick Indians, as mentioned in a 1640 land grant to the Dutch citizen Frederick Lubbersen. The gardens are a nod to the historical resilience of New York City living.

The Many Virgins Mary

Inner City

The stocky, mustached man stepped out from behind his counter to greet me as I entered, revealing a pair of lustrous bicycle shorts in the colors of the Ecuadorian flag. I dragged in a beaten blue bicycle, its wheels wrapped in a chain that kept it from rolling. I had carried it up on the R Train from City Hall, where I had extracted it from a nearby dumpster on Chambers Street.

La Strada

Make Room for the return of Minstrel Folk

La Strada has come a very long way. There was a time where their main gig was on the subway platform, performing to patrons waiting for the G train. The band carries a sound of their own that transcends genres and classifications, creating an anomaly of different sounds and transform it to something only they could create. Each tune is a new surprise waiting to be discovered, and each can easily become a new favorite.

Summertime, Get me to Sleep

The New York City Reason To Be

Have you looked down your street to see the wavy lines coming up from the pavement, making two blocks down seem like a mirage? Have you stood on the lower platform at West 4th Street? Have you seen Do The Right Thing? I know the South has legitimate, thick humidity and the desert of course actually gets hotter than it does here. I would wager however, that there is a type of heat and level of summer discomfort specifically unique to New York.

Unicycling

One Wheel Circus

The unicycle has long been a family member of the circus. Though it may have played the funny-looking little sibling to the shining star of the trapeze, everyone from the early to mid-20th century Valla Bertini Troupe to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey circus has had unicyclists.