Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Atypical day of tourism

I had a cool day at work today: touring the marathon course on a bike. It didn't start so well though: only decaf in the house. Yikes!

Once I rectified the caffeine problem and waited for the rush hour blitz to relent, I took my bike to the L train, swiped my card and turned to the toll booth to ask the attendant to open the service gate.

Nobody home!

I was in a high-strung state of crankiness and all ready to start cursing the MTA, Bedford Avenue, and NYC in general when a woman on the other side of the gate opened it for me with an encouraging smile.

"Fellow biker," she said. She was holding a bike seat in her other hand.

I walked to the very end of the platform so as to minimize my impact on the fellow passengers but when the train arrived, all cars were pretty crowded. Now I felt a little ashamed because although I did far more than I'm required by riding off-peak and in the last car, I knew my bike would still annoy. When the door opened, there was plenty of room. And a lady with a loose dog. Not only was I well on the right side of right, but here was moral cover in the form of a passenger sure to be more annoying than me!

Actually, nobody was annoyed. We all got along and got on with our days.

I spent the day walking/biking six miles of the marathon course through Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope. I talked to City officials, coffee shop customers, arts organizations, merchants, old ladies on the street, and moms on the playground. I really got a feel for the Fourth Avenue portion of the marathon and some interesting neighborhoods. It was a really fun day.

Except that I lost my camera along the way. Dang!

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