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Thin Ice, Blood Church, and a few other things I saw while riding my bike yesterday…

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Life is one long decay, no? There’s a lot of beauty in it.”

~ Urs Fischer

So I had yesterday off of work and had an appointment on Buffalo’s East Side. I love riding my bike through the neighborhoods for a couple reasons. One is that my heritage is there. I was born on the East side, and generations before me lived there. But also the neighborhoods. While the East Side is home to some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in our city, I find it oddly peaceful to pedal and coast my way through the streets with often dilapidated buildings and urban prairies. I feel the presence of souls past as I coast through the quiet streets.

It was cold out (I was glad it actually felt like winter) and I was pedaling into a strong headwind, so for a bit of reprieve I stopped for breakfast at Mattie’s Restaurant on Fillmore and was served by Miss Mattie herself. And with a full belly and warm coffee I pedaled the rest of the way home and felt grateful to be on a bike, to be able to experience my short 10 mile round trip with all my senses.

Urban Simplicity.

 

Things that can be carried on a bike (#714) and a quote…

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[Commuting by bicycle is] an absolutely essential part of my day. It’s mind-clearing, invigorating. I get to go out and pedal through the countryside in the early morning hours, and see life come back and rejuvenate every day as the sun is coming out.”

~James L. Jones, Barack Obama’s former national security advisor


On the bike: 47 framed photos of various sizes on their way to a show.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#713)

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Two cardboard boxes…one containing approximately forty dollars in groceries, and the other is a case of red wine. Essentials.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#712)…

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A dozen framed photos on their way home after a month-long group show.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#710)…

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A bin containing a few groceries and sundries; a cardboard box containing a pair of chef pants and kitchen clogs and a few items from the hardware store; a book bag containing a journal, a few books, and other things; and a new toilet seat.

More things on a bike.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#679)…

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A camera, an extra lens, a tripod, two books, $22.00 in groceries, and a small Christmas tree.

Urban Simplicity.

Things that can be carried on a bike (#678)…

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$170 in groceries, sundries, and dog food. Three liters of red wine. And a double order of Chinese take out.

Now if I were the type of person that liked to scrunch words together and put a number symbol in front of them (which of course is also known as a hashtag), I would likely do it to the following phrases… cars are optional, bicycles are vehicles, human powered, be the change you want to see, and freedom (and yes, I am aware the last one is a word and not a phrase but that’s what makes it special I suppose).

Urban Simplicity.

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