Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
One method for memorizing terribly useless and dull words is to associate them with things that are worth remembering. I have discovered the ultimate source for applying this tactic.
Friday, October 16, 2009
"Absolutely, and why don't you help by posting about it on your blog?" were the words that never left his mouth.
Here's the event.
Of the 3 people that read this blog, 2 of you might be wondering, "What is an Alley Cat?" I will give a definition by leading you through a creative exploratory journey into your own soul:
-Close your eyes ( but keep reading...)
-Imagine yourself at the beach, or at least at a coastal city in South Florida.
-Envision yourself participating in a scavenger hunt, harkening back to the joyful days of your childhood.
-Envision this same scavenger hunt, but with a fast bike between your legs, taking place in the streets of your said coastal city in South Florida.
-Envision all the hot people of the opposite sex watching you do this and thinking "damn, I want that speedy person's children."
This is an Alley Cat race.
Be sure to come out, and as always, refer to miamibikescene.blogspot.com for all your Miami cycling needs.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Once you walk into the relatively small shop, you're faced with a colorful explosion of custom painted skateboards, a glass-fronted counter stocked with the latest and greatest of skating and cycling accessories, and a small collection of beautiful bike frames displayed about the shop. The walls are decorated head to toe with the doodlings of the same artist who is working with the shop on creating the custom skateboards. With the added charm of a pair of vintage barber-shop chairs, an awesome dog named Cognac, and the laid-back attitudes of the shop's owners, you can count on an atmosphere of chill during your visit. No snobbery here.
I managed to talk with a co-owner of the shop, Cristian Moreno, before the race began. When I found him, he had just finished setting up a set of cycling rollers in the front of the shop. Without hesitation, he gladly gave me a tour of the shop, and we sat down in the barber chairs for an interview:
Arthur: What do you guys do here at SOFLO?
Cristian: Mostly chill. Help customers with all their skateboard and bike needs.
Arthur: Who are your customers?
Cristian: We have a base of customers in local skaters. Skaters who go to Peacock Park have been coming for some years now, but over the last year we've picked up bikers. Not that we've ever ridden much fixed gear before, but we rode all types when we were young. Everything from bmx to cruisers. We started to get involved with the MIAfixed forum, which inspired us to help people get into fixed gears. So the number of cyclists coming in is starting to pick up. David Berger of Bikes-to-Go has been great in helping us start up.
Arthur: Are you finding that there's much overlap between skate culture and bike culture?
Cristian: Since I've been riding, I've gotten at least 10-15 friends into biking, whether they were skating or not. My roommates, my friends, they've all started getting into it. Biking is getting huge.
Arthur: What made you get into bikes?
Cristian: I've skated for the last 12 years or so, So relative to that, I've only recently started riding a bike. I got hooked up from Bikes-to-Go at a great price ...it gave me liberty to go from one end of the city in the matter of an hour. It's pretty much the freedom of riding throughout Miami with no problems... something you can't do with a skate board.
Arthur: What do you think people should know about your shop?
Cristian: If you're a skater, I've got the best prices and selection you can find. As for the bikers, nothing pleases me more than seeing somebody ride out of here on their own bike. If I know that I've helped them accomplish that, It's the best feeling. Whether its building up a frame they've found, or getting them a bike from scratch.
Arthur: What makes the products here so unique?
Cristian: On the skating side: most products are small companies, usually owned by pro skaters and made local to the states. We use a really small west-coast distributer who provides with stuff that's hard to find at bigger stores. As for bikes; we're still pretty new, but we're developing a pretty good collection of vintage parts and frames.
Arthur: How about the clothing?
Cristian: We've got mostly earth friendly stuff; organic cotton and such. We carry Satori Movement from San Francisco, for instance.
Arthur: You guys have stuff going on at SOFLO besides bikes and skating?
Cristian: We plan on having acoustic shows, the un-plugs of local bands. We also have our blog at soflomofo.wordpress.com. We update it all the time with everything that goes on here; products, events, general info.
Arthur: what's your favorite aspect of Miami?
Cristian: The last couple of years, Dade County has opened up some free skate parks which is great. They're always packed with young skaters. Something I've been waiting for in the 12 years I've lived in Miami. It was everybody's dreams, and now its coming true.
Arthur: What is your least favorite aspect of Miami?
Cristian: Shitty law enforcement. Also, the heat and rain is a bad combo.
Arthur: where's the best place to chill in Miami?
Cristian: The News Lounge is great to chill at after a Loose Cannons Race, and SOFLO before the race.
Arthur: Thanks for your time.
Cristian: Of course bro.
The next event happening at the shop is on October 15th: the Grove's Bicycle Scavenger Hunt. Check out SOFLO's blog for more info.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
That's like calling a duck a "quack quack", a gun a "bam bam", a spanish sports announcer a "GOOOOOOL", or a condom an "ohhh yeahhhh baby, yes! yes!"
Perhaps this name is used for these insufficiently-strappy-sandals because using it's descriptive name would be poor marketing. For example, imagine this advertisement:
"Now, 3 for 1 at walmart, get your insufficiently-strappy-really-slow-back-pain-causers!"
Perhaps the purpose of flip flops is for the user to be constantly challenged by their footwear? Whether the flip-flopper is walking or sitting (note: running isn't an option), the flip-flopper must constantly struggle to even keep the flip-flops on their feet. With how often flip flops will fall off, it is almost as if the user's feet know better, and are trying to expel the foul objects from their vicinity.
More hate to come! In the mean time, excuse me while I tie the shoelaces on my sneakers: shoes which are named for being most likely to be worn by quick and stealthy beings such as ninjas.
EDIT: I forgot to include something hateful directed at the 305...Miami sucks!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
b) the best way to describe what it tastes like to be imprisoned here amongst the palm trees
c) the URL http://www.haggis.com is worth 200,000 Euro, and up for grabs!
Back to spiritual activities. The most satisfying spiritual activity I engage in (besides writing this blog) is my 7 mile ride to school. It is strangely predictable in that I can always count on it being slightly different each time. Nothing sends oxygenated blood to my brain like dodging through the traffic which is actively sending carbon-monoxide-ated blood to my brain. The best part of this trip, however, occurs in the front yard of a house at approximately sw 97th ave and 46th st. I URGE you to ride by and find it for yourself.
Besides this spirtual activity, there is the lesser one of going to Panera Bread in Sunset Place. This is grand simply because of how everything seems to make sense there. For instance;
-the internet is free and fast
-the hot tea = a hot cup of water with as many bags of tea of whatever flavor I want!
-there are lemons by the soft-drinks
-they will probably never serve haggis
-your other email ( you know you have at least 2)
-that message board you always go to
-that web comic you always read
-that internet radio you always listen to
-that awesome shopping website that has the best deals on things you like to buy
-that news site you always read
... and lookit that, you're up to 8 tabs already!
It probably took 10 minutes just to enter all those different usernames and passwords. Within half an hour of mindless clicking, you've gotten absolutely nothing done while feeling relatively accomplished about all the different things you're getting done, and you haven't even started chatting yet.
Of course, wherever I say "you" in this blog post, I'm actually just referring to "me", and godammit it looks like I really need to spend less time online.
Still, I'd rather waste my time online wishing Miami never existed, as opposed to wasting my time by existing in Miami.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
.Univision 23 is the biggest spanish tv channel in Miami. Probably because of "Sabado Gigante!"
.Ronnie Brown of the Miami Dolphins: #23. Also had 23 rushing touchdowns, as of 2008.
.The "Miami 23" is a fishing boat, probably owned by some Miamians.
.AESU is a travel firm that offers an "around the world in 23 days!" tour that starts in Miami.
... So there isn't very much that is interesting that is related to Miami and the number 23. To be fair, it isn't 23's fault. It is Miami.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
This got me thinking: maybe I should go easier on Miami.
Then I thought: No, Miami needs to realize that flip-flops are a waste of time already. Get ready for a mega-hate-post in the near future.
In the mean time, if you do happen to wear flip-flops:
a) STOP IT!
b) At least don't buy them from walmart....
Thursday, September 10, 2009
On that topic, I figured that I would take this time to share with you a couple methods that I like to use for "choking it down," by using a few figures.
Figure 1.1: Gin and Tonic; This little whipper-upper is a fure shire way to take the edge off.
"Arthur's Gin n' Tonic:" 20 oz. tumbler. two parts gin, 1 part tonic, 1/2 lime, and the 4th season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Alternatives to Arthur's Gin n' Tonic that are considerably more socially acceptable can easily be found at your local chain-restaurant-bar-and-grill, or, if you're willing to stick your neck out, a place not unlike Fox's Lounge.
I freakin' love this place for two particular reasons: Gin and tonic (please refer to fig.1.1) and their Rueben Sandwich. I love it so much I'm probably going to do an IRHM Official Review of it sometime soon.
Figure 1.2: I forgot what went here because Figure 1.1 (please refer to fig.1.1) worked so well.
Monday, August 31, 2009
I'd love to showcase a class of Miami drivers who are particularly good with road manners, but I've yet to identify any. However, it is very easy to notice which group is the worst: the luxury car driver. Specifically if the car they drive is a German sedan, you can typically expect their reaction to your very existence to be an attempt to end it, preferably with your blood neatly splattered accross the Audi logo.
One of the most successful research opportunities for evaluating drivers' abilities to:
a) keep their cool
b) understand the law
is to participate in your local Critical Mass. Critical Mass is a cycling event which occurs once a month in cities accross the nation. Every individual rider has their own definition and purpose for it, and here is mine:
Critical Mass is a radical attempt to create awareness and dialogue between cyclists and motorists about the rules of the road, about the fact that cyclists need to use it, and about how both cyclists and motorists can step on eachother's toes unless something serious is done to improve road usage for everyone. It is done so by a leaderless gathering of cyclists who meet at a pre-determined time, and set off on a group ride on city roads. If there is a sufficiently "critical" amount of cyclists on the road together, they can easily occupy a lane or two of traffic, if not the entire road in attempt to get wherever they are going. Clearly, this gets the attention of motorists, who are forced to wait, slow down, or find alternate routes: the same challenges that any individual cyclist faces on the road every day.
This being said, let us put in perspective what cyclists may excpect on the road with some statistics.
i) Bicycling Magazine recently listed Miami as one of the worst for cycling in the U.S.A.
ii) Although New York recently stole the crown as the city with the most road rage from Miami in 2007, we still sit at a healthy number 7.
It is no suprise then, that when over 100 cyclists took part in Critical Mass Miami: August 2009 edition, they were occasionally met with honks, yells, profanity, reving engines and general threats to their well-being. However, the relatively few offensive drivers weren't the ones driving the beat-up carolla home from work, but the guy in the suit and the brand new BMW.
Drastically violent attempts to cut off cyclists were inflicted by someone driving a Mercedez, and more than one Audi driver came within feet of a cyclist before squeeling to a stop, slamming on his horn. All in all, there were relatively few cases of irrational explosions of rage, but 9 times out of 10 they came from somebody who clearly earned far too much money to wait for cyclists. On the other end of the spectrum, cyclists were aided by patient drivers, cheered on by others, and at the very least were tolerated by the vast majority of motorists.
So, what's the deal anonymous luxury car drivers? Why are you so angry? Is it because you paid good money for your 500hp engine and damn it all if you can't use it right now? Are you afraid that if anyone saw you waiting behind a bicycle, you might lose some of the respect that your finely tuned german car has been earning you? I'm truly at a loss here, because l would assume that anyone who had the patience, maturity, and solid work ethic to get to a point in their lives where they could afford such a nice car, would have also developed the ability to get over themselves once in a while.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
-Arthur the Procrastinator
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The shop’s focus is vintage road bikes, but they also carry a small selection of new bikes by a company called Gavin, which is based out of St. Augustine, FL. On the coffee side the shop, the commitment is to buy local, which they do so for all their coffee and chocolates. Complete with a generous amount of chairs and tables, free wi-fi access, and all the vintage-bicycle-eye-candy anyone could ever want, it's no surprise that this place was an instant hit for me. To quote one of the customers, "It's like a dog park for bikes."
Between snapping bunches of pictures and drinking mug-fulls of coffee, I had a short conversation with Musa Blount, a co-owner of the business, and with Eliza Lutz, one of the baristas. Mr. Musa Blount, a friendly guy with a constant smile, greeted me with a hug.
Arthur: What's your favorite aspect of this shop?
Musa: I think it's meeting new people, sharing stories, and seeing cool bikes.
Arthur: What are the challenges of opening up another bike shop in Gainesville, a place with so many already?
Musa: I guess the challenge is to not impede the business of the other local bike shops. But they all have their own niches and target markets, so that gives us room to do what we do.
Arthur: What are you most excited about achieving with 8th avenue bike shop?
Musa: Giving people what they want: More choices. If they want discounts for buying bulk they can have it. I want people to have cool bikes for the money. I want to pay people well to work here, and I want this place to be a nice place to hang out and talk about bikes.
Arthur: What do you have to add to the city that Gainesville is missing?
Musa: I’m not sure there’s anything missing from gainesville, actually. We’re just adding more of the same good stuff.
Arthur: Can customers of 8th Ave expect events and attractions besides bikes and coffee?
Musa: We hope to be a venue for local musicians, artists, and poets. Probably more. We want to give people a place to do the things they like to do. It should be a fun place for races, events, and rides.
Arthur: What got you into bikes?
Musa: It’s the sense of freedom. As a kid, it’s the only way to go anywhere on your own. It’s something that you have a lot of control over, too. When you're young and don’t have money, you could still figure out how to fix your bike. You can pick the colors you want and the components you want. It’s definitely the freedom.
Arthur: What should potential customers know about this shop?
Musa: They can expect unique bikes and components at good prices, with good, fast service. They should also expect a level of professionalism here. Bicycles are serious vehicles, and you can die on them, so we believe it requires a level of skill and professionalism to maintain them properly. We’re here for everyone, so we want to cater to whatever ideas our customers might have. Maybe they have an idea for their bike that other shops would scoff at, but we’re willing to give anything a try.
After speaking with Musa, I headed over to the coffee bar. Eliza had just finished talking to a customer about the locally prepared chocolate they sold when I came over to ask for an interview.
Arthur: What's your name?
Eliza: Eliza Lutz
Arthur: Lutz like the “triple lutz” in ice skating?
Eliza: I'm a single Lutz.
Arthur: What's the philosophy of the coffee shop?
Eliza: Well, I wasn’t in Gainesville when 2nd Street Bakery was around, but the guys always said that the environment was what made it great. Very laid back, and comfortable. I think that’s the kind of environment we want here. Also, everyone there was into bikes. Bikes are big part of Gainesville culture, so I feel like the two shops are nautual fusion here at 8th Ave Bike and Coffee House.
Arthur: Coffee shops and bike shops are both very aromatic establishments. What do you think about the mix?
Eliza: I think that the coffee aroma definitely overpowers the bikes, which is a good thing. Doesn’t actually smell much like bikes here, which is good for most customers.
Arthur: Is there anything about the shop that you think potential customers should know?
Eliza: It’s a great place to get bikes that were assembled by people who really care. Same for the coffee. It may not be the absolute best you’ve ever had, but it will be really solid, and something most people can afford.
Arthur: What would you like to see the coffee shop grow into in a year from now?
Eliza: I would hope that eventually we can expand and solidify the menu. Im not big on iced drinks, but we’re in the south and its hot, so its gonna be a fact. I’d like to have all the standards and basics, but to always improve our products, and keep our purchases local.
Arthur: What’s your favorite aspect of the shop?
Eliza: The fact that I can get super caffeinated and work on my bike.
So, next time you're in Gainesville, and you're on 8th Avenue, and if you have a bike, or if you like coffee, stop on by the 8th Ave Bike and Coffee House.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
A ten year anniversary for one of Miami's best weekly parties exhibiting the finest independent music sounded like a perfect way to distract myself from the bitter fact that god is a bartender who whips up Dark n' Stormies like it was going out of style. So, brimming with excitement, I buttoned up the ol' skinny jeans and double checked the directions to the White Room, just to discover that I should have pre-ordered my TWENTY dollar ticket by now. Considering that
Friday, June 5, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Look at them, Leering ominously. Not only are these phallic Obelisks of Ugly incapable providing a single square cm of shade, they are also undoubtedly the least fun tree to climb. It is actually no surprise that these frond-bearing dildos reside in miami, the place I hate.
To add to the problems associated with these "plants", the strangely incompetent planners of Miami have managed to bring out the worst in palm trees. That is, to line them up along every man-made object in the area.
It's true, perhaps the majority of man-made objects in miami are so ugly, they need to be covered by something. Palm trees however, physically manifest the fact that we are prisoners to sucky-ness by resembling the bars of a jail-cell everywhere we look.
Furthermore, they are a menace to all users of the streets, by lining up along roads and casting fronds and coconuts to their heart-of-palm's desire. Usually, they land right in the precious few bicycle lanes we have here, only to be NOT be cleared out by road maintenance EVER.
Finally, palm trees, which there are a lot of in miami, are actually more dangerous than sharks, which there are also a lot of in Miami. Falling coconuts kill 150 people worldwide anually, which is 15 times the number of shark fatalities.
- Suggestions for places to go that don't suck. At least not all the time.
- Dirty martini reviews.
- Things that I, and other woeful Miamians, do to take the edge off.
- Places to ride your bike that won't kill you.
- Of course, stuff that does suck, so that you can avoid it.
- General information about Miami that I probably pulled off wikipedia five minutes ago.