12 September 2008

Stand and Deliver and Religious Uproar in NYC

Stand and Deliver
Nothing like a bit of happy acceleration.

Parisian Moments
Don't look now, here comes a female on a bike...

This just in from a reader in New York City, as only the NY Post can formulate it:

"It's the Hasids vs. the hotties in a Brooklyn bike war.

Leaders of South Williamsburg's Hasidic community said yesterday that bike lanes that bring scantily clad cyclists - especially sexy women - peddling through their neighborhood are definitely not kosher.

The red-faced religious sect is calling on city officials to eliminate the car-free lanes on Wythe and Bedford avenues, and to delay construction of a new one planned for Kent Avenue."

Here's the whole Post story.

The members of this sect should NEVER visit Copenhagen.
Les Danoises *
Talk it up
Freedom to ride in Copenhagen.


okolepuka said...

Sweet Jesus!

I have got to get me to Copenhagen. I would spend my entire day biking around the city just enjoying the sights.

Daniel M. Perez said...

Oy vey. I'm an (not Hasidic but still) Orthodox Jew living in Miami Beach, and if you wanna talk about a place for scantily clad women (on bikes, rollerblades, cars, etc) this would be the place.

We have a pretty large Hasidic community (not of the same sect as Williamsburg) living right on and near the Beach, but I've never heard such a complaint from them. I'm sure they have their opinions on the matter, but I don't recall a move to impose them on the general population.

I can understand the Williamsburg Hasids' concern, but really, just don't look. This isn't like in parts of Jerusalem where the Haredi (the so-called Ultra Orthodox) have very strict rules for passer-byes into their secluded and very-clearly-marked communities, where I could then understand a bit more. The onus is on the Hasidic members to exercise discretion, not on the world to adjust to their particular standards.

Milton said...

Commenting your comment  on the “Les Danoise” Flickr photo - “ In Denmark and the Netherlands, half the cyclists or more are women” – I can confirm you this information with data.
On my trip to Copenhagen to study your bike culture, I made a few statistics. In a sample of 398 cyclists that I registered in 4 days, 56% were women!

lagatta à montréal said...

Daniel Perez, fundamentalism is something qualitatively different from being devout or orthodox (whether Jewish or its Christian and Muslim offshoots, or other faiths). It has to do with being a bully and a nosy parker.

There is no reason Chassidic women couldn't cycle in modest dress, like the observant Muslim woman in the photo. Most religions want people to take care of their bodies, no? - not to mention the environment.

I have also seen Catholic nuns and Buddhist monks (at a temple near where I live) cycling. The latter were so photogenic that I ached to take their picture, though I didn't want it so seem patronising or cute.

dean said...

"Les Danoise"

That is SO hot!

Daniel M. Perez said...

lagatta: That was my point precisely, that even as an Orthodox Jew, I don't condone their actions (even if I understand why they are complaining) because it is up to them to behave responsibly and according to the religious law, not the gentiles riding around.

And as far as Orthodox women riding their bikes, my wife is a constant example of that. :-)

The Bronze Bombshell said...

The Hasidic community only has to avert their eyes for one season. It's probably already chilly in NYC.

lagatta à montréal said...

Bravo Madame Perez!

After all, this blog has lots of cyclists riding in skirts - not all of them short - or modest trousers. No need to kit up in revealing lycra clothing to ride a bicycle.

And of course not all the women in more revealing clothing are necessarily gentiles... certainly not in Jerusalem. ;-)

Daniel M. Perez said...

Jerusalem is a whole 'nother kettle and I don't have mittens on. ;-)

lagatta à montréal said...

Well, even in Brooklyn or Miami, I suspect a good many of the lovely lasses are of Jewish origin...

Not as blonde as most of the Copenhagen Cycle Chic ladies ... think more the lovely Rachel Weisz...

Daniel, a professor of mine, now retired from teaching duties but still researching and writing, is Orthodox and wears a kippa - and rides his bicycle everywhere! He must be almost 70. Kewl.

Zakkaliciousness said...

what a great discussion. thanks, everyone.

i support the 'look away' approach to cohabitation. Here in Copenhagen, at the weekends, there is hard-core porn on the telly at night. on a normal channel, accessible to all.

those who want to watch it, do so. those who don't can just zap away to something else.

coexistence is crucial in any society.

Dr. Blacula said...

awww the nonsense. i live in williamsburg and believe me the street scenes with the hotties on bedford well surpass the biker chics.

Anonymous said...

I like the voyeuristic, stalking kind of style your photos have. And I am pretty sure the accelerating women is trying to break away from the dude with the camera following her ;)

Great site
(B|V)iking Dane