22 March 2011

Blame It On The Moon

Once again, I cut through Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on my way home from work.  It was the site of the 1964-65 World's Fair, for which its iconic Unisphere was built.  Nearly three decades later, Men In Black was filmed there.

A German tourist I met in the park reminded me of that.  In fact, he said, it was from watching Men In Black that he first learned about the borough of Queens.  I was reminded of the time three young Germans approached me near the West Fourth Street subway station in Greenwich Village.  They asked me how to get to the South Bronx.  They wanted to go there because they had recently seen Fort Apache, The South Bronx.  I tried, to no avail, to dissuade them from going.

But I didn't have to do anything like that for the youngish man from Munich I met today.  He remarked on the wonderful light of this afternoon turning into this evening in that park as I took this photo:

All of the light has seemed different since my moonlight ride on the wee hours of Saturday morning and the "Super Full Moon" that rose that evening.  Plus, it seems--even more than other full moons I've seen--to have brought some strange sights my way.

I encountered one of them in the bike rack at work:

I wondered whether that vestige of a downtube was there only to support the front derailleur.  There seems to be no other rationale for it.  Maybe it was conceived by someone who believes that we have heads so that we'll have someplace to put our helmets. 

Or maybe it was designed by the same person whose bike was attached to a fire hydrant by the longest chain made of 3/4" thick case-hardened links I ever saw.  I doubt anyone could have cut that chain, at least not with the sort of tools bike thieves carry with them. But it didn't take someone with a PhD in quantum mechanics to figure out that he could lift that bike and chain over the hydrant and into the back of his van. (I didn't see the theft. I just know that professional thieves, at least at that time, used vans. So, that bike's owner and I assumed that scenario played out.)

The sad thing is that faux seat tube isn't even the worst piece of bike design I've ever seen.  Actually, I've seen a lot of things much worse than that.  You tend to come across them when you work in a bike shop for a while.

Maybe the designers of that bike and the owner of the bike that got stolen from a fire hydrant could have blamed the moon--even if it wasn't the Super Full Moon.

And that friendly German tourist and I can blame it for the photos we took in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.


  1. Eventually, one ceases to wonder at the bad design coming from bicycle manufacturers. My own theory is it is a result of hiring the engineers that are willing to work for them for the least pay, regardless of actual capability...

  2. Steve: Your theory sounds right, or at least plausible. Some corollary to Murphy's Law must be at work: If something makes sense, or it's just something you really like, it will be discontinued. But there seems to be no end to bad design.

  3. Oh I love the light in the sky in that first photo. My favorite time for taking photos is between 5:00 - 7:30 pm; the sky always looks so beautiful at that time. No strange sightings for me during the Supermoon. I tried taking a few shots of the moon Saturday evening to see what I could capture, Shots came out ok - could have been better.