Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Amateur Art Critic Returns

With the U.S. government shutdown narrowly averted, let's try this poster on for size. And as a reminder, this comes from the Green Patriot Posters project that I talk more about in Part 1 of my poster prattle series.

For some reason, I read this one as French. Sure, I know the stripes are red, white and blue while the French flag goes bleu, blanc, rouge (that plus merde, mon dieu, Des Moines and soup du jour is about the sum total of my French), but there's just something Euro about it. Maybe I just have a hard time putting together the phrase "bike-friendly U.S. cities" in my mind. The aforementioned Des Moines (French for "The Moines") does pretty well, I'd say. We're no Portland, but I've biked in plenty of places that were much, much worse (cough cough, Columbus Ohio, cough cough).

I'm coming up on my favorite poster in the series, so stay tuned...


bikelovejones said...

In summer 1999 I attended an education conference at Ohio State in Columbus. I brought a folding bike with me and managed to take a bus from the airport to someplace in town, where I got off, unfolded the bike and enjoyed a mostly-lovely, 6-mile jaunt to the dorms on campus. Fellow educators -- mostly older and grayer-haired than me -- were stunned to see me roll up to the registration table on my borrowed Dahon, and then shocked when they realized that I was one of them!

I've only taken a Greyhound bus through Des Moines (on my way home to Portland from Atlanta, years ago), and I hear it's a pretty ice place to ride a bike. Except maybe in hot, muggy July.

Jason T. Nunemaker said...

Hey there, BLJ... I did my grad school purgatory at OSU and found it to be one of the more hostile biking environments I've ever encountered. My one-mile commute to campus was marred by more thrown objects, colorful language, and "encouragement" to ride on the sidewalk in one week than I think I've encountered in 11 years of Des Moines riding. I can only hope that Columbus has cleaned up its act since then.

I agree, July in Des Moines can be a challenge. January's not so great either. But I think we're a generally friendly folk even without much of a critical mass of cyclists on the streets -- although that's improving by the day. If you ever find yourself out this way, let me know and I'll show you the sights from two wheels.