Slow News Day?

Apropos of I’m-not-sure-what, today’s New York Sun dedicates the majority of its op/ed page to an excerpt of my 2003 book, Honku: The Zen Antidote to Road Rage (an excellent holiday gift, I might add). Below are some excerpts from the Sun, including some excellent poems written by visitors to my web site, The Comments section is open for new submissions…


Municipal Court

Elected morons
big SUV tax credits
don’t get me started

Is it profiling
to say, "Dude in the Hummer
is an idiot"?

Morning forecast says:
It’s another "bad air day"
so try not to breathe

Nissan "Armada?!"
How ’bout a Dodge "Titanic?"
A Ford "Hindenburg?"

I let you over
now where is my thank-you wave?
Honda Uncivic

Ah, New York, New York,
those horns are stressing me out –
stop spreadin’ the news

Face it, city boy:
Your truck is a Mountaineer,
but you are SO not.

You from New Jersey
honking in front of my house
in your SUV

  • P

    Is it profiling
    to say, “Dude in the Hummer
    is an idiot”?


  • ddartley

    You know, when The Sun first appeared around 2003 it struck me as annoyingly right-leaning, and I stopped reading it regularly. However I often see it mentioned here, and I think they quote T.A. people a lot. Maybe they’re intelligent after all!

    Oh, and to get back to my MLK act: really, don’t more New Yorkers than Jerseyans honk in front of your house (and stand in bus stops)? I would bet yes. That’s not about defending Jerseyans, it’s about defending all people from the most insidious form of prejudice–the kind that comes from stuff someone’s merely dreamed up. (Don’t worry, you’re my hero; I don’t fault you very much for a honku with a little “chauvinism,” as P. called it.)

  • That particular honku poem was written after observing a single-passenger SUV with NJ platest blasting his horn like a sociopathic a-hole in front of my apartment for an extended period of time. This is what good haiku poems are supposed to be — direct observations of the natural world. The poem doesn’t mean that every single NJ SUV driver is a jerk. But I also don’t think it’s an accident that this particular honku resonated with so many people. I think one of the reason the poem resonates is because many people are frustrated by the fact that a majority of NYC residents do not own cars yet so much of our city’s public space has come to be dominated by cars — many of which are driven in from out of town by people who could care less about the quality of life of the urban neighborhoods they drive through. So, you can change NJ to Long Island or even Eastern Queens. I think if there is any prejudice in the current system, it’s a prejudice against people who want livable streets in NYC’s neighborhoods instead of highways filled with rampaging through-traffic.

  • Honku poet on satellite tv

    Tuesday, November 28, DISH Network will show Episode 86 of “Perils For Pedestrians”.

    Contents of Episode 86 (2003):
    –A bill to make walking the official exercise of Maryland is vetoed by Governor Ehrlich in Annapolis.
    –The Rails to Trails Conservancy hosts a conference in Providence, RI.
    –Project for Public Spaces meets in New York City.
    –In Brooklyn, the Honku Poet has an antidote to road rage.
    –We look at the TMA Group and Transportation Management in Franklin, TN.

    DISH Network Channel 9411 — The Universityhouse Channel
    Tuesday — 9:30 pm Eastern, 6:30 Pacific

    Note: Episode 86 is not yet available on Google Video.
    Note: Public access cable channels are showing different episodes than DISH Network.

    Thank you.

  • John Wetmore

    “Perils For Pedestrians” Episode 86, with the interview with the Honku Poet, is now available on Blip TV at 
    Thank you.


Why Emily Rides

Emily lives in the East Village and commutes to Midtown. She was riding to work for the first time. Before becoming a Citi Bike member, she never rode a bike in New York. How do you commute to work when you’re not riding? “Usually I take the subway into work or I walk. I usually […]

The Known Unknowns of New York City’s Streets

Unlike New York, Copenhagen, Denmark’s planners measure city streets for much more than "Vehicular Level of Service." This map, for example, quantifies stationary activities on a summer weekday in the city center. From Public Spaces Public Life by Lars Gemzoe and Jan Gehl, 1996. As former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld would say, Schaller Consulting’s new […]

Another Model: Berkeley’s Bicycle Boulevard Network

Yesterday I showed some photos of the "Share the Road" Bike Route signs that were recently installed on Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn and that sparked an interesting discussion on different possible ways to design and build on-street bike paths. This summer I was in Berkeley, California for a friend’s wedding. NYCSR filmmaker Clarence Eckerson was […]

Driven to Distraction in America

A couple of weeks ago I left the transit-rich confines of New York City and headed down South to visit family. I made it all the way to Meridian, Mississippi, without getting in a car (I rode the subway to Penn Station and took Amtrak from there), but once I got off the train in […]

Getting Romantic About Transit

Love at the bus stop. (Photo: lucam via Flickr) Today on the Streetsblog Network, we came across a sweet post from one of our favorite network members — Seattle’s Carla Saulter, better known as Bus Chick. She’s celebrating a milestone — seven years of living car-free. And she takes the occasion to share some memories: […]