Ho, Ho, Ho! It’s the Streetsblog Holiday Gift Guide
Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and even Regifting Wednesday will all come and go — so make room for the official 2018 Streetsblog holiday gift guide. It’s timed perfectly for that last-minute Hanukkah shopping and that way-too-early Christmas and Kwanzaa shopping. Here are our favorite items (hint, hint!) from across the web:
We Know Where You Bike
Most members of the Streetsblog staff are bi- or tri-borough, so we need more than one of Transportation Alternatives “I bike ______” (insert borough here) shirts. But if you’re loyal to only one corner of the Big Apple, you’ll be satisfied with just one of these $25 all-cotton, extra-soft Ts.
Browse the full shop at Transportation Alternatives.
A Shirt that Makes a Statement
If you want to get political with your apparel, order one of Helen Ho’s “Street Parking is Theft” t-shirts. In fact, order more than one — one for yourself and additional shirts to give out to all the local officials who don’t seem to see the connection between congestion and on-street car storage. (Looking at you, would-be Public Advocate and parking privilege protector Jumaane Williams, State Senator Simcha Felder, Assembly Members William Colton, Steven Cymbrowitz, and Helen Weinstein, and Council Members Chaim Deutsch, Kalman Yeger, and Mark Treyger!).
Order via Etsy here.
Believe us, the last thing we want to spend any extra time with is the New York City subway system. But given all the construction and diversions, you need extra time every day to plan your commute. And that time is when you’re in the shower listening to Brian Lehrer.
There are many stores selling subway map shower curtains (check out this one, for example), but our favorite is the controversial 1972 diagram made by Massimo Vignelli.
Now, if they could only make one for The Weekender (and have it be accurate every time you shower).
Nutcase for your Brain Case
There’s plenty of controversy about helmets — studies show that when drivers see us with extra protection, they speed up thinking that we’re safe. At the same time, the sight of seasoned cyclists wearing battlefield protection probably discourages first-time cyclists from getting into the game. The message we really need to be sending is that cycling is safe, everyone should do it, and drivers should slow down regardless of what a cyclist is wearing on his or her head.
Still, the Streetsblog team wears helmets. And Nutcase offers a great variety of cool lids. Our favorite? The Army-style helmet (pictured left, $39.99) that reminds us of Col. Potter’s helmet on those old “M*A*S*H” episodes.
Also, the best folding helmet is the Morpher. It’s available for $149 on the company website.
Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Nightmare
If your favorite map nerd is also a cyclist or pedestrian, Peter Gorman’s “Intersections” series is for that special someone. Most maps try to make sense of the chaos on the ground, but Gorman’s original artwork reminds us just how bad it is for those of us just trying to get through some of New York’s most horrendous crossings.
Take the Bronx (poster left, $25 and up, depending on size). What’s with that intersection of East Fordham Road, Southern Boulevard and Crotona Avenue? And check out the highlight of the Queens map: 35th Avenue, Crocheron Avenue, 194th Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard.
And Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza intersection is reminiscent of how Woody Allen once described a Rorschach test in “Take the Money and Run”: “It looks like two elephants making love to a men’s glee club.”
Gorman, who calls his company Barely Maps, also has geographic representations of many other cities, rivers, states and national landmarks. They can be ordered framed or unframed.
Browse Gorman’s full store on Etsy.
Let it Rain!
Cold weather is no big deal for a cyclist (just add another layer). But rain — rain is the stuff of children’s chagrin (“Rain, rain, go away, come on back another day”) for a reason. But ever since we were gifted a navy blue People’s Poncho, we can’t wait for the drops to fall.
Wait. We know you’ve tried other ponchos and, it’s true, they mostly suck. But the People’s Poncho is designed for cyclists: It has a waist strap so wind doesn’t blow it into your face, two loops that can secure it under your handlebars, snaps to create meaningful sleeve openings, a pocket at chest level so you can easily pull out your phone to take pictures of cops in bike lanes, and a hard rubber brim to keep rain out of your eyes. And it all rolls back up into a handy pouch.
Hook ’em Horns
The only problem with having a bicycle in this city — the only problem, that is, except Queens Community Board 2 — is dealing with the two-wheeler if your landlord doesn’t provide parking. Once you haul it up the stairs, it’ll inevitably take up valuable floor space in your tiny pad.
So why not kill two birds with one stone: Hang the bike like the piece of art it is?
We’re particularly fond of Philip Stone’s cheeky Longhorn Bicycle Rack ($110), which combines the utility of a wall mount with the whimsy of a vegan leather hunting trophy.
The Missing Links
Does anyone still wear cufflinks? It’s probably a bit inconceivable that the same guy wearing those French cuff shirts at in the corner suite is cycling to work every morning. But if he is, here’s the perfect gift.
Available in four colors — grey steel, stainless steel, cobalt or copper — these ReCycle And BiCycle cufflinks are are made from recycled bicycle chain that has been cleaned, polished to a shine and then bonded to the cufflink base.
Whether your tradition is Christmas stockings or Hanukkah pockets, you always need small gifts to fill out the season. Here are some favorites:
- A bike chain bottle opener ($10).
- A bike pizza cutter ($7.56)
- A pair of turning signal bike gloves ($6.99) — reminder to drivers: You still must yield the right-of-way!
- A portable bike pump from REI. ($9.93)
- A copy of David Byrne’s “Bicycle Diaries” ($16.20), which is more about cities than even about bicycling around them.
- A thin, under-the-helmet balaclava ($5.93).
- The ultimate bike tool (ultimate because it also opens beer bottles). ($26)