The Hipster Fringe: Part 2

Last summer I wrote a post titled New York Biking: The Hipster Fringe. The occasion was a great piece in the Wall Street Journal by Jason Gay in which he addressed attempts by anti-bike forces to “link bike paths to ongoing gentrification, and claim the city is catering to a hipster fringe.”

This is the kind of perception I’ve been fighting by taking and posting portraits of the hundreds of regular people riding bikes in NYC. In last summer’s post I recapped a few of the hipsters and trust-fund babies I’ve photographed for my series.

Well it’s a year on, and the anti-bike crowd haven’t changed their tune too much. Whenever they argue against better cycling infrastructure you still hear the same tired references to lycra, “hipsters”, or crazy messengers. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of regular New Yorkers are using their bikes for transportation, and bike share is around the corner. Since I’ve taken quite a few new portraits since last summer, I thought I’d do another quick recap of the unrepentant hipsters I’ve come across on these city streets.

I present to you The Hipster Fringe, Part 2.

Luis, the hipster building super:

Cynthia, the hipster job-seeking mother of three:

Bilal, the hipster Turkish tailor:

Jesse, the hipster lawyer:

Mary, the hipster English teacher:

Henriette, the hipster mom:

“Jamaica”, the trusafarian Rastafarian:

Lisa, the hipster city planner and community activist:

Iga, the hipster pleasure rider:

Ray, the hipster construction manager:

Dr Weiss, the hipster urologist:

Many more hipsters here and on the Facebook gallery.

Do you know a bike-riding hipster that would be at home in these pages? Leave a comment.

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  • mike - This is a great site and these pictures are great I am all for cycling culture and I have happy to see the big boost it has been getting. Even in my own neighbor hood of park slope we have a great selection of bike shops and now even a bike parking facility. The place is called Park Circle Storage they do normal storage but also have a great bike parking area that is super easy to access give me freedom from lugging bikes up and down stairs, finding places to put them and not having to worry about them getting stolen. This is the website for anyone interested

  • Elin - Aaaaw, that is an awesome post!

    There is so much bullshit talking about cyclists floating around… that they’ve completely missed out cycling has become as mainstream as it can get!

    Just found your blog… really really like it. I’m based in Sweden and take photos of cyclists myself but have tend to do so in action (because of some thought that id like to avoid posing and static photos – but you put it together PERFECTLY)
    (Another reason is that i am a bit shy and don’t want a “no” from the object ;)

    Would be nice to e-mail a bit with you and hear your story, what lenses you use and other stuff! I’ll check your website out and perhaps I’ll find the answers I’m looking for but still!

    Kindest regards

  • Dmitry - Thanks, Elin! I like the candid photos on your site. No approach is necessarily better, they’re just different. The format I’ve taken with my bike portraits is intentionally more formal and posed. I thought that by posing my subjects in a similar, formal way I would accentuate their great diversity. Same pose, same city, completely different everything else. But I get your point about being shy and not wanting to hear “no.” I was scared shitless when I first starting asking strangers to pose for photos. It gets easier with time. I’ve heard “no” a lot, but I’ve heard “yes” a lot more! The more you hear “no”, the easier it is to hear :).

    Quick answer: I use a Canon 5D Mark 2/3 and usually either a 135mm f2 or a 50mm f1.2. Sometimes I use a simple but effective stitching technique – google “Brenizer method” to read about it. Any more questions, comment here or shoot me an email!

  • Dmitry - Thanks – Good tip on the parking.

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