community bike project
One of my ten New Orleans cousins just turned me onto New Orleans Bicycles. It's a new coffee table book that showcases The Big Easy's eccentric bike culture. There are over 100 incredible photos snapped 18 months before Hurricane Katrina hit. The publisher, Mark Batty, wants to highlight the beauty and allure of the city’s category-defiant population.
Though some of the bikes look as if they would crumble under the weight of a rider, and others have the carefully considered accoutrements of art objects, every bike in this book was used on a daily basis.With a very personal introduction by Andrei Codrescu, the Mark Twain of New Orleans, this book shows how things were before the levees failed. It reveals an aspect of the city that most tourists don't know exists. The photos aren't about Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest. Rather they celebrate the city and its bikers.
What it creates ... is a nostalgia for how the city was in those months leading up to the hurricane, and hope for those ways to return.Mary Richardson and Nicholas Costarides, the authors, don't address how the city has changed since Katrina. Nor have they tried to predict what the future New Orleans will become. Instead, they are donating part of the proceeds from sales of their book to Plan B, the New Orleans community bike project.