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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Culture Ride and the Mythic Design Shine Moment

12/5/12 22M
Great weather today, dry and 38F, much more in line with normal than yesterday's gift weather.

Started at the Bastille with S, rode around the North Side and out to the 40th Street Bridge. Climbed up through the Allegheny Cemetery which is always a nice ride, and went out to Spak Brothers Pizza at 5107 Penn Avenue to ask about their murals.

Before Spak Brothers came to this location, there was an existing mural on the back-left corner of a wall done by several local artists, one of whom (a Peabody HS athlete) was subsequently killed, so that mural remains as a memorial.

Both of these murals were done by Keith Knight:

We each had a slice of Spak's pizza, and had an interesting discussion with some local residents about street art around Baum, Gem Way, and Gold Way.

Next we stopped at Awesome Books at 5111 Penn Avenue (FB) and had a great discussion with Laura Jean McLaughlin (web) about several of her murals, including one at the Pittsburgh Zoo (with colleague Bob Ziller), an Uptown mural titled "Ride in the Sky", and a mosaic at Whole Foods titled "Dishing Out Science". It was fascinating to get some of the background info behind the artwork.

This is a mural on the side of Awesome Books:

This is a kinetic/energy-sculpture next to Awesome Books, and may come from The Mr. Roboto Project( wiki) across the street. The Solar box has solar panels on top, the center box is wired for the wind turbine, and I'm assuming that the right-side box lights up at night using the energy from the two other boxes, solar and wind.

Rode to Gallery4 to see The Sepia Show, a presentation of Anthony Purcell's work. He's a muralist who's work we've admired. This was a really impressive body of work. The piece that was my favorite, Frick Tank, wasn't online.

Going to the Braindresser
to Have Your Mind Cut
M.C. Esher + Icosahedron

Departed the gallery for Performance Bike at Bakery Square, purchased a replacement bike computer. It's been suffering from a short-circuit in the rear wheel sensor, and a broken bracket for the crank sensor, so after five years I think it's time for a replacement.

Departed Bakery Square riding Ellsworth toward CMU when I had an experience that I've only read about: the Design Shine Moment. Within the last month I've obtained a Design Shine tail light. They are nuclear-bright, amazing scary bright, it can drown out car brakelights with its power.

Departing Bakery Square I turned on my Design Shine, because it was about 3pm, the skies were gloomy, and the lighting seemed poor. Although it initialized at Setting-5, I dimmed it to Setting-3 because I thought it appropriate.

Riding along Ellsworth one car in particular had been patiently following us, not passing when he might have, for a few blocks. I pulled over to let the driver pass, trying to be a good citizen yada yada. The driver stopped abeam me and rolled down his window, and I could see he was in some sort of public safety uniform, maybe an EMS.

I was wondering how this was going to turn out. "Can I ask you something?" Sure. "Who makes that light? I've never seen anything like that!" Man that made my day. DesignShineLighting.com

Junction Hollow Trail, Jail Trail, Ft. Duquesne Bridge, Casino Trail, Bastille. 22 miles on an excellent, informative, and somewhat cultural ride.

22 miles. 6701 miles year-to-date.

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