Williamsburg bike shop playfully flouts
the antipathy of some area residents to cyclists.
Jammed between industrial brick buildings on the cusp of chasidic South Williamsburg and hipster North is a white canopy that reads the words “Traif Bike” – in bold block letters that sandwich the silk-screened head of a chasid clad in side curls. Traif is Yiddish for non-kosher.
Beneath the canopy, passersby can visit a large black vending machine labeled “Bike Shop,” whose rotating carousel features $55 U-locks, $5 handlebar grips and $2 tire patch kits, among other life necessities like a $33 used BlackBerry.
The pluralism wars that have proved so polarizing in Israel are being played out in another arena locally: a Brooklyn federal courtroom. Attorneys for the state of New York and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver are seeking to defend the constitutionality of the state's 117-year-old kosher laws, which are being challenged by a Long Island butcher.
At least it felt that way. After growing up in an area of Bensonhurst with a bare-bones Jewish community, where my brother and I sometimes faced anti-Semitism on the streets and the idea of a kosher restaurant seemed like something out of a dream, I found myself at age 12 in Midwood, the most Jewish part of Flatbush.
Sunday, October 19th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
It was billed as a “tele-town hall with Jewish leaders nationwide,” but Sen. John McCain’s electronic meeting on Sunday sounded more like a staged campaign event than a give-and-take with community leaders.