I left Plattsburg, New York and headed to York, Maine, to spend the night with friends. The timing was perfect because I really needed to save some money after the expensive adventures in Canada. I arrived just after dark, and had a good visit, and drank entirely too much whiskey. The next day was painful. But there was no time to let a nasty hangover slow me down. I drove to Boston in the morning and was able to find two of the four ghost bikes that were supposed to be there.
I found Boston to be one of the most beautiful cities on my journey, but I don’t think it would be the place for me. Here is some sidewalk art that I liked.
From Boston, I headed south to Newport, Rhode Island, hoping to outdrive the storm that was coming in and to get there before I lost light. I made it just in time to shoot the bike, but had a hell of a drive to Gardner, Massachusettes where I would spend the next two nights.
The drive to Gardner took forever because of the rain, but I made it safely and was treated to dinner by my friend Ryan McCauley. The next day Ryan took me around to dilapidated buildings and abandon factories. We tried to get into the abandoned insane asylum, but it was too well guarded.
I know I said that you all would have to wait to see any pictures of the dilapidated buildings, but here are two from Detroit.
The next morning I got up early and headed west to North Hampton, MA, and Amherst, MA. I was hoping to find two bikes in North Hampton, and one in Amherst, but no such luck. I did find an article about how someone had vandalized one of the North Hampton ghost bikes with an ax. Crazy!
I stopped at a few cemeteries between Amherst and Hartford, Connecticut.
I found one of three bikes in the Hartford area.
I originally was going to get back to the New York area a couple of days later, but there are so many ghost bikes in New York, I would be able to shoot more of them if I still had the car. So, after Connecticut, I drove New York and shot the ghost bikes in the Bronx and Harlem.
I drove to Staten Island that evening, set to hit the road before dawn. I found one of the two bikes in Staten Island, then I conquered Brooklyn and Queens. Except for Williamsburg and Bushwick. I figured that I could do this area by foot since it was near where I would be staying.
It was a very successful day! I found 10out of 15 bikes, and one that I wasn’t looking for! I got the last bike in Queens with barely enough light to shoot it and found a place in New York suburbia to spend the night. Luckily I had caught up with my budget and was a little ahead, because staying in Staten Island and suburban New York was definitely more than my daily budget allowed.
I got up super early so that I could shoot one last bike in Rockaway Park before I had to return the car.
The rest of my time in New York I will not use any money from the kickstarter funds. The last of the funds in saved for the rental car when I am in LA.
That night I caught up with a friend I haven’t seen in years.
And the next day I spent with my good friend Chris. I do have to say, it was nice to eat like a normal person again. I was truly lucky and honored that when I did stay with friends they fed me real meals, but mostly to stay within the budget, I ate a lot of protein bars, beef jerky, apples, celery, peanut butter, and canned beans.
The next day I set out to shoot the ghost bikes in Williamsburg and Bushwick.
Some of you may recognize, or not recognize the bike below as the same bike, or what is left of it from my piece “ghost bike 1”
Ghost Bike 1
I ran out of light, so I would have to get the other three Brooklyn ghost bikes later. I met up with a friend, had some drinks and then ended up at a Halloween party. Haven’t been to one of those in 18,000 years or so. I am always working Halloween weekend, so no parties for me.
In the morning, I headed to Manhattan to find the bikes there and meet a friend for lunch. I was hoping to find five ghost bikes, but only two were still there.
After lunch there was enough light for me to find the three bikes in Brooklyn that I still had to shoot. I found 2 of them.
I was supposed to fly to LA tomorrow to shoot the ghost bikes in Long Beach and surrounding areas, but Hurricane Sandy has other plans for me. I am stuck in New York until Wednesday, so I will fly home then, and just have to try to make a quick day trip to LA in a few weeks.
All in all, the trip has been a great success. I drove just under 6000 miles in 27 days. I found 66 out of 121 ghost bikes that I looked for. I went to 45 different cities. I am only disappointed that I was not able to make it to Atlanta, Georgia, and Albuquerque, New Mexico because I had people in the bicycle community reach out to me. I will still try to get to LA, to get the bikes there.
When I return home I will get to work on turning these photographs into art, so that I can put together a book. Please stay tuned to see the pieces as I finish them, and thanks again for all the support.