Hipster cyclists fuming over Brooklyn Paper 'protecting' Williamsburg 'Krazy Glue vigilante'
By RICH CALDER
"No bike in Williamsburg is safe" and, apparently, neither is the newspaper and reporter who broke the news.
Brooklyn Paper scribe Andy Campbell last week scored an interview with a longtime neighborhood resident-turned-"vigilante" who's trying to put the brakes on the growing trend of hipsters flooding Williamsburg sidewalks with parked bikes.
The vigilante's solution: squirting Krazy Glue into bike locks to render the bikes and locks useless.
"There is a bike crisis," he told the Brooklyn Paper. "Every pole in the neighborhood is littered with them. ... These Yuppies are running the whole damn city, and I'm left to my own devices."
He boasted that he's struck already and trying to organize a larger effort in which he and others would "go down Bedford Avenue at 4 am and inject every bike lock on the strip with Krazy Glue."
The story has struck a nerve as perhaps few others the Brooklyn Paper has published in many years, pitting bicyclists (predominantly transplanted New York hipsters) against motorists who believe the parked bikes (some of which have been abandoned for months) are spreading like a disease in Williamsburg. Yes, the vigilante thinks he's the cure.
Between the time the story was posted on the newspaper's webpage Tuesday and 1 am today, there have been 269 comments posted by readers about the article. That shatters the Paper's record for postings on a story -- with likely more coming.
While some paint "The Bike Crusader" (that's how he is referred to in the article) as a "hero, most are out for blood -- not only against the vigilante, but against Campbell and the Brooklyn Paper for failing to reveal the identity of the Krazy Gluer.
Let's Krazy Glue Andy!" one reader calling himself "J" posted.
Many have called on the Brooklyn Paper to hand over the vigilante's name to cops -- saying he's a "criminal" who should not be protected as a confidential source -- and for police to squeeze the newspaper for the information if it won't give him up.
Others are threatening to retaliate by Krazy Gluing door locks at the Brooklyn Paper's office and locks of double-parked cars, as well as beating the crap out of the vandal if they catch him in the act.
"This guy wants to make room for 'people getting out of cars?'" posted "DC from WB." "
This article and its comments remind me why I hate the world.
I'm going to get liquored up and wait on Bedford for this fool. Show him what Old School kids do with U-locks..."
Campbell and the Brooklyn Paper, which is a sister publication of the New York Post, declined comment, citing "a company policy."
It's unclear what policy they are referring to, but it's no secret that giving up a source is probably the second-worst Cardinal sin of journalism (right behind making a story up, which is obviously not the case here since the Brooklyn Paper has a photo of the vigilante's gloved hands grabbing a lock on a parked bike).
The blog Gothamist last week sarcastically weighed in on the story as only it could, referring to the vigilante as an "unidentified asshole."
"Due to the 'sensitive nature of this story,' reporter Andy Campbell does not identify the vandal, so it's up to the Brooklyn DA to compel the paper to turn over its source for prosecution. Is Andy Campbell [Brooklyn Paper editor] Gersh Kuntzman's Judith Miller?!" the blog says.
It also quotes Noah Budnick of the nonprofit group Transportation Alternatives, saying the vigilante's solution is flawed and he "is making the problem worse because now the bikes will never move."
But then the blog offers this well-thought-out solution: "If the Crusader really wants to make a difference, he needs to dynamite the damn bikes."
It's been quite an eventful past week for Campbell.
Besides pissing off Brooklyn's bicycle community and attracting many readers in the process, he was also at the center of a bizarre courtroom exchange Friday in Brooklyn.
Campbell was covering eviction proceedings that threatened to shut down world-famous Grimaldi's pizzeria in DUMBO when he whipped out a camera phone and started shooting a heated hallway argument between the pizza joint's operator, Frank Ciolli, and his landlord's son.
A camera-shy Ciolli then got hotter than Grimaldi's coal-fire brick oven, screaming "Give me that" while grabbing the phone out the scribe's hands and pocketing it as reporters, lawyers and others gasped in disbelief.
Campbell later got the phone back -- along with an earful from Ciolli (who was in a better mood after the case against him was tossed).
Submitted by volunteer on October 19, 2010 - 16:17. categories [ ]