As if the city’s bike lane battles weren’t serious enough – what with top-less protests, Holocaust comparisons, and misplaced priorities - Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz kicked it up a notch by skewering the city’s bike line obsession, and fanatical proponents, in a song and dance routine. Literally.
Joining the cast of Symphony Space’s political cabaret Thalia Follies during the production’s first Brooklyn performance, Marty Markowitz took to the stage to voice the plight of Brooklyn drivers, besieged by the city’s fast-and-furious implementation of lane alterations citywide. Bus lanes and bike lanes and sidewalk cafe lanes – all given a tribute of sort to the tune of “Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.
“Strollers and schlepers and skaters and joggers,/ Holiday lanes just for all the egg-noggers,/ Let’s not forget cars, it’s getting insane./ Welcome to Brooklyn the borough of lanes,” Markowitz crooned in his Elmer Fudd-like voice.
Markowitz was invited to the April 6 performance at Kingsborough Community College by the show’s Symphony Space director Isaiah Sheffer, who was looking for something special for their first-ever rendition in the city’s most populous borough.
But, being a politician, Markowitz couldn’t go on stage and give a humorous performance mired in political ambiguity. He introduced the song with a three-and-a-half minute spiel making clear his views on bike lanes.
“Beijing is looking more like New York City, and New York City is moving towards Beijing in the 1950s and 60s,” Markowitz said. “I’m not against bike lanes all around New York City, but I do believe you and I as the public have right to have a word and have a say in where bike lanes should go.”
And the bike line advocates? Well, according to the borough president, they need to lay off the Kool-Aid.
“The folks that believe in [bike lanes] are the ones that believe that Moses, Mohammed and Jesus speak to them,” he said. “And therefore, anyone who disagrees with their position obviously is on the take, corrupt, a bum or part of yesterday. Or, with the e-mails that I got, a fat horse who ought to get on a bike and lose that fat forever.”