Bike tour groups explore Brooklyn street art
by Andrew Shilling
Aug 28, 2013 | 1242 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The best Brooklyn street art is often buried away in darkened alleyways and hidden in the depths of industrial neighborhoods throughout Bushwick and East Williamsburg.

That’s why Get Up and Ride, a local bike tour company, has launched The Brooklyn Pulse: Urban Art and Culture Tour. The tour makes stops at a number of art galleries, local eateries and street art hot spots like Five Points Bushwick and 56 Bogart along the way.

“We named the tour The Brooklyn Pulse because we wanted guests to literally feel the pulse of North Brooklyn’s emerging underground culture in Williamsburg and Bushwick,” said Felipe Lavelle, owner of Get Up and Ride. “These are the two centers of Brooklyn’s new creative arts scene.”

Local musician, artist and Brooklyn native James Quinlin leads the tours from the meeting spot at McCarren Park. Participants then make the ride to Bushwick, stopping by some of Quinlin's own personal favorites for street art.

“He has a personal relationship with the up-and-coming arts and culture scene in the area and knows what to look for,” Lavelle said. “Guests can rest assured knowing that their experience is fresh and authentic.”

Cecily Haubner, a digital artist living in the East Village, took the tour on the group’s first trip last week to learn more about street art and branch out from her own creative platform.

“I’m an artist myself and I really love street art, but I didn’t really know a lot about what’s going on in Bushwick,” Haubner said. “I had no idea what was going on exactly and how expansive it is and how many amazing artists there are out there.”

Haubner and a small tour group took to the streets on the three-hour debut bike tour. For $49 a rider, the group makes stops at nearly 50 original works by 40 international and local street artists in mediums ranging from spray paint to wheat pastes.

“Graffiti has a connotation that it's gang related, and with street art, there’s just a message,” she explained. “It was beautiful.”

In addition to stops for art, the tour also ventures into the neighborhood for snacks and coffee at the Fine and Raw Chocolate factory at 288 Seigel St., and ending with tacos at the Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos at 271 Starr St.

“People coming away from the tour, I would hope they feel like they saw something that they never would have found on their own,” said the tour’s business development specialist Lisa Markuson. “It’s a pretty ugly neighborhood at first glance, but we want to find that diamond in the rough.”

The Brooklyn Pulse Tour takes place on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays at 3 p.m. Learn more at

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