NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Daily Plant Masthead

Volume XXVIII, Number 5780
Tuesday, Jan 22, 2013

Bicycling To Work In All Seasons

Jonathan Kuhn with a vintage Fuji, pictured here in front of an Alice Austen photograph of a bike messenger
Jonathan Kuhn with a vintage Fuji, pictured here in front of an Alice Austen photograph of a bike messenger

Caught Green Handed
Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Art and Antiquities

Many of you know Jonathan Kuhn as Parks’ Director of Art and Antiquities but did you know that he has been a bike commuter since he was 11 years old? As a school boy, Jonathan lived too close to school to qualify for the bus but too far to walk. His solution? Bike to school! The only problem was that he had to cross a busy highway, so the school district hired a crossing guard to ensure his safety on his daily bike commute. Since then, Jonathan has bike commuted to school or work since the fall of 1969. His first ride in New York was along Broadway, at dawn from Morningside Heights to Soho in 1974. As the sun rose over Times Square he was hooked. In 1980 he settled in the city. A New Yorker now for more than 32 years, Jonathan’s resume is impressive:

• Biked up to 3,500 miles per year which means that he has traveled nearly four times the circumference of the world
• Biked virtually every street – more than 700 - in Manhattan
• Biked to work through Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath - in fact, Jonathan perfected the concept of biking by moonlight when he biked from 34th Street to his home downtown during the city blackout
• Biked enough trips with his wife and two sons to save enough money to pay for more than a year of college education (he refers to this as the “deferred transportation fund”)

Aside from being environmentally responsible, Jonathan enjoys the everyday pleasures and benefits of biking for a variety of reasons. For Jonathan, biking is fun, pleasant and the best way to enjoy and appreciate the City. It is also manageable, convenient and efficient – Jonathan gets to work in two-thirds the time it takes by mass transit (including the long walk at each end to the subway), he gets in 50 minutes of exercise everyday! Jonathan’s biking also saves him time when he is on the job – getting to meetings in less time that it takes some of his colleagues and checking on Parks monuments and public art sites on his way home.

Jonathan loves the freedom of riding through New York and is enthusiastic in encouraging his fellow Parkies to do the same. “I made it through all of 2012 without missing a single day of bike commuting through winter’s flurries and chill, April’s showers, the summer’s heat and thunderstorms, or the fall’s hurricane. The streak actually goes back to late January 2011. I throw down the gauntlet to my fellow parkies!”

Submitted by Michael Mullaley, Sustainability Initiatives Intern

Green Tip of the Week
Work With Building Staff to Save Energy

As we enter the heart of winter, the temperature will continue to drop. To make sure energy costs are kept low at your work environment, keep exterior doors and windows closed. If your area is overheated, let your building maintenance staff know so they can track down and correct the root cause.

Reducing warm air leaks at home could cut 10 percent from an average household's monthly energy bill. The most common places where air escapes homes are doors, floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.

Have other energy questions? Contact Matt Brown at

Submitted by Energy Manager Matt Brown and Agency Energy Liaison Bill Vilkelis


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King Jr.
(1929 - 1968)
E-mail this:


<< Back to Daily Plants Main.

Was this information helpful?