Adventures with an Annenberg Fellow by Melissa Balmer

Designer Carlos Campos in a screenshot from Vogue.com

This is the blog where I'll share bits and pieces about the crossing of bike-minded, fashion-minded and marketing-minded culture. I find it fascinating. I hope you will too.

Today on Treehugger.com I came across the Copenhagenize.com list of top 20 bike-friendly cities in world and Portland, San Francisco and Portland are the three U.S. cities on the list. Like many I see Portland and San Francisco as leaders who have long lit the way, but New York is moving up fast. I am not an expert or judge, but here is what I do know - New York and its fashion culture are certainly helping to normalize the bike. Hello L.A. let's take note, shall we?

One of my most popular blog posts ever on Bikeable Communities was about the Missoni women's comfort bike launched in September at Target. It seems I can't pick up a top fashion magazine without bikes peppering the imagery (and I say bring it on!). In the December print issue of Vogue hot young designer Carlos Campos is shown (see above) as one of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists in a vibrant engaging photo with musician Theophilus London on Raleigh Sports bikes. Yes! Happy Holidays!

Stay tuned, WoBSoCal will certainly be throwing our hand into the bike-meets-fashion-world-mix soon for your viewing pleasure.

Tomorrow I have two exciting things lined up - first I'm finally going to make it to the California Bike Summit, and secondly I may likely also get to hang out with future WoBSoCal contributor and USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow Alissa Walker of Gelatobaby.com to talk about transportation in L.A's second city - Long Beach, which of course means bikes (but I hope too about trains and buses as we will probably be on the train).

Here is what I already know I love about Alissa, she is a true fellow "Curious George." She maintains a sense of wonder and joy in her writing life about her life in Los Angeles and the marvelous mysteries about it that will reveal themselves if only we can take the time to look and ask and notice. Take a moment to read a slice of her "purpose" statement that helped aid her fellowship win:

A hot-rod red bullet with accordion-like folds at its middle snakes down the length of Los Angeles’s Santa Monica Boulevard, from Union Station to the Pacific Ocean. To me, it is perhaps L.A.’s most progressive work of public art:  A convergence of industrial design and craft, wayfinding and graphics, urban planning and infrastructural architecture, accessible and available to every community across the city. But not many people who live in Los Angeles have the ability to appreciate it. They’re too busy cursing at it from behind the wheel of their car.

My job is to get people on that bus. To tell the story of those sexy-flexy curves, why it’s L.A.’s best chance at a sustainable city, and how an ongoing collaboration between artists, designers, engineers, politicians, drivers and riders keeps it rolling through the streets. Read More.

Hooked yet? How can you not be? This is the kind of artful engaging writing that will open our minds and hearts to see our worlds anew.