I’ve been trying to avoid discussions of the recession in the Studio Forbes newsletter. There is more than enough gloom and doom coming at us from the mainstream media. So I’ve been looking around for optimistic stories to cover. Where do you see people really enjoying themselves even though their disposable income may have completely disappeared? What looks and feels happy out there on the streets and in our communities? At the top of my list are the ‘bike kitchens’ that can now be found in most of our cities.
What is a bike kitchen? It’s a community-based, hands-on workshop that provides free (or almost free) help for people needing to fix up their bikes. Think soup kitchen, if they also taught you how to make soup. Bike kitchens have the feel of communal gardens - people go there to have a good time and to create something of value. Health, environment, and community all come together. And there is an urban edgy youth character that keeps them from feeling nostalgic.