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Monday, September 28, 2009

History class tackles Manhattan on 'epic' all-night bike ride - Columbia Spectator

The 35th Annual All-Night Bike Ride for the History of the City of New York class, taught by Kenneth Jackson, took students through Manhattan in a midnight tour of history.


Two New York University girls—drunk ones, so it seemed—call out to us, “Why are you all riding your bikes?”
“For a class!” we reply, rushing past and feeling the wind in our helmet hair.
“I don’t get that. I guess that’s why I go to NYU,” one says to the other.
And then my friend hums, “Oh, who owns New York?...”
This was the 35th Annual All-Night Bike Ride for the History of the City of New York class, taught by Kenneth Jackson, Jacques Barzun Professor in History and the Social Sciences. In a word—used at least once by each participant throughout the night—it was epic. Indulgent and extravagant, dangerous and obnoxious at times, this mass of around 250 people rode through the island of Manhattan in the wee hours of Friday morning, as if marking our territory.

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