downtownfrombehind (DFB) is a photographic series capturing subjects riding their bike from behind on some 200+ streets, avenues and lanes below 14th street in New York City.

The result is an environmental portrait for each street and subject with a goal to highlight a set of individuals, emerging and established, each uniquely contributing; culturally, socially and physically, to make this part of the city what it is today.

The project has been widely covered in the press, from New York Times, Huffington Post, Coolhunting, Vogue, Nylon Magazine and many blogs (thankyou).

Subjects photographed to date include industrial designers, architects, creative directors, restauranteurs, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, artists and academics.


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3 posts tagged bike


14th Street, Justyna Sroka, Student, Film, Media and Political Science Major for Downtownfrombehind.

Bust out your bike.  It’s Spring.  And do you best to get an outside table at Gitane Café. If you’re a Nolita local, then maybe Justyna has sat you at Gitane.  When she’s not sitting you, she is studying, hard.  She is one very focused and refreshingly determined young lady.  For now it’s documentary films, her narrative usually involving a twist on social injustice.  She will graduate from Hunter College in May 2012 with Beunos Aires a consideration for a tweleve month stint as she is looking to pick up an additional language.  She’s had an interest in politics and global economy for as long as she can remember, and when other young girls were dreaming about owning ponys, she had her sight set on Polish presidency.  A goal that seems very achievable upon getting to know her, she did after all tour professionally on the European handball circuit for Poland at sixteen, uh hum.  Her inspiration cult documentary go to film is Burden of Dreams (by Les Blank, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, in the jungles of South America), do your homework, its worth it.

More Justyna at   DFB.



CEDAR STREET, Roya Kazemi, NYC Mayor’s Office, Director of GreeNYC.

Roya, a lover of big cats who dreams of one day hugging a tiger, is also a downtown junkie. She’s been satiating her raging social habit across lower Manhattan since she was barely a teen, has lived in Battery Park City for more than twelve years and has worked below Houston Street for almost as long. Her career started in the music industry, working at Virgin Records America and later at indie labels. Since then, Roya has found her groove in greener pastures: the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability.  As Director of GreeNYC, she is now all about motivating New Yorkers to make sustainable lifestyle choices. When not at City Hall or running along the Hudson, you may spot her strolling through town with GreeNYC’s lovable 7-foot mascot, Birdie. Roya says the stares they get are all worth it if even just one New Yorker is inspired to act on Birdie’s messages to help green NYC. Birdie’s not the only furry love in Roya’s life. Her pitbull rescue, Daisy, is a regular winner at the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog parade – and this Jackie O costume explains it all.  DFB.


HOUSTON STREET, Colin Brice and Caleb Mulvena, architects and founders of Mapos for Downtownfrombehind.

Colin and Caleb have had somewhat of a professional romance for almost fifteen years. They worked at opposing firms, chasing one another from Aspen to Boston during their careers before finally deciding to tie the knot (so to speak) in New York launching their own studio, Mapos, in 2007. Perched in a modern loft on the Bowery, their office is full of architects, designers, and hard-to-label creatives who provide the multi-disciplinary services for creative concepts, architectural environments and experiential branding. We first stumbled upon their work, the restoration of the former YMCA building on Bowery now green retail store Green Depot at its opening. Green Depot is a great destination for several reasons, for us it’s the retail hit and history fix all in one. The original pool tiles still dress its beams and what was once a pool (you can still see the concrete outline) is now full of green products. The guys are currently working on a full rebranding for skin care and cosmetics national store Fresh. The first of the new look stores was unveiled recently at the Broadway and 18th street location just north of Union Square. Colin and Caleb are fearless bikers, coffee enthusiasts, and occasional models (see J. Crew catalogue circa 2009). They frequent Tom and Jerry’s for cold beer. So do we. DFB.

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