Streetlevel: Traif Bike Gesheft

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The chickens at Traif Bike Gesheft obviously don’t fix the bikes; they’re just there to keep Joe Diamond company. Joe opened his bike shop (which translates from Yiddish to “Non-kosher Bike Shop”) a few months ago in a space behind the Time’s Up bicycle organization in Williamsburg, where he repairs and sells used bicycles, and raises chickens. It’s easy to miss. The entrance is a set of swinging saloon doors painted bright yellow that lead to a narrow alley to the right of the building. We stopped by the other day for some bicycle advice, and Joe mentioned that he has received 500 new used bikes, so if you’re looking for a reliable and well-loved steed—and, if you’re lucky, a freshly laid egg—check out his shop at 99 South Sixth Street between Berry and Bedford, or call (347) 245-8759 for opening hours. GMAP

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  • ugh now they are bringing their barnyard friends with them when they move to the city?


  • No no no no no. This cannot be true. Did you check the date? Today is Aug. 25, not April 1.

  • That chicken better not cr*p on my vintage Schwinn.

  • Can you buy a chicken there?

  • much like leaded organic tomato vines do not belong on rooftops, f’ing chickens do not belong in nyc. this new white people version of urbanity is just getting sickening and out of control. and im sorry if my viewpoint is offensive to some, it’s just how i feel.


  • Can you buy a chicken there?

  • What could be kosher, or non-kosher about a bike shop?

    Hipster irony, I presume, in which case it’s a great name.

  • > f’ing chickens do not belong in nyc. this new white people version of urbanity…

    Chickens are not exactly a new arrival in our fair metropolis.

  • What’s wrong with having a chicken in the city? It’s probably more humane than the people I see with gigantic overweight dogs they never exercise.

  • I’m afraid raising Chickens in NYC is not only “stuff that white people like”

    Although Organic Tomato vines on the roof do make me FURIOUS!!! Nothing makes me angrier … Everyone knows only Pigeon Coops belong on Rooftops … yummy, yummy squab.

  • HA!!!!! see!!! and yes yes i KNOW chickens are nothing new, but these new arrival chickens constantly squaking their purse thin beaks off.. they are annoying


  • Damn hipster chickens with their skinny leg jeans and ironic combs. A little PBR beer batter will fix ’em.

  • that’s not what im railing against. im railing against the new farm mentality. it’s really scary.


  • the chickens are useless unless they have a few (illegal) bee hives on the roof. If you’re going to do it, go in style!

    rob: if you get scared by “the new farm mentality,” how do you manage to live in NYC full time? I’m all for it, myself. The day I see goats in Grand Central or sheep grazing on the FDR will be a mighty fine day indeed…

  • i dont know but i sure hope people start to rally up against these smelly urban farmers and their disgusting disease carrying livestock and polluted crappy organic fruit and vegetables.


  • Hold still, rob.

    [Snarky reaches into his manpurse for an organic tomato]

  • okay skarky just how many times are you going to use that SAME joke!?


  • > okay skarky just how many times are you going to use that SAME joke!?

    Just this once. I don’t pay my writers to give me stale material, you know. But if this is a repeat, thanks for the heads up, I’m in a firing mood.

  • I have been waiting with baited breath for the backlash against all this precious back-to-the-urban-landism and locavoraciousness, all the chickens and beehives and hipster victory gardens, the organic beer-brewing and microgreen-growing, the ice-cream trucks with $9 cones whose mint-chip features mint with a distinctive volcanic “terroir”……and I believe Rob has provided the first flake of nasty radioactive fallout. Curiously, although I also fantasize about having both coops and aviaries here at the CrazyStable in the far farmlands of Flatbush, I find his reaction rather heartening. I love chickens and I love bicycles, but I simply draw the line at encountering them in an ironic juxtaposition. Williamsburg, like Camelot, is…a silly place.

  • Chickens are kosher, aren’t they?
    Very ironic.

  • I’ve been bitching about this now for a while… maybe we should start a new anti-faux-luddite urban movement. What could we call it? “Back to Concrete?”

  • Can we get some new voices here? You all have become caricatures of yourselves. Admittedly I have little to offer but it seems the rut is just getting deeper, I don’t believe any of what people write here anymore, seems like a bunch of phony baloney.

  • thanks brenda! (i think) hahah


  • I like chicken.

  • oh gross, im all for real believe me :) and heather im loving Back To Concrete!!!

    B2C REPRESENT!!!!!


  • “Williamsburg, like Camelot, is…a silly place.”

    And, Brenda, thank God for it. Or, should I say, thank adonai for it?

    Seriously, everyone complains that Brooklyn is becoming some sort of generic condo-land, but when something like this appears, you want the weirdos gone? I don’t get it.

  • but that’s just it, stuff like this is JUST as generic!


  • it starts with chickens, then wild turkeys, then you know what’s next right? f’ing peacocks!


  • Someone had a peacock in Manchester, England when I lived there. They make scary noises.

  • If the kid wants to fix bikes and raise chickens in the same place, he has every right. I think it’s odd, but I’d prefer to see that over a chinese restaurant, a dollar store or a condo. That’s the sort of weird stuff that makes Brooklyn unique.

  • Which part of Manchester did you live in mshook? I grew up there, but not near any domestic peacocks.

  • Ha ha ha Brenda, love your post. I am still looking for the ice man.

    Bob, I do believe combining chickens and bicycles together might not be strictly kosher, in that it’s unexpected. Obviously the proprietor is a fan of Mary Douglas, as well as fresh eggs.

  • quote:
    That’s the sort of weird stuff that makes Brooklyn unique.

    no it’s not. it makes it cheesy. and YES, peacocks make scary noises.


  • “”Williamsburg, like Camelot, is…a silly place.”

    Old people suck

  • Heather: “back to concrete” is great. Sign me up.

  • Well Rob, would you prefer the only chickens in Brooklyn to be fried and served with fries at a plexi-glass laden Chinese place? If so, I could recommend a number of fine neighborhoods, each complete without bike shops.

  • Snark, again, totally hilarious. Almost fell of my chair….twice.

  • rob…you would never want to stay at lasMananits in Curnavaca where peacocks roam the grounds and come up to the dining area. I’ll have to upload some pics into my flikr files

  • remember that episode of strangers with candy where jerry blank put on a play with a chicken and a mongoose? and the mongoose at the chicken? lol.


  • youre a sick sick person dave!



  • Rob, should we book you as a guest on Maury Povich? You know, he does those shows where people come on who have crazy fears of various items. They seem to be cured by the show’s end. Remember the woman scared to death of aluminum foil? She was happy to touch and crinkle it by the end! (L*rd, I can’t believe I just admitted to seeing that show)

  • YES! i loved those maury episodes!!!! i remember the lady who was DEATHLY afraid of PICKLES!!! im sure i could get over my fear of peacocks with proper exposure therapy, but i really have no desire to considering that as long as i stay out of the parks i wont see any. i did see someone with a peacock tshirt recently but i just walked away as quickly as i could without causing a scene.


  • Hmmm. . .and to think it’s the gesheft area that’s most prone to injury if one stops short on a bike. . .well then: There’s your irony!

    If you think chickens & bikes are a strange combo, I believe I have a topper:

    Several years ago, while coming down the steps of the Brighton line Avenue U station, the crowds were treated to the sight of a tiny, very old Asian woman, sitting on a milkcrate.

    She was skinning & selling eels to her left-with brassieres for sale to her right. She carried on like it was the most normal thing in the world. I didn’t stay long enough to see if anyone bought either product, & never saw her again.

    I am NOT making this up, & still can’t help but wonder what connection, if any, there could possibly be between these two very different commodities.

  • Now there’s a combo!

  • I love the whole back to earth n’ concrete thing. It used to be a common hing years ago, and I think the farming/gardening/beehiving (as long as its not hair)/ animal thing is great. True- some people are doing it because they think it makes them cool- but for a lot of folk its very fulfilling. gosh rob, even non-white people do it.

  • Eels and brassieres…that officially beats my own personal-best American-Dream Retailing Mix: the Bangla store on Church Avenue that sells “electronics, dried fish, luggages.”

    And, for the record: Eel-and-Brassiere Lady = “weird stuff that makes Brooklyn unique.” Hipsters with Free-Range Hens = kinda, but not so much.

  • Seriously. Must we all have crown molding and wooden shutters and just use our yards as a staging ground for our clever repartee at dinner parties? What is wrong with chickens or tomatoes or strawberries or bees or whatever?

    did i miss the memo about ‘haters tuesday’?

    ps- zebras make some freaky noises.

  • One main thing that is wrong with them is the soil you’re growing them in is like, majorly full of lead. There’s a reason people paved over those backyards, you realize?

    By the way, one of my dearest friends has chickens in her backyard in Park Slope. I just… you know, I am a child of the seventies. I’ve seen this back to nature urban thing before. West Philly was a hotbed. 99% (okay that’s an imaginary percentage) of it is absurd and not economically sustainable. Not to mention the whole lead poisoning issue.

  • > the whole lead poisoning issue.

    Plant your edibles in containers.

    Problem solved.

  • Even though I don’t agree, Back to Concrete is hilarious. And Gallstoner, that’s one great story.

    For the BTC folks, you need to also weigh the alternative. Giant Agribusiness is ruining the heartland–in Iowa and other big farm states, chemicals and pesticides are in the groundwater to such an extent that it’s becoming dangerous (you know, like skyrocketing cancer rates) for the folks who live there–not just the farmers. And that crap is in our food as well.

    So I will grow food in my backyard or in pots, use good dirt, and take my chances–I can wash my vegetables and use organic fertilizer. But to assume that veggies from many farm areas are safer just isn’t true. Veg eaters beware! :)