Brian Howald Profile picture
• 7th-gen. new yorker • member @bkcb02 • @LASchools, @NYCSchools, & stanford cs & urban studies • maker of @HowsMyDrivingNY • eng. mngr. @petal • never a driver
Nov 22, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
I attended yesterday’s @NYC_SafeStreets World Day of Remembrance event and am glad I did. I’ve attended five WDOR ceremonies, and each time I’m reminded that there is no substitute for the words of victims and their families if you seek to be moved. Image I’ve watched FSS members recount their stories at community board meetings, DOT charettes, press conferences, etc. The details they share of their loved ones or of themselves before their crashes, more than anything, have a power to silence all discussion and argument.
Oct 11, 2021 25 tweets 4 min read
About ten years ago, I had a bout of health anxiety that took seven months to recover from. I learned that I could become of a victim of my own brain and how to be skeptical, not just of my judgments, but of things as basic as the sensations of my body.

The triggering event was likely esophageal spasms linked to anger over being illegally denied an apartment due to my age. They started as my red-eye from SFO to NYC taxied for takeoff. Having never felt that pain before, I thought I was having a heart attack.

Oct 3, 2021 24 tweets 4 min read
Continuing my critique of conflating advocacy for advocacy-adjacent spaces, particularly Twitter, but also including social activities connected to advocacy, sometimes beneficial and sometimes not, using Jonathan Smucker's "Hegemony How-To":

I was required to take "The Ethics and Politics of Public Service" as part of my Urban Society & Social Change conc. in the Urban Studies major. We discussed many topics, including direct relief vs. systemic change, and were repeatedly forced to question our motives.

Sep 28, 2021 14 tweets 2 min read
I was asked/challenged to synthesize my thoughts on advocacy-adjacent spaces on Twitter (transit, urbanist, bike, etc.). I'm still working on how advocacy-adjacent can get conflated with advocacy and what that means, but I thought I'd share some of a book I'm reading: "A cohesive sense of group dramatically increases participants' willingness to give of ourselves, our time and energy, and even to risk our safety for the sake of a greater good...
May 8, 2020 29 tweets 17 min read
Yesterday, I took my first #bikenyc ride in two months!

What’s more? I did it entirely from memory (did not use maps for navigation while riding, though I did study the route the night before)

(h/t to @akgerber and @CWFNYC for the idea.)

1/ For the first 20 minutes, I forgot how to ride a bike on the streets of Brooklyn.

Moving at speed while outside, even being outside itself felt unnatural.

Dec 12, 2017 14 tweets 6 min read
I was biking to a community mtg. tonight when I saw multiple vehicles driving in the 3rd Ave. bike lane.

A man stuck his head out the window waving a non-NYPD placard, telling me to pull over, claiming to be a police officer.

When challenged, he hid the placard & his face.

I noticed he had a driver wearing a suit.