I’m in the market for a new bike. Nothing fancy – maybe an old cruiser or 10 speed. I’ve been kind of looking around for a while now, and I have to say that there is no place quite like the New Orleans used bike shop. Exhibit A: The business card for Mr. White’s Paris Avenue grocery store, snowball stand, and bike plus shop. That’s right. Grocery store, snowball stand AND bike “plus” stop. (the plus stands for extra friendly service…and maybe drugs) If that’s not enough for you, they also rent balloons, spacewalks and – as any good N’awlins business must – they sell po’boys. Plus, Mr. White promises that the prices can’t be beat, and he’ll be the first to tell you that his cross-town rival, “Joe’s Bike Shop,” will just rip you off and sell you a “busted up” bike.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been bike shopping when I realized that not only was I craving a fried shrimp sandwich, but I also needed to pick up some detergent. Finally! A place to accomodate my every last need.
I don’t think you’ll find anything quite like Mr. White’s outside of this city. On my last trip, I unfortunately didn’t have a camera, but if I’m not too hungover after this weekend’s St. Patty’s day parades, I’ll make a return trip to photograph this bizarre little building sitting in the middle of Paris Avenue. Every bike shop here is so unique, I’m hoping to make this a a regular feature on the site. Hopefully at least a few of you will find this as fascinating as I do. And hopefully I’ll be walking away with a sweet new ride.
You may be asking yourself, “What’s the point, Jimmy? Does it have any architectural significance?” Well…I’m sure it does, but I’ll leave that for you to consider. (at least for now.)
UPDATE: didn’t make it to Mr. White’s last weekend, but I did find a few good bikes at flea markets. The search continues…