Molly's Old North End mural

 

We met Molly through warmshowers.org, a website that connects hosts with bike tourers who need a place to lay their head for the night (and perhaps laundry, snacks, and of course -- a warm shower). I've used warmshowers while traveling by bike, so when I get a call or e-mail from a bike tourer looking for a place to crash, I'm always inclined to pay it forward and inviting them to stay with me.

Molly hails from Washington and California. She and her friend Tyler took the train from Seattle to Utica to join up with their bike-traveling friend, Ian. Coincidentally, Dan and I know Ian because he started Bicycle Benefits here in Burlington and has since started Bicycle Benefits programs in cities all over the country. Long story short: we hit it off instantly with the bike tourers and they stayed in the backyard for a full week while they explored Burlington and beyond.

We learned that Molly is a super talented muralist and very passionate about bikes. When we told Molly about Bike Recycle Vermont and she saw the shop for the first time, she quickly offered to paint a mural in the shop's foyer. We were thrilled.

After some discussion, we all decided that the mural should illustrate our neighborhood, the Old North End, and include the kind of bicycle infrastructure that we'd like to see. We wanted bike lanes filled with people smiling and riding past our favorite neighborhood haunts and landmarks. The result was on point.

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Molly made the intersection of North Winooski Ave. and North Street the central feature and incorporated so many Old North End businesses and organizations that we love. Many Get A Bike clients stopped to chat with Molly while she painted. They pointed out where they lived, their favorite part and the mural, and expressed so much enthusiasm for seeing their neighborhood illustrated by a visiting artist.

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Barrio Bakery, Sustainability Academy, The Shopping Bag, African Market, and the Champlain Senior Center...

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Himalayan Market, Ray's Seafood, The Old Northender, and Sara Holbrook...

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Fletcher Free Library, City Market, and King Street Center...

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Our shops, Old Spokes Home & Bike Recycle Vermont, and some of Stu McGowan's colorful houses!

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Some of our North Winooski Avenue neighbors: The Vermont Workers' Center, Butch + Babe's, The Children's Space...

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Battery Park, Beansie's, and Local Motion's bike ferry...

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The Boy's and Girl's Club, Thai Phat, Integrated Arts Academy, and the Old North End Farmer's Market.

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Isn't the mural amazing? Stop by the shop to check it out in person, and check out more of Molly's art here and here.

Thank you, Molly! This mural is an incredible gift to the shop and beautifully illustrates our lovely city. We loved hosting you, Ian, and Tyler, and he hope you all make your way back to Burlington one day. Happy travels!

 

by Christine Hill, Outreach Director