It’s time to head home to Baltimore after this quick trip to NYC with the Brompton, so after a lazy morning, I packed up and rode the bike over to Bergen and Flatbush for brunch with E. She took the subway and just missed her train. I took bike lanes and stopped twice to double check directions, and I beat her by about four minutes. I wonder how long I’d have to live in NYC for that game to get old. Anyway, the Brompton neatly folded and sat next to us, and after I watched a couple of strollers barrel through there I wondered why I would ever be nervous about this bike taking up too much space. After breakfast I popped the bike open and headed toward the Brooklyn Bridge en route to Penn Station. I basically followed the signs to the bridge where I was greeted by a zillion walkers pouring into Brooklyn as part of some kind of walkathon. Sigh. I used my bell and my voice to navigate the throngs successfully and then I was in the city again, zigging and zagging to Hudson and then the slight right to 8th Avenue and the fancy protected bike lane, complete with its ver own stoplight, studiously observed by no one but me. I wonder how long I’d have to in NYC before I would be flying through those along with the other bikers who passed me (but who never ended up more than a block or two ahead of me, but whatever). I snapped this picture stopped at one of those intersections~dang, that is good design, and frankly, I’d marry that bike infrastructure if it were legal in New York State. The light turned, I pedaled through, pulling up again at 31st Street where I folded up and hopped into the train station, got my ticket, went down the escalator, shoved the bike above my seat, and now I’ll read my way home, having seen more of New York on my bike this weekend than I have in years. Brompton for the win!
I woke up early this morning, packed a weekend’s worth of gear in the Brompton’s bag, and flew down the hill to Penn Station where I folded up the bike and shoved it onto the overhead luggage rack for our getaway weekend in New York City. This is precisely why I got the Brompton~so we could do short trips along the Eastern seaboard together. Yeah, I was pretty excited. After getting over my nerves about the whole thing (I’m the anxious type) I settled in and enjoyed the ease of travel. Literally three minutes after I got off the train at Penn Station I was u.folded and dodging traffic and other cyclists on Eighth Avenue and then over to Fifth to meet up with my sister for keys to the house. I goggleymapped directions and found myself rolling down Fifth with all the buses, taxis, and pedestrians, an unexpected danger. Oh, it was fun, so, so fun, even if a little scary. I finally got off the freeway and onto side streets over to the bike path along the river. I snapped this picture looking toward the pier, which is like Disneyland compared to what it looked like 15 years ago when I lived in NYC. Now it’s this beautiful bike path and a succession of parks-a playground, but for folks who used to call this home, it is a real loss. I mean, what are yachts doing there? Across the river just looks like every New York metro area skyline–a postcard. I took my left and followed the signs to the Brooklyn Bridge where I did a series of portraits of Brompty, and then I fumbled around Brooklyn before getting myself headed in the right direction, and then I was at my sister’s where I just folded the bike, lugged it up a few flights, and tucked it away behind the TV. Yep, I have everything I need to live in NYC, except for the patience you must need to live somewhere so crowded. I look forward to many more rides with Brompty, though. This place is fun to ride in, that’s for sure.
I’ve been watching this documentary about New York City, and it is blowing my mind. I am a lot of talk about the importance of bicycle infrastructure, but part of me thinks we’ve already got the roads we’ve got and it might just be too much trouble/money/work to really fundamentally change them. And then I learn about Robert Moses and the development of car culture. Continue reading
I am back in New Orleans from a most wonderful week in New York City. I had a ridiculously good time with E., wandering around and getting my National Parks Passport stamped. America’s Best Idea, indeed. NYC is so, so different from anywhere else, of course, but what I noticed was how different it is from where I am now. I live in a really small town. I find it almost impossible to get lost anymore, and it is rare to go out and about and not run into someone you know, or someone who knows you. Continue reading
I am having a most wonderful vacation in NYC, in spite of having to *gasp* walk. This town is made to bike, and there is a ridiculously fantastic bicycle infrastructure here. Sharrows! Buffered bike lanes! Bicycles, bicycles everywhere. I want to move back here with my bicycles and bike every last one of these lanes. Today, though, I rented a bike and was just happy to get to pedal a bit and let my feet and legs rest. I am in great biking shape. Walking? Not so much. I rode around Governor’s Island, learning some history and dodging a zillion bicyclists and walkers and Civil War reenactors (not Rebs, like they’d be back home, but just as weird). The sun was bright and all was right with the world. I snapped this picture of overgrown weeds in front of some abandoned Coast Guard housing. Right across from here are views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan and all kinds of big city views of a fantastical nature, but this is the view that reminded me of home. Oh, I am most pleased to be living here and there, now.
Tonight I took L.’s bike back to A.’s apartment building in upper Park Slope. Why does her bike live somewhere else? Continue reading
After getting some hard work done today, I rewarded myself with another ride around NYC. This time I went over the Manhattan Bridge–far less ped/bike friendly than the Brooklyn or Williamsburg bridges, but emptier for that, and I enjoyed the solitude. Continue reading