As someone who lives and walks this city daily…my blog is all about delving a little deeper, seeing what it has to offer, and capturing the true essence of New York City. Whether you live in Gotham, or just visiting…feel free to look around my blog. Bet you might find something new to do!
P.S. As of the end of April 2013 my more personal postings will now be at The Next Few Years.
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Category Archives: Cycling
Tucked away in Harlem, Covo Trattoria and wine bar is housed in an old railroad station under the rumbling Henry Hudson Parkway. An easy 25 minute bike ride from the apartment with nice views of the Hudson River…spring has definitely sprung!
**Will be reporting in from Stockholm, Sweden for the next ten days so stay tuned!**
on the street…upper west side…nyc
Now you don’t see this every day! Wowza!
Nor do I see my handsome Argentine son every day either! Double Wowza!
A brisk ride to my favorite cathedral, St. John Divine…
My second year to the annual Blessings of the Bikes…
Greeted with a basket of chocolate croissants…
Hooked up with my dear friend, Pippa…
Blessed with holy water to keep me safe on the streets of NYC…
A great breakfast at an adorable diner in the Morningside Heights area…
Off to the New Amsterdam Bike show…
LIFE is GREAT!
A free bike tour and bbq lunch? Sign me up! Yours truly was lucky enough on Saturday to join a small group, compliments of the Active Trails grant, on the first-ever bike trail ride from Grant’s Tomb to Governors Island. This grant has enabled the park to develop and launch a ranger-led bike tour that will serve thousands and focus on both youth and the public. And it just so happened to be National Public Lands Day. National Public Lands Day? Looks like September 25th is set aside to promote the enjoyment and volunteer conservation of public lands. Who knew?
We started right in my neighborhood in the Upper West Side. Grant’s Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America, was not only Grant’s final resting place, but for his wife Julia as well. On our bikes, we traveled south on the Riverside bike path amongst thousands of participants for the annual Big Brothers and Big Sisters Race for the kids run/walk. As we slowly, and I mean s-l-o-w-l-y, made our way through this crowd to Battery Park, park rangers provided information on the history and ecology of New York harbor and its parks.
A short (free!) ferry ride and we’re on the island and greeted with a fabulous barbeque lunch. Thinking it would be a typical box lunch…but NO, a fabulous first class picnic with roasted corn on the cob, the most tender bbq chicken, to die for roasted potatoes, salads, burgers, brownies, you name it. Nestled under the mature elm and maple trees, we all felt like we’d died and gone to heaven. Throughout the tranquil lunch, I could have sworn I was hanging out on a plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.
Next up, a group tour led by Ranger Natalie of the 172 acre island (the shape of an ice cream cone) surrounded by the Manhattan skyline to the north, the Brooklyn waterfront to the east and the Statue of Liberty to the west. We learned all about the inhabitants of the island, first by the US Army and then the Coast Guard. Just this year an agreement was made to make the city of New York the proud owners, resulting in the creation of a trust with the mission to bring the island back to life.
My favorite area was the southern part of the island called picnic point, an eight-acre park offering views of the Statue of Liberty with hammocks to relax and pass the day away. Just the beginning, but already Governors Island is showing great promise to be a major destination for both locals and tourists. The most excellent day!
My first 75 miler!
What better way to support better biking in NYC by…riding a bike! Transportation Alternatives, a non-profit advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit, hosted their 21st annual NYC Century Bike Tour throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx.
I can’t say that I’ve seen Central Park at 6:00 a.m. until this ride. The sky turned pink just before the morning sun started to peep through the high rises on the East side. Lots of clouds and the possibility of a sprinkle of rain at any moment, but with positive thoughts it didn’t materialize. Our group of ten adventurous cyclists gathered at the Boathouse. We started the ride at the north end of Central park and then rode south, past City Hall Park and over the Brooklyn Bridge.
As we worked our way towards the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge the most beautiful sight appeared before our eyes. The massive Queen Mary 2 made her way under the bridge. A rare experience that will never be forgotten.
Next up, Coney Island. Specifically Nathan’s on Surf Avenue. Did you know there are 1,444 calories in a large order of chili cheese fries? Thank God I don’t like chili, but the hot dog and Nathan’s famous fresh cut fries were superb. I felt better knowing that I would burn every one of those 982 calories during the ride!
After we made our way through Sheepshead Bay and Fort Tilden, we passed Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, a refuge encompassing over 9,000 acres. We experienced a light shower of rain, but still no major weather worries as we rode through Far Rockaway and continued on through the boro of Queens. The weather improved and as we rode closer to La Guardia airport a huge jet flew right over us. It was awesome. So close you could reach up and touch it, well almost. Now that was one for the memory books!
We slowly crossed over the RFK bridge, aka the Triboro Bridge, that connects Queens to Randall’s Island. We flexed our muscles as we carried our bikes up and down the stairs as we made our way over. Thank God for light road bikes, especially as we were nearing the end of 75 miles! Randall’s Island was full of bike paths and scenic walks not to mention a mecca for tennis, golf, soccer and baseball. (Note to self: return!)
As we entered Harlem to finish the ride at the northern end of Central Park, we were met with a touch of rain. At this point, who cared? As always, another wonderful opportunity to see more of New York City with a very fun group of cyclists! And trust me, the hot shower and a few glasses of Gruet made for a perfect ending to that 75 mile day!
On the return trip from Virginia to NYC, the hunger pains set in and it was time to find some lunch. We ventured off of interstate 81 and drove along route 11 until we came upon the little town of Williamsport in Maryland. An adorable spot just off of the Potomac River. Right away I could sense it was a bicycle friendly town, but wasn’t sure why. It didn’t take long to find out.
We were greeted by friendly folks behind the counter who happened to be chatting it up with a customer. Good start; a nice, neighborly place. I inquired about their most “asked for” item on the menu and was promptly told they had the best red beans and rice and their turkey panini was excellent. Well I can’t speak for the red beans and rice as the gotham girl isn’t a bean lover, but I can certainly vouch for the panini with a side of raw veggies. Excellent. Topped off with a home-made brownie…one word – yummers.
Rose, manager and co-owner of the cafe, told us how she came about her name – Desert Rose Harris. Her parents gave her that name since she was born in the desert of Arizona – Apache Junction. So of course we had to chat a bit about Arizona, her love of cycling and how she thrives by meeting and serving everyone from locals, to travelers, to hikers and of course, cyclists. To learn more visit www.desertrosecafeandcatering.com.
I just love these small little towns you just happen upon during your travels. You’re clueless as to what they’re about, yet within no time you learn quite a bit and feel you must return. And one day I will. Here’s why. Williamsport is a stop on the C&O. What’s the C&O? That was my exact question when I started chatting with two gals who rode up with bulging panniers and asked me with exuberance, “Have you experienced the C&O?” One of the gals had biked from Pittsburgh by herself (and probably twenty years my senior) and her friend had biked from Cumberland to join up with her in Williamsport, both cycling via the C&O towpath. Once I returned home and researched the C&O, it’s now been added to my “bucket” list.
At 184.5 miles, this towpath is one of the longest trails in Maryland and a haven for walkers, runners and cyclists. Even Bicycling Magazine honored C&O as one of “Fifteen Trips We Love” in one of their past issues. To learn more about what a towpath is all about and the details of the trail, check out www.bikewashington.org/canal.
I can’t even imagine what this ride would be like with fall foliage! (Note to self: add fall foliage to C&O on my bucket list!) See you on the trail one day!