Sunday, July 19, 2009

Squid on Wheels: Riding Around Manhattan

It has been two years since we last attempted to circumnavigate our home island and, in reality, on this trip, we actually circumcised the island ... we cut off the tip after encountering heavy tourist traffic at the southern end.

We started by meeting a friend and his dad and rode up to Fairway to buy the fixings for a picnic breakfast for later in the morning. We then made a brief stop at the base of the George Washington Bridge. I am always amazed at the size difference between the Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Grey Bridge! After ascending the hill that starts at the light house, we rode a bit more before stopping to admire the view from Inspiration Point.
At Inwood Park, while the adults schmoozed, the kids ran out and grabbed a geocache that we'd failed to find on a previous trip.

Little Squid discovered a quicker way back to the path.
Squidette got caught trying to sneak up on the adults.

The view from our breakfast spot.
Starting downtown, we paused to admire the only surviving farmhouse in Manhattan. Very strange to think about farms in Manhattan. Very strange!
As I chatted with our friends, we all commented on the fact that we cannot name a single neighborhood in Manhattan that is not gentrifying. Even those areas with a heavy load of low income housing projects are being inundated with upscale residences and the accompanying businesses. Swindlers Cove is an example of that change.Amazing change, isn't it.

We continued our journey but after Swindler's Cove I stopped taking pictures and we, for the most part, stopped playing tourist and just concentrated on riding. We worked our way down the east side of Manhattan, pausing to use the facilities at Carl Shurz park, and rode down and across the tip of the island. The last few miles were arduous, mainly because it was now mid-day and all of Manhattan seemed to be out and about on the waterfront. The crowds were such that we had to ride very carefully and spent the rest of the trip concentrating on not hitting runners, pedestrians, roller bladers and other cylists.

Total mileage: 34 miles bringing us up to 56 for the weekend.


Penny said...

Well, if I recall my "History of the City of NY with Kenneth Jackson" course correctly (which is unlikely) much of that southern tip is landfill(ed) (which is not to be a comment on our tourists), so if you want to say you circumnavigated the bedrock of your home island... ;) (a circumnavigation of my island would be quite the trek.) I wish I was as active as you are. You inspire me to at least walk more. Only 3 miles today, but it's something.

Kristen said...

It was a gorgeous weekend for riding; you guys are so intrepid!

I'd never heard of the Dykman farmhouse and now have a new place to visit sometime when visiting my sister.
The book The Island at the Center of the World recalls when Manhattan was a wilderness and then farm country. It does boggle the mind to try and picture it.

Ina said...

Sweet ride, thanks for sharing it.