Tag Archives: biking

NYC weekend: bike date + day trip to Governors Island

On what must have been the sunniest day of the year, Ryan and I hopped on our bikes to celebrate summer with incredible food, ferry rides, and goats, of course.

BrooklynBridge

We pedaled down to South Brooklyn to the piers, where Smorasburg is held.  Smorgasburg is a giant food bizarre with more than 100 vendors offering New York’s city’s finest food served under a tent. It’s truly incredible. And it just keeps getting bigger. The New York Times described it as “the Woodstock of eating,” which seems about right. Shoes are not required.

Visiting Smorgasburg is one of Ryan’s and my favorite things to do during the summer. I wrote about another trip here. This beautiful water tower overlooked the event. You can see the white tops of the food tents in this photo.

Water Tower

We picked up some vegan fare at the ‘burg from Chickpea & Olive. Their jackfruit pulled “pork” sandwich hit the spot.

Chickpea & Olive

We ran into my neighbor and ate lunch with her and her friends. They were also heading to Govenors Island.

After a quick jaunt to snag some vegan ice cream we we headed over to Pier 6 to board the ferry with our bikes. There were so many people bringing their bikes on the ferry! I love seeing a popular bike community.

Fun fact: This photo was taken probably seconds before I broke a spoke and almost ruined the trip for us. Thank god there was Citibike on the island, so you don’t even have to bring your own bike! They also have independent bike rentals.

Here’s the South Manhattan view from the ferry.

Govenors Island has a rich American history, serving as an important location in the American Revolution and the Civil War. It has more recently been occupied and then abandoned by the Coast Guard, leaving it with tons of shut down buildings  that look like this:

Now it’s open for public use and it’s a great place to ride bikes with no cars! We made a few loops on our bikes and stopped at the shore to snap a photo of the lovely view of the Statue of Liberty.

Because I can’t resist a good farm, or any farm at all, we headed over to the urban farm to check out what they’re growing.

It’s a teaching garden, which educates public school kids on urban farming. There were lots of kids there helping plant seeds and till the soil.

This one even had livestock! Do you know how hard it is to take a photo of a chicken? They never stand still.

They also had some very sweet goats. I think I was more excited about them than the kids.

My gosh, how cute. Those eyelashes!

When someone first suggested that we visit Governor’s Island, we heard – and didn’t believe – that you could walk goats on a leash. It’s totally true!

Sadly, we missed the goat walk, but I definitely need to make this happen.

The island was lined with food trucks, so we stopped for some ice cream, took another lap on the bikes, and made our way home on one of the last ferry’s out.

NYC Weekend: Bike Date on the West Side Highway

Yesterday, the weather was perfect and Ryan and I decided to tackle the West Side Highway. We’ve been saying we would bike it since we moved here. Two years later, I’m wondering what took us so long, because it was a blast.

Bike-Date-3

The West Side highway is part of Manhattan’s Waterfront Greenway. I was a little skeptical about the waterfront aspect, because the waterfront route I take in Brooklyn isn’t on the water, not really. But this route followed the Hudson River and we were on the water the entire time.

I’m always invigorated when I get near water. I was surrounded by it growing up and absolutely love it.

So our bike date started in Brooklyn. We biked over the Manhattan Bridge, through SoHo, and eventually met up with the West Side Highway. It was crowded, of course, but especially so because of Fleet Week. The bike path touches all of the piers and ports. There were a few times when we had to dismount because of the crowd.

Once we got past 55th street, everything cleared up. We made our first stop at a little park (or possibly part of Riverside Park?). I was excited to see some wildlife (always). Baby geese!

I know these babies are going to grow up to be monsters, but they were so cute! And the mama was surprisingly nice and let me get pretty close.  Also, we ran into a mallard and his lady. He was looking very handsome.

ducks

My grandma instilled a love of mallards in me.

We ended up biking up to 125th street and cut across to eat at Seasoned Vegan in Harlem. After some fried “chicken” and pancakes, we felt fueled enough to head back.

We didn’t have a clear path back to the West Side Bike Path so ended up biking around Morningside Park and then through Riverside Park. After a few miles of biking, we stopped at a helipad to watch a huge helicopter take off. That was a first. Then we continued biking in silence until we stopped at a park south of Chelsea to take pictures of the flowers.

The park had a nice view of the water and downtown. Can you spot Ryan and our bikes?

I love my bike. It’s kind of crappy (it’s a Wal-Mart bike from the 90’s), but it’s been wonderful to me. It’s not fantastic for every-day commuting. It’s slow and weights almost twice as much as Ryan’s bike, even though his bike is much bigger than mine. But I think it’s super cute and fits my personality. I mean, I’m slow, and heavy for my size, and super cute. Right?

We then headed down to South Manhattan to finish our ride biking the southern tip of the peninsula.  We were pushed off the trail because of some construction and found this weird stone and plant structure by the water in the Battery.

It turns out it was the Irish Hunger Memorial. I thought it looked really out of place surrounded by hotels and concrete and that’s because it’s designed to reflect the scenery of rural Ireland.

We finished up our trip in Manhattan by going down to Battery City Park. I will not do this again. Sure you can see the Statue of Liberty and all of the ferries, but it’s a nightmare. There are people everywhere and the bike lanes are merged with the pedestrian lanes causing frustration for all. There’s also a lot of construction and confusion as to where the bike lanes are.

The whole trip was almost 29 miles and we were out for about five hours, so we were pretty exhausted by the end. The distance wasn’t as long as our trip on the St. Mark’s trail, but it definitely took a lot longer due to congestion.

During the past couple of days, Ryan and I have really picked up our biking. This ride put us in at around 70 miles this week, which is the most I’ve ever done!

 

 

life lately

I’ve let my job take the wheel these past few weeks. By the time I get home from work, my brain is fried, and I’m finding it hard to get anything done. I zombie out in front of the TV or occasionally attempt reading a book. I usually try to dedicate a little bit of time after work to learning new things like programming, Photoshop, or even reading up on current events or spending time on Wikipedia. But, these days, I can hardly tolerate looking at a computer screen after 5 p.m. The good news is, I anticipate my job getting easier in the next few weeks.

Despite all of that, I’m still having lots of fun, mostly on the weekends. Here are a few glimpses of some things that have been happening.

Ryan and I have been biking from Tallahassee to St. Marks. It’s intense and awesome.

st. marks sign

Here we are once we made it to St. Marks. We’re super sweaty. Did I mention it’s like 99 degrees outside?

st. marks

Ryan and I own bikes, but we’re not bikers. I was so proud of our Map My Run stats, since it was our first ride. We’ve been back and beaten this time already.

map my run

Grilled pizza. Before and after.

grilled pizza before

grilled pizza after

The biggest moth on my front porch. Yes, I live in the jungle. And yes, I have fears of this thing flying right into my face every single day. Ever notice how flying insects have no sense of direction?

gigantor moth

The best vegetarian product – Gardein’s Mandarin Orange Chick’n. I can eat an entire bag.

gardenin chick'n

I only take photos of food, don’t you know? This is our latest CSA share. I made the best squash quiche with the squash. We renewed our share for fall.

csa share

Ryan and I are trying to take a photo at least once a month. We’re really bad at it.

<3

But we’re getting better. This was taken on his birthday. <3

<3

I love him so much.

apalachicola was so good to us

Sigh. Why did our weekend in Apalachicola have to end? My friends and I rented a condo by the bay and spent most of our time inebriated reveling in the charm of this ‘old Florida town.’

Why do sleepovers disappear once we grow up? Waking up next to my friends is the best, and not just because of their morning cocktail skills, but because they remember to buy pickled green bean stirrers.

bloody mary

I made my favorite banana pancake recipe for them. <3

Our condo came with bikes, so naturally we took to the town (which couldn’t have been larger than a square mile).

bikes

bikes

Apalachicola has a large art scene. There are quite a few galleries and displays of local artists are everywhere. My favorite were the garden decor and sculptures.

sculpted fish

sculpted chickens

This town had, you know…priorities.

liquor potter

And so did we. I had my first push pop.

push pops

Bought these awesome under-the-sea sprinkles!

sharks sprinkles

And made sure to take plenty of photos with tacky 90’s girl-power bumper stickers.

chicks rule

I love the coconut candle display in the background.