Friday, March 30, 2007

In my previous article, I mentioned a future ride that would bring me to Roosevelt Island. Well, just a few days later, here we are! Actually, despite the slight dip in temperature, the weather turned out to be perfect for a ride. The skies were sunny and clear and the wind was low. I was ready to complete my touring of New York City and head off into Queens and, once again, off the island (though a considerably smaller distance). Still, it's nice to be out and about in the city in spring!

Though probably one of the most photographed places in Brooklyn, I thought the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Arch was as good a place to start as any.

If there's one thing I've learned while biking New York, it's that you really have to trust the maps that there's a bike path on a bridge. I mean really trust them. I don't know about you, but when I came upon this scene (it's the Pulaski Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens, by the way), I couldn't for the life of me fathom there being a bike lane. All I saw was 4 lanes of very high speed traffic. Sure enough, though extremely well hidden (psst..its under the bridge), it's there.

And here it is! A barbed-wire entrance off of an industrial road. Friendly!

The upside is that, while crossing over the bridge, you get a pretty amazing view of the city. Not Brooklyn Bridge "amazing", but still..quite nice. It took me a few times to get this shot. I was standing on the drawbridge portion of the bridge and it shook pretty well everytime a car passed over it.

Into Queens, I go. Apparently, Helen Marshall doesn't have the same sense of humor that our Marty Markowitz has. Still, it was nice to have the transition be acknowledged.

I wasn't able to find too much information on this sign online (except other people who also took pictures of it). There were quite a few of these in Long Island City, where I was biking through. They seemed to lay out a path one could hike to tour the neighborhood. To be quite honest though, I don't know who would want to. This would mark my second time in LIC and neither time left me very impressed. The area where this sign appeared was actually pretty industrial.

The Queensboro Bridge. I had a bit of trouble finding a good place to take this shot. As you can see, there were alot of trees at the base of the bridge. Not that I have a problem with that, it just made finding a good angle hard and I did want to get a shot of it. During an earlier plan, I had intended to ride over the bridge, as well. After reading numerous accounts by other cyclists about how crappy it was, I decided against it and instead continued on.

Roosevelt Island, bringing a new definition to "peace and quiet" in the city. Living in New York, you take noise for granted. It's always there, like a constant hum. Roosevelt Island, on the other hand, which is very small and mainly travelled by foot, was incredibly serene. On a sunny day like today, it was hard not to want to spend my whole day relaxing there. The only constant sound is of the water around you. Not a bad thing at all.

The lighthouse on the tip of the island. Apparently it was built in 1872 by the same designer who did St. Patrick's cathedral. Just north of the lighthouse was the same small island I pictured in my first trip (along with the Triborough Bridge. What you might not know is that there was a little debate at home as to what that island was (as well as the bridge itself, which Genevieve was right on, it is the Triborough). Turns out, it's called Mill Rock Park, a small island that's been closed to the public since the 1960's.

A bow of the ship built into the island, looking out into Manhattan. Okay, technically, Roosevelt Island is part of the borough of Manhattan (making it 3 boroughs I hit during today's trip), but you know what I mean.

These two sculptures by Tom Otterness were just off of the edge of the island. I've seen this artist's work before, in the subway. Though the first one is kind of cute, I found the second to be more than a little creepy.

This probably marks my last "tour" within the city, not counting any official ones like the Five Boro Bike Tour", which Genevieve and I plan on doing this year, as well as "The New York Century", which these rides have been my way of gauging if I'll be prepared for. In case you don't know, a bike tour that's a "Century" is 100 miles. I'm going to be working up my endurance at Prospect Park. According to my math, I'll have to be able to do the lap 30 times in order to equal 100 miles. Don't expect pictures of that ;)