Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summer Friday

A couple of weeks ago, I had my first Summer Friday. I get a series of Fridays off to enjoy the fun of the city. Brett and I took this Friday to have an impromptu bike tour of Red Hook.

I've never explored Red Hook via bike, and it was lovely. En route we took a bike greenway.

As you can tell from this photo, New York greenways are a little different than in other cities. You might end up riding next to a giant orange truck.

Red hook was really lovely. It's difficult to get to via public transportation, so it's a wonderful secluded artist community. We stopped in the Red Hook Bait and Tackle to watch the World Cup.

Afterward, we decided to have a bicycle picnic. We stopped at Fairway and got picnic supplies including a bunch of berries.

We had lunch overlooking the Statue of Liberty. It was so beautiful, and we managed to get quite a spread from Fairway.

Brett has been working in Red Hook since he moved to Brooklyn, but it's never really been in my neck of the borough. I really like the area, and the people. I got a flat en route, and a buddy of Brett's provided us with a patch kit and some water to find the hole. Of course this would happen the one day I don't bring my bike kit, and Brett has no patches.

Red Hook is such a beautiful place, and everyone is very friendly.

As the LGRAB Summer Games comes to a close today, I thought this post which fulfills three tasks: ride a greenway, explore a new part of town, and have a bicycle picnic would be a wonderful way to end my time in this event.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Taking the Long Way Home

At the end of the work day, I aim to get on my bike and get home as quickly as possible. I use one of the shortest routes possible with the least amount of incline. It's a beautiful ride, but I hardly see anything new. I took a different route on Tuesday and took a right on 5th Avenue when I normally would have headed straight. I like 5th Avenue. It has a lot of shops that are really adorable, and some cool-looking bars. It's one of those places I don't think to go because it's just far enough to be inconvenient, but not far enough to seem like a journey. Riding down it during the evening rush hour was nice. It's a share bike like, so it can get a little tight when there is traffic moving in both directions. I made a left on Union Street to begin heading home. Union has a much steeper incline than my normal route, and intersects with Grand Army Plaza. The tree line street was lovely:

It made my ride a little tougher to take a longer route. But it also meant I didn't just pop on my bike and go home. I took a much more leisurely approach, and arrive a with a slight pep in my step. Thanks LGRAB Summer Games for making what seemed like an annoying task really enjoyable.

Scavenger Hunt

Last Sunday, Maya and Blake organized a scavenger hunt as part of the Robert Moses Walk Project. In March, Blake did walks with individuals exploring parks in their neighborhoods that Robert Moses had created. During each of the walks, a photographic image was noted, and used as the basis for the scavenger hunt. My team did an incredible job with the 15 images we were sent out to find. My favorite was the task of finding a location dedicated to children that never sees sunlight. We went to the Brooklyn Public Library main branch in Grand Army Plaza, and found an area in the children section of the library where no natural light exists. Here is our interpretation of the photographic memory from an earlier walk:

It was interesting to explore parts of the city with friends and keeping our eyes peeled for things we might not have been looking for (i.e. clothes on a clothesline). More importantly it was fun to explore the concept of memory and how things are constantly changing, and the difference between people's memories.

Key to the City

Last week, Charell and I got the keys to the city. It's an interesting art project that explores the idea of reclaiming the city. There are locks in all five boroughs. Part of receiving a key to the city is to bestow one to someone else as well. Charell and I had to express why each of us deserved it. I gave Charell a key for being an excellent mentor, and she gave me one for being her office lifeline. I'm really looking forward to opening the locks with my new key:

Three Year Day

Last week I met up with Brett to celebrate my three year anniversary in New York. It was also the one year anniversary celebration for his workplace. We met up in Red Hook, and walked to The Good Fork for dinner. En route, Brett showed me one of his favorite pieces of street art in the area:

I think it's really beautiful.

After the party, Brett helped me fix my wobbly seat. The seat was knocked askew when my housemate borrowed it, and had taken a fall.

I still can't believe it's been three years since I arrived in the city. It's become less scary and intimidating. I still find it hard, but it's just a matter of taking it a day at a time.