Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Heart NY

Today we rode our bikes from Brooklyn to Central Park and back again, thanks to Mayor Bloomberg's latest trick, Summer Streets. Today from 7am to 1pm, Park Avenue was closed to cars, and packed with all manner of wheels. There were pedestrians too, but I think the freedom of riding up the avenue got the best of biker courtesy. NYC is a pedestrian's town everyday, but for a few hours on only three Saturdays, it was ours.

sir, can we have some more?

Maybe just one north/south avenue, all the time? OKay, I know that's asking a lot, but the cars get every road, every day. If we can't have a whole avenue, how about more lanes like the new one on Ninth Avenue?

We saw so much city. I finally saw the Bethesda Fountain. We rode bikes in Central Park. We rode down the West Side highway (which James does every time he takes film to Aporia, but it was my first). We stopped for a few minutes in front of James's old office on 32nd street, from the first year we lived here, and while there, ran into an acquaintance we haven't seen in a year.

The best part, by far, was riding straight up the face of the Grand Central Station, and then around the back, on the taxi route.

My usual bike commute has one tricky part, on Centre Street from the Brooklyn Bridge to below Spring street. The whole route was car free, and took half as much time, zero stress, and much joy.

My friend/academic adviser/bike mentor Bryan Waterman calls the experience "that gentle post-apocalyptic feeling." It was a trip.

Bryan and Cyrus R. K. Patell have invited me to contribute to the History of New York blog. I've written my first entry today, on Woody Allen. I taught the Writing New York course with them at New York University these past two spring semesters, and loved every minute (not spent grading). Now that I'm not teaching, I'm thrilled to have a new outlet for my New York crush. Check it out.


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