Into Brooklyn

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September 8th 2018
Published: September 9th 2018
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waiting for the subway. Complicated system (duh!) made more so by weekend and closures to upgrade tracks but we had Richard to guide us and help us learn it.
Saturday in NYC means some of the subway lines aren't operating or are on different schedules. We left the hotel for the subway stop right near the door. Got off and walked a bit to the Tenement Museum which was a great tour. We had seen a piece on it on Sunday Morning a couple months ago and were looking forward to it. Great stories, good guide.

Then wandered over through one of the four Chinatowns in NYC, making our way to the Fulton Market and the waterfront. Was quite a bit like China at several points--the people playing music and games in the park, the open fresh food markets and lots of wares in lots of little shops. Great meal at a restaurant that I thought I took a picture of from the outside but I don't find on the card...!

Walked down to the waterfront area, Fulton Market, checked out the older ships and the high water mark from Hurricane Sandy. On the way, stopped at Papaya Dog for a very refreshing pina colada flavored frozen drink. Went on to the bike rental spot to get our bikes, helmets, and baskets for the day's ride. Also, for this ride, we needed lights on the front and back, since we were going to be back after dark.

Rode along the waterfront (finally--a real bike lane), stopping every so often for a story, then cut up to get to the Manhattan Bridge access lane. All fire stations have a 'name' and mascot; we thought it a bit curious that this one was actually breathing fire but it represents the fight against fire. So, up and over the Manhattan Bridge we went, stopping part-way for look and information. There were two lanes--one up, one down and that was great except for the folks who were going faster than others and sort of went in the middle. Ok for those passing me going my way. not so ok for me when they were passing folks going against me. We all did ok and got to the bottom just fine.

Rode into Brooklyn Heights, stopped at the Pierrepont Park (playground) to look at the skyline and the work that's been done on the waterfront, including the Greenway. Beautiful view of the skyline, Statue of Liberty, etc. Brownstones, cobblestone roads, beautiful views, as we drove around. The Hotel St. George, where

Richard is our guide. We wore headsets as we walked along so everyone could hear his narration/history of what we were seeing.
our guide and Johnny Weismuller both swam (but not together), the corner of Tillery and Clinton Streets led us around and down to the new Greenway. Again, packed with people with some trails that were pedestrian only, people going all different directions. Lots of photo shoots, with the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop, along the river edge. Some were weddings, some we thought were Quinceaneras but not sure. Stopped for American history and learned about the Battle of Brooklyn--largest Battle of the Revolutionary War but none of us had heard of it. Probably because 'we' lost. Thanks to fog and Massachusetts fishermen, Washington and his troops were evacuated, horses, canon, and all, in the night. Good thing, as this was very early in the war.

DUMBO--Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is the area under the bridges, named by marketers but clever ones. Artsy shops and small restaurants. The group dispersed for dinner--we went to Shake Shack since we hadn't been to one before. Tasted great. After we ate, Mike asked Richard and Henry (today's sweep) to adjust his bike some which was a big help. Began to rain (lightly, not the heavy downpour of Thursday when we walked

we were not allowed to take photos inside but the magnet I bought has one of the kitchens on it.
to the restaurant) as we finished dinner and got set to head out.

Gathered everyone back up, broke into our two groups, turned on our lights. Over Brooklyn Bridge! At night. In rain. Interesting. A little nerve-wracking and definitely different but we did it! Again, stopped part way for pictures and a bit of history about the building of the bridge, near the plaque dedicating the bridge to Emily, without whom the bridge would not have been completed (read the book!). Great view of the Manhattan skyline, even with the rain and it is a beautiful bridge (the original designer wanted to design the most beautiful bridge in the world). Happily, for those of us with poor night vision, the return spot for the bikes was just a couple blocks from the base of the bridge. Short walk and subway ride and we were back at the hotel. Hot shower felt great.

However, that didn't quite take care of the piraformas muscle pain that had been kicking up since mid-afternoon for Sue (been dealing with it all summer), which spread to leg cramps for a couple hours. By 1 a.m., she was fairly certain she would not be

Sylvia is one of the members of the group
able to ride again Sunday.

A word about our tour director, Richard Sanford. Talk about a Renaissance man! Born and raised in Brooklyn, he taught Spanish and Italian to public school students for his career. Also speaks Chinese. Obviously widely-read, from the facts he relayed, and not just about NYC history. Has biked NYC to FL, FL to CA, NYC to Alaska and led tours to Cuba. Works here with Bike the Big Apple. Funny kind of goes without saying. Great guide and great job with us.

"Us": a group of 13 from all over the country, with a variety of backgrounds and biking experiences. Some were avid and long-distance bikers, a few, like us, were more casual and here to see the City. We blended nicely, chatting at meals and stops, learned from one another, and helped one another. Pleasant group!

Additional photos below
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entering Chinatown

I took this as a photo of the bridge but then Richard explained that the "Ghost Bike" (there;s a bike painted white chained to the sign) is a spot where a biker was killed.

pausing on the way to lunch for more good info

Chinese traditionally cremated their dead but have begun burials; there are no burials allowed in the city so all take place outside of the City--space issues

and to think that i saw it on Mulberry St!

Where Cohen is currently; who'll be next?? Seen through the park on Mulberry St.

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