Through Poughkeepsie

Submitted by Ben on Sat, 05/14/2005 - 15:15

I rode into Poughkeepsie this morning, expecting to get there around 11 but actually closer to 10.  I waited at a community garden near the Vassar campus until Anna was ready to see me.  She showed me all around the campus -- which is more like an arboretum than a shady lawn -- and the art museum where she works.

In the dining hall, I felt pretty cool hanging out with the college crowd ... until I learned that Anna's friends had assumed I was her father!  Don't get me wrong, her father is a good-looking guy, but he's gotta be 20 years older than me...

To Fishkill, NY

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 05/13/2005 - 15:13

I had a lot of fun this morning riding down all the hills I had struggled up yesterday, but alas I had a slow leak in my tire and had to stop to pump it every few miles, all day long.

The highlight of the day was when I crossed the Appalachian Trail (and the Hudson River) at Bear Mountain.  I wish I could think that this was also the high point of the trip, but that will be more than 500 feet higher...

To Whirlpool State Park

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 05/12/2005 - 09:36

[Note: although my journal indicates the name of the state park was Whirlpool, the park by that name is on the opposite side of the state. I've put the pin for this day in Bear Mountain State Park instead.]

The forecast rainstorm for today didn't show; in fact the weather was lovely all day.  I had no trouble biking out of New Jersey.  My campground for the night in Whirpool State Park was several miles into the Catskills, so I walked my bike quite a lot.  It's a beautiful park, rustic but not too rustic, and only an hour's drive from Manhattan.

33.6 mi

Greenwich Village

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 05/11/2005 - 20:44

This morning I rode the bus back into Manhattan and went to the southern tip of downtown, Battery Park.  I walked from there to the World Financial Center, where there's an exhibit about the plans for the WTC site.  Ground Zero itself just looks like a construction site at present, but I got a photo of a nearby building that hasn't yet been repaired from the blast.  From there I walked through Greenwich Village to Washington Square Park, where the famous chess boards are.  Business was slow, because the park was being set up for NYU's graduation festivities.

Paterson, NJ

Submitted by Ben on Tue, 05/10/2005 - 20:42

This morning I biked back into Paterson to see the Great Falls.  I met a man named Joe Shaw, a former trucker who had outfitted his bike like a semi, and he helped me find the falls.  I got lost again afterward and so saw more of Paterson than I'd intended!

I spent the afternoon posting a new roll of photos and looking for a Krishna statue for Leela.  Dave took me to dinner at a Thai restaurant.

12.9 mi

Route Research

Submitted by Ben on Mon, 05/09/2005 - 20:39

Today I took Ethan's car out to find bikeable roads out of the city.  The route I chose by studying the New Jersey Atlas will be fine, with a few modifications, but I had trouble finding the campground where I plan to stay.  It's not where Yahoo! says it is; it's several miles farther into the mountains, so depending on how I'm feeling, I may decide to stay in a hotel instead!

When I got back, after burning about $10 worth of fuel, I hopped on my bike and rode up Eagle Rock to the Essex County September 11 Memorial for some excellent views of the Manhattan skyline.

Museum of Natural History

Submitted by Ben on Fri, 05/06/2005 - 17:13

I spent the day today at the American Museum of Natural History, which I hadn't seen in some 15 years.  It still beats the pants off the Smithsonian.  Many of the exhibit halls have been renovated, most notably the Hall of Ocean Life, and the museum as a whole has been rearranged to better represent modern evolutionary theory.  The new Hall of Biodiversity is excellent; I particularly liked they way they juxtaposed descriptions of serious ecological problems with inspirational quotes... it sounds cheesy, but it really worked.

Central Park, Audrey

Submitted by Ben on Thu, 05/05/2005 - 17:11

This morning I rode the bus to Manhattan and walked from the Port Authority bus terminal all the way through Central Park -- about 10 miles.  I didn't really know where I was going in the park; I just wanted to see what was there and get a feel for the place.  Last time I was there, breakdancing and leg warmers were all the rage!

NYC tour, simulator

Submitted by Ben on Wed, 05/04/2005 - 17:08

This morning Dave drove me into Brooklyn so I could see the Jewish wedding chapel that used to be the family hardware store.  After a bite of lunch we continued to Far Rockaway to see his childhood home, where my sister and I had visited our grandparents.  Aside from the house itself, I wouldn't have recognized most of Far Rockaway ... I can't say whether it's gotten better or worse, just different.