I like to walk/bike to work in my shirtsleeves as much as the next person. But each of the three people I ran into on my way to work this morning (see . . . New York is just a small town) declared that our lovely, 60-degree weather is “weird.”
I made it just four blocks before I needed to stop to take my jacket off. Granted, I lug a laptop with a large glass screen and all sorts of miscellaneous items in my backpack, but it was too warm for anything other than a shirt.
Each one of these incredible days begs for a bike ride. On Saturday we rode up to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge. We headed out around 11:30am, road over to the bike path, and enjoyed the lack of wind and small number of riders. The Spandex-clad were out, but the rest of the world one normally finds on the Hudson River bike path seemed to remain unaware of the incredible opportunity for an incredible ride. The clay tennis courts were filled; the asphalt ones further uptown were also in use.
At the lighthouse we stopped and enjoyed the view of the bridge and the palisades across the Hudson River. What a cozy place to chat. It’s hard to remember the millions of people living and working behind you, especially if you don’t turn your head. The fury of the Hudson’s current moved a massive tree trunk downstream. I’m always amazed by the power such a wide river can exert.
Heading back downtown we stopped at the Fairway just south of our location on the bike path at 135th St. We picked up lunch and sat on a bench to picnic by the river and take in the sun and the view. Seagulls moved in for our crumbs as soon as we were done.
By the time we headed back down the bike path, there was a lot more traffic. In NYC, the cut-off for uncrowded activity seems to be noon. Do anything before noon and you’re reasonably sure to find a location reasonably empty; after noon is a different story, though, because that’s when the crowds arrive. We were home by 3
Sunday was another incredible day and this time we headed into Central Park for a few loops. The way to do Central Park is to stay north. Below 72nd St. you’ll find lots of pedicabs and pedestrians. For cyclists, though, this southern loop is flat and easy to ride. Kids who would rather avoid hills love it. But we were happier away from crowds and continued north after the southern loop, up the hill behind the Met, and down the hill by North Meadow. There are still plenty of leaves on the trees. In fact, it looks like some of them are starting to bud. With December right around the corner, where is winter?
But winter will come in some form sooner or later. In the meantime, enjoy these days of unseasonable warmth. And, just as a reminder, all four of our end-of-season locations (Central Park: Columbus Circle, Central Park: Tavern on the Green, Pier 84, Battery Park) are open today and will stay open for as long as the weather allows. If you can hop on two wheels today, enjoy.