"I weaved and dodged through cars and pedestrians as I zipped through the various neighborhoods of North Brooklyn and headed towards the Manhattan Bridge."
On a sweltering New York City Thursday, sunshine was in the sky, and no work on my calendar, I embarked on a journey from my sticky Bushwick apartment to Crookes Point, Staten Island.
I weaved and dodged through cars and pedestrians as I zipped through the various neighborhoods of North Brooklyn and headed towards the Manhattan Bridge. On the other side I reached Manhattan. I biked towards the East River where I took a small pedestrian bridge that takes you over FDR Drive and connects you to the East River Bikeway (ERB). The ERB is dynamic within itself, with access to some great parks and majestic views of every Lower Manhattan bridge: The Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge and the well sought after Brooklyn Bridge. I took the ERB to the Staten Island Ferry, where first a security dog sniffed my belongings for weapons or harmful materials, they then corralled me into a pen with screaming babies in their strollers, burnt out parents, and other cyclists to wait for the ferry.
The Staten Island Ferry has some of the best views public transportation has to offer. If you take it midday, like I mistakenly did, you will find yourself trying to crawl through heaps of NYC tourists. Other than that, I had picture perfect views of Lower Manhattan, Jersey City, and the Statue of Liberty. What's the best part? The Staten Island Ferry is free. They also have beer and snacks for purchase which I sadly avoided. I wasn’t even half way done with my journey so I figured a pretzel and Tall Boy would have led to tragic events.
The ferry landed at the Northern most point of Staten Island, which to my surprise, resembled most New York City boroughs with their 99 cent stores, Bodegas, and questionable electronic stores. I disembarked the crowded ferry and road on, hugging the east ridge of the island until I reached the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach. You can jump in the ocean for a swim, grab a bite to eat, or throw a line in the water from the fishing pier. I continued on my journey to the end of the beach, where I eventually had to break off into the suburbs where the homes look more like the stereotypical Staten Island I thought I would have arrived at.
Closing in on my final destination I entered Great Kills Park. I rode past the Great Kills Marina, past the Great Kills beach, and jumped on the gravel path to Crookes Point, the end of the Great Kills Park.
"Standing there, at the end of Crooke's Point, I felt like I could swim endless miles, never to touch land..."