biking, exercise, food, health, new york

in which we go to Queens, get lost, and then spend an hour riding with Bike NY

I was actually going to save this post, since I just told you about going biking, but I figured- what the hell! Let’s just do it!

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The other two outings were Learning To Ride ( Adults) and Bicycling Basics– this was the payoff.

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First off, I’ve never been out this far in Queens and I bitched up the directions and got lost. I had to ask a policeman or crossing guard or something. He had a uniform, so I asked him. After a lot of headscratching, we finally figured out where I was going and I set off.

The upside is that I know how to get to a Mets game now, so that’s something.  bny4

When I got there, everyone was still practicing. Lucky! The got me a bike and I joined the class- only an hour late.  bny5

part of the reason that I was late was because I couldn’t sleep. This is the face of a woman who had no sleep. I was still so keyed up from Summer Streets and the Slide the City that I stayed up all night. That helmet isn’t just protecting my brain; it’s holding it in place. When I got ready to leave I was so flustered that I just threw the Clif Bar & Perky Jerky and Vitacoco from Summer streets in my knapsack with the DOT helmet and ran out the door.

Outfit? Oldass sweatshirt and my usual LL Bean jeans. I could not get it together at all. I’m lucky I was clean. bny6

After everyone finished practicing riding around curves, scanning and signalling, Douglas (our volunteer instructor) took ous out into Corona Park proper to ride. We stopped a few times, but I only remembered to take my cameraphone out once. I was too busy relishing the fact that I was riding. I was also trying to keep up with Douglass. I was in the top four riders in the class every time we stopped to rest and the top four fastest riders in the class were all women.  bny7

I made it back to our starting point first- remembering to signal a right turn as I slid into the last curve. I made sure to set my Samsung GearFit this time. I only forgot during one stretch, so I think we actually covered more ground? I just had my GearFit on pause because we were waiting for people to catch up and I forgot to restart it for awhile. But 4.32 miles to someone who couldn’t ride at all at the beginning of the summer is nothing to sneeze at.  bny8

As I trudged back to the train station, I remembered the mall I had seen on the way to the park. I had eaten all my samples and I was still hungry. I figured there must be something to eat in there, and it turned out that what I wanted was visible as soon as I walked through the door. I needed ice cream in my life.

I couldn’t even decide what to get, I was so hot and sweaty that I wanted to just stick my face in a tub of anything and gorge. I settled on a shake. A birthday cake and lemon shake to be exact.

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I would literally be willing to get up and take the train all the way out to Queens to go to Sky View Mall  just to have another shake like this. Hershey’s I ce Cream, I love you.

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Now I was happy and whatnot. I bopped along drinking my shake and loving life and noticed that I could see the globe from the World’s Fair- so now I know where that is, but that’s another adventure entirely.

Next up: How to get an IDNYC card and why you should get that before 12/31

xoxo, Faith/Sassy Ethnic Bohemian

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activities, architecture, exercise, food, free, health, new york, plants, rides, street fair, Summer, walking

The Meetup Adventure: in which we go to #SummerStreets2015 and ride Slide the City

So, I got tired of going to museums and started a meetup group of my own:

ss1With the idea that if you don’t see what you want, then start it yourself. My first proposition to my group was a trip to Summer Streets 2015, a NYC street fair that stretches from 72nd Street all the way to the waterfront Downtown.

I got one RSVP- and they didn’t show up.

ss2Granted? it was kind of early. But you only see New York at it’s best when it’s early, lol!! No one around to bother you and you can actually see how the place is laid out.

ss3How awesome is this? Early morning in Central Park, no screaming hordes- just light and stillness.

ss4And ducks.

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I kind of took my time walking through the park and over to Park Avenue. The good thing about no one showing was that I could go at my own pace and make my own decisions.

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I was dressed for a special occasion, too. But you’ll see what that was later in the post. Basic was better that day, believe me.

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Back to Summer Streets. There was supposed to be free one hour bike rental at 58th Street, but I found out that you had to bring the bike right back to 58th, and my plan was to make it all the way to downtown.

I set off on foot amidst walkers, joggers, bikers and rollerbladers. One amazing this was getting to walk over a bridge that only cars have access to. It takes you up over 42nd and Grand Central Station.

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This is a view I have never seen. Normally, I’d be standing far below looking up at cars whizzing by on this bridge. Thanks to Summer Streets, I was seeing this sculpture closeup without worrying about getting plowed down by a taxicab.

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The next rest stop was all about food. Whole Foods had set up a block long street fair with people just hurling samples at you every few feet. How much do you love Perky Jerky guy? You could literally walk up and pluck samples off of his body. I feared for his life at one point- I mean, he was wearing MEAT.

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I also got a sweet little potted plant, a pansy. New York Botanical Garden was on hand, patiently putting tiny plants in biodegradable containers for anyone who asked to take home. That’s love.

After getting as many food samples as I could I headed over to the 2nd of my missions (since that bike rental thing was a bust):ss91

My second mission was to obtain a free bike helmet from New York’s Department of Transportation. It wouldn’t be easy. It took stamina. It took being polite to this lady who acted all friendly just so I’d hold her place in line. It took ONE HOUR AND SIXTEEN MINUTES of waiting in line, and I technically missed the time for my special event, and then the lady who fitted my helmet was a _itch- but I did not give up, nor did I leave empty handed…ss92Cuz that’s how we roll at SEB. never give up, and never leave without your promised goodies.

Now it was time for my third and last mission…ss96

SLIDE THE CITY

ss93I cheated and took the train from 23rd down to Chambers Street. I was on pins and needles the whole way, hoping that my tickets were still usable.

ss94 While I was at VitaCoco Beach, I met Ben Franklin, who just happened to be chilling and looking for a place to fly his kite, and then (of course) grabbed up a free VitaCoco lemonade and a free VitaCoco inner tube. As you can see, they hydrated New York City with VitaCoco.ss95

I managed to find the Slide the City line, then find out where the line actually started, then found out where to register to even get on the line. As luck would have it, they weren’t looking at what time the ticket was for, just if you had one. Having gone to many fashion week events I knew to have my ticket up on my phone screen ready for viewing.

Behold…

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is this not EVERYTHING???? Ok, yeah- some people live for Chanel, but this? was EVERYTHING!!!!!

And I had tickets. It only took me two hours. I heard it took other people 12 hours. At this point, it didn’t matter- I was there, in front of it and I had the golden ticket. ss98

I almost cried when I saw this sign- I had a knapsack on! I forgot to read the faq’s!! Luckily, A lady with a kid let me hold her bag and then when they were done she held mine. You have no idea how much of a leap of faith it is to let some stranger hold your bag in New York. But if that was the only thing standing between me and and a 650 foot water slide? Oh well.

I took a chance.

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I told you, basic was best. After I finally got into the enclosure, they gave me an inner tube to ride on and sent me up the stairs. I could feel excitement in the pit of my stomach getting bigger and bigger the closer I got to the top. I got the middle lane.

Once you get up there, they tell you how to position yourself, and you sit staring at the huge expanse of plastic that’s supposed to hold you up, and in my case staring at the venerable court buildings of Foley Square which had probably never witnessed a massive water slide in front of them. Once they say go, you push off and it’s sublime. Exhilarating. And, yeah- two horribly overused words- life affirming.

I slid down a big ass ramp in New York and lived. It was the best moment ever.

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 Also the moment I unpacked my knapsack and I had all this swag. Not bad.