The Empire City

Empire_CityFrom the moment I drew the line through the Kancamagus highway through the White Mountains, it was a given that we had to balance out our tour by visiting the hub of America. Paul has biked NYC before and knew of all the tricks to get to Staten Island from upstate. We took a rail trail to Yonkers, and after an abrupt stop somewhere beyond Manhattan just short of where we had planned to end up, we decided to travel ‘south’ in hopes of just finding our way there. Eventually we met up with Riverdale and Broadway and followed the East Coast of the Hudson river, Manhattan’s upper westside. There is a greenway that extends the length of Manhattan all the way to Battery Park, the Southern-most tip.

Technical directions aside we made it to the ferry. Once again we found ourselves with a family. I’ve been to NYC before but have seen so little of it that it’s worth my visiting many times over. Frank Brockway of Staten Island took us in that first night and gave us a tour of the island. We visited some of the historical landmarks and learned of Staten Island’s heritage. We visited ruined fortifications that were built for the safety of NYC during the second World War. We also visited a memorial built by a Japanese artist for the victims of the 9/11 tragedy that had lived on Staten Island at the time. The next day Paul and I had plans to visit Manhattan and explore it on bicycles.

We road north and into Central Park, a place I have never been to and have always wanted to bike. Many people had the very same idea that day. Paul and I decided upon meeting at the Reservoir in opposite directions to assure that we would find each other in such a massive park. We both split up and when it was time to find each other, we both traveled to different sections of the Reservoir path and sat down, waiting for the other. Come nightfall, we had both given up on finding each other. We had been invited to an Eagle Ceremony at seven o’clock and had intentions of being there. I spent my time biking to the ferry and just catching the 6:30pm. I was upset with myself for abandoning Paul in Manhattan and hoped that he also would find his way back assuming my safety.

I walked off the ferry and to my astonishment, there was Paul and his bike walking off alongside me. The coincidence was both amazing and humorous, we had both given up on the other at the same time and missed each other by mere seconds.

We made good time back from the Empire City and arrived just in time just in time for Dominic Brockway’s Eagle speech. Congratulations for his achievements.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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