Friday's weather was practically the definition of "dreary": at any given moment, we had any given combination of snow, rain and sleet combined with winds that gusted, at time, to 90 KPH.
While the stuff stopped falling out of the sky Saturday morning, a ceiling of thick clouds obscured the sun--at least, for most of the day. And it was still pretty windy. No matter: Bill and I went for a ride.
We were exulting in our good fortune when we encountered a "souvenir" of the previous day's weather:
I'd heard that trees fell and power lines snapped. Still, it's a surprise when you find them right in the middle of your route.
It wasn't really a surprise that the tree fell: We could see the decay near its base. Also, it was pretty easy to see that the tree needed more room for its roots to spread and deepen. I guess that when that tree was planted--100 years ago?--no one expected it to grow so tall--or for concrete to be poured over its base.
One car looked totaled. The others struck by the trees looked repairable. Fortunately, neither Bill nor I had bikes in the path of its fall!
I rode my Trek because I expected to encounter more debris, mud and other detritus of the storm than I did. Bill rode the rattiest of the three (!) early '70's Schwinn Sports Tourers he owns.
We stared riding just after noon and made a longer-than-expected lunch stop. So, by the time we got to the bridge from Far Rockaway to Atlantic Beach, on the south shore of Nassau County, it was already late in the day.
The South Shore of Long Island is one of the few places on the East Coast where you can look west and see the sun set on the ocean, the way you would in, say, Laguna Beach. And we spent much of the rest of our ride headed into the sunset, from Atlantic Beach to Sheepshead Bay on Brooklyn's South Shore.
From the path between Jacob Riis Park and Fort Tilden, we saw the Manhattan skyline--about 30 kilometers away, as the crow flies--ablaze. Of course, in New York it's hard not to associate blazing buildings with 9/11--especially since a number of firefighters who died that day lived in Rockaway Beach and Belle Harbor, two South Shore communities we traversed on our ride. But I had to remind myself that those skyscrapers were glowing in the reflection of the sunset, not burning in the aftermath of a disaster.
The sun, hidden most of the day, ended the day by playing peek-a-boo with the clouds before disappearing into the sea.
As our ride ended, it had one thing in common with The French Connection: a ride under the New Utrecht Avenue elevated subway. Well, all right, our time under it wasn't nearly as long or dramatic.
I certainly hope the household is "stationary." I wouldn't want to live in something that didn't stay in place, at least while I'm inside it. And I certainly wouldn't allow whoever painted that awning the use of my stationery until he or she learned how to spell.
Or maybe I wouldn't be so picky. After all, I was still basking in the glow of that sunset we prolonged by riding into it.
N.B.: Bill took all of the photos in this post.