04 May 2018

Why Was I Doing My Commute On Sunday?

Sometimes I joke about "going through the Gate of Hell to get to work every day."  The truth is, I ride over Hell Gate and by the Hell Gate Bridge when I cross the RFK Memorial (a.k.a. Triborough) Bridge every morning.

On Sunday I took Bill and Cindy by it.  If that was supposed to scare them into living on the straight and narrow, it wasn't very effective.  Then again, how could I scare, or persuade, anybody or anything into being straight?  

But I digress.  We were riding to Van Cortland Park.  They wanted to take the Greenway along the Hudson River (and the West Side Highway.)  While I like the views and that it's so close to the water, I knew that on a sunny Sunday, half of the cyclists, 70 percent of the skateboarders and 99 percent of the people with dogs or baby strollers would be on that path.  Pedaling through the Port Morris industrial area--deserted on Sunday--and Bronx side streets would be bucolic by comparison.

So, after taking Bill and Cindy through, or by, the Gates of Hell, we descended (literally) to Randall's Island where we rode underneath the Amtrak viaduct.  After the Gate, these arches were rather impressive.  Funny thing is, I don't normally see them that way:  They are, after all, part of my commute.

So are these houses on Alexander Avenue in the Bronx:

Not far away are these houses.   Save for the graffiti next to the "fish" building, almost nobody expects to see them in the South Bronx:

They're diagonally across from each other on the Grand Concourse.  The mansion is the Freedman House, built in the 1920s for formerly-wealthy people who had fallen on hard times. Now it contains an event space, art studio and bed-and-breakfast. It's almost jarring to see such a classically Florentine house across the Concourse from the Art Deco building with its mosaic. 

Anyway, Cindy had an appointment and had to leave us before we reached Van Cortlandt Park. Back when I lived on the Upper West Side and in Washington Heights, I used to take quick spins to the park, where I would check out whatever was on display in the Manor or watch the Irish rugby and soccer players. Time marches on, and now there are different folks playing a different game.

The clouds thickened, but never threatened rain.  But they didn't portend anything like Spring, either.  Rolling across the hills of Riverdale, they broke against the shore of Spuyten Duyvil, another place almost nobody expects to find in the Bronx:


  1. Coline--It's certainly not something one expects to find here!

  2. That was fun Justine!

    Check out this list of NYC parks by area, it's interesting Van Cortlandt is bigger than Central ... I'd like to see more of it.


    - Pelham Bay Park, Bronx 2,765 acres (11.19 km2)
    - Greenbelt, Staten Island 1,778 acres (7.20 km2)
    - Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx 1,146 acres (4.64 km2)
    - Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens 897 acres (3.63 km2)[1]
    - Central Park, Manhattan 843 acres (3.41 km2)
    - Freshkills Park, Staten Island 813 acres (3.29 km2)
    - Marine Park, Brooklyn, 798 acres (3.23 km2)
    - Bronx Park, Bronx 718 acres (2.91 km2)
    - Alley Pond Park, Queens 655 acres (2.65 km2)
    - South Beach-Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk, South and Midland Beaches, Staten Island 638 acres (2.58 km2)

  3. Monkey--Isn't it funny that two of the three biggest parks in NYC are in the Bronx? Most New Yorkers don't know that!

    Yes, it was a fun ride!