Sunday, July 8, 2012


I must begin by saying that sadly I don't have any pictures of this. I was telling my sister the tale of my bike ride and she said, "This is why you always must carry a camera." I said, "Where would I put it?" She said she really didn't know. When you're on a bike, these things can be difficult. Next time I'll try to figure something out.

My journey started out well enough, though a bit bumpy. If you haven't heard my many complaints I'll sum this up succinctly: Greenpoint is under heavy construction. This means a lot of bumps. This means a lot of jostles that I was not prepared for. My dad has suggested buying a gel seat. I think I may seek one out. I weaved in and out, avoiding a bit of traffic and some pedestrians, trying to be polite, giving the right of way and so on. It seemed to work out well enough (this a virgin ride). I came to a horrid shock when I hit McGuinness Blvd. A whoosh of extreme hot air pressed against me and I saw, very all too closely, the side of a semi. The experience only lasted a few seconds but it was an all too unpleasant one. I wish for it not to happen again. I wasn't entirely sure I was going to live or live with all of my limbs intact. Considering my track record lately, a brush with death--perhaps knocking me off the bike and blowing me into the road and being run over by a car--wouldn't be all that surprising. None of this happened, however, and the mac truck blew by and continued on its way, flying over the bridge into Long Island City. "I really don't like this," was my immediate thought. "If bike riding in the city is going to be like this then I don't want to do this." I was panicking.

But I continued riding in the 95 degree weather because I was determined to make it to the water. I told myself that I needed to get rid of some pent up energy. I hadn't exercised in a week because of the sprained ankle and I needed to do SOMETHING. Doing nothing but painting for days and days can take its toll on the mind. But I didn't know what was coming as far as a mind bending little adventure....

I somehow made it past the busy roads and things quieted down. I'm starting to like this part. This part of greenpoint is nice. It's tree-lined, shaded, and quiet. Its one way streets are perfect for bike riders. I hit the last street and could see the water. The bike rattled on the cobblestones and I wondered if I would pop a tire. The way I figured it was that the bike was not really mine... so who cares? Perhaps I'd abandon it with the other garbage that I was noticing along the cobble stone road. It was an odd little road toward the water. Placed along the road were many wooden kitchen tables, as if someone were planning a sunday dinner for the mad hatter and his friends. At the end of the drive was a sort of nice car with its bumper removed. Several men were under the car and one man was handing them some tools. It was a strange place to work on a car. Was it stolen?

I let the bike roll to the end of the sidewalk and noticed a couple's head turn toward me. They were heavily tattooed. They looked happy to see me. Or relieved? They gave me a long look and then turned back toward each other to continue their conversation. Then I heard a loud chortle come from the other side and knew why they were relieved to see me. Homeless people had taken refuge among a grouping of cushioned car chairs. One man drank from an enormous bottle and yelled incoherently.  I rolled my eyes. They were ruining my happiness and I had just gotten there! "Grrrarrrrarrrrr!!!" Garrarrrrrrr!!!!" That's about all I heard and wanted to hear. I tried my best to tune out.

I inhaled the smell of briny goodness. It may not be the ocean but it's ocean water coming into greenpoint and it's good enough for me. The water lapped against the rocks covered in seaweed and it was wonderful. I was distracted, though, by a sight to my right. A long dock in the distance harbored many moving people hopping up and down. They were dancing! They weren't just dancing, they were doing the Irish jig... in costume... in nun costumes... at least 15 of them... only one person wasn't wearing a nun's outfit, one was wearing a GIANT PANDA HEAD. "You're making this up," my sister said. "No I'm not." "This is one of your stories." "It's not! It's really not." The giant panda head bobbed up and down along with the nuns, only it was a tad more noticeable since it was quite larger than a normal head. The closer I looked the more fascinated I became. About three more individuals were dressed in florescent orange and yellow roman soldier attire and swinging swords. "How on earth can they stand bopping up and down over and over again wearing sweating costumes in almost 100 degree temperatures?" I thought. "They're crazy...." 

Or wonderful. 

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