Manhattan , cycling around ,shopping .

Manhattan Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
out of the Train window en route to Manhattan
I get back to my friends place in the Catskills  area on a pleasant sunny afternoon , the following morning i must return the car by 09:00
or incur another  days' rental charge .Next morning  i get packed up and leave at 08:10 and drive to Catskill town  but do not find the car rental place (Enterprise)  and then get lost in a residential area with the time approaching 09:00 .When i ask a policecar driver he says 'just follow me' , and he leads me the half mile to the place; very kind of him. It is 08:50 , they check the car and say that its 'ok' , the front is covered in dead flies.

I didnt check my bank statement yet , but beleive that they have charged me only $178 for 4 days rental including insurance.
room in royal park , loooks better on it's side
They ask about my next movements and offer to give me a lift to Hunter railway station  which is a few miles away. The rail ticket  is $44  to Penn station Manhattan  and the journey takes a couple of hours , the route seems to follow the Hudson river.

Upon arrival at Penn and coming out of the station i am immediately acosted by a lady asking me  for money . My suitcase has been giving me trouble , it had split along the seam  and i paid $12 to get it repaired  but i got no faith in it  so i get a yellow cab to the hostel .(using the subway , when you go thru the turnstile it closes after you and  you have to lift your luggage over the  now closed turnstile , and thats' how my bag had split ) to avoid that happening again   i pay $17 for the cab ride to  97 west street  where  i have booked online using www.
maceys' into Royal Park guesthouse , the accomodation i had  near West village at the beginning of may was not available .

The Royal park has good reviews by previous users , but besides the reception person being friendly , it does not seem to very comfortable
and definitely not 'royal'. It is close to 96 street subway and the following morning i use the subway across Cenral Park to 2nd ave   east 68  street , where i have found another bike rental place , before that i get breakfast at a cafe in 2nd avenue and get coffee  and two cinnamon raisin bagels  for $3 .The friendly and joking bike guy  takes my credit card as a surety tho :-( , i now have to get back to the hostel  to change room  by 11:00  and have an hour to do that , they could nt give a room for 3 nights , so i booked  a different room for next two.
Hoodoo bike outside hostel

There is a road right across Central Park  but i dont find it  and the windy road loops back to east 72  street , i cycle north and come out at west 111 street which is Harlem  just to the north of Central park.There are loads of joggers and cyclists  around the park and also lots of young women with prams .What is that squelchey  sound behind me ??  .. rear tyre puncture.I have to wheel the bike about 2 miles to the hostel , it is only worth about $60 but if a ruin the the/tube and buckle the wheel , he will charge me more than that.It is a sunny morning
and i get sweaty , when i arrive at the hostel i slip in for a quick shower  before doing the room move , the shower water temperature will not  regulate  and is very cold.
central park tennis
.too cold  , whereas i am   overheated.

When i go to reception Denise says that they are trying to keep me in the same room   after all and they do .The room has a bed which almost completely fills the room , a small cupboard , a small tablet of soap , a toilet roll  and clean sheets and a towel , the smallwindow looks out to a concrete wall  about 6 foot away , and there is a windmill fan in the ceiling .
Denise tells me of a possible bike repair place in 96 street  and it is called Metro , the guy there says they will put a new tube on the wheel while i wait , he takes a mobile call whilst dealing with me and i hear him say to the caller , 'do you have to hit me with the genitalia jokes so early in the morning ?' , he finishes the call and like in a Kojak movie he immediately starts some jokey backchat  with a work colleague , i like this jazzy snappy way that they have .
Manhattan viewed from central park reservior

The tube costs me $16 , i go outside and see a Citibank , i better change some money  but have to queue for about 10 mins , the teller possibly has not seen pounds sterling before  and takes ages  to tell me the rate is $1.83   to the £1 and also they charge $4.50 for the transaction , its a lousy rate  but there is a queue waiting  so i take it  and change £100 .
I cycle down to west 34 street , calling in at Madison Square garden en route , the bike is heavy and has an enourmous iron chain and very bike heavy lock , like the kind used to chain up motorbikes  or small boats .I have seen a Wilson Nblade tennis racket advertised  on and i give the guy a call and go and see it , he works at Bank of America on 6th avenue , the racket is mine for $75  and i carry it around , sticking out of my bag ,for the rest of the day.
looking south down 5th avenue , fromopposite empire State
Later on i see a Wilson Ncode racket NEW for $80  at a sports shop on 34 street  and i'm not so sure of my bargain . Cycling in manhattan is not exactly safe , but probably as safe as any other large city.The  western side has a riverside cycleway  from (about level with) the northern most  point of central park  all the way down virtually to battery park , Central park  is a cyclists paradise , besides all the joggers  and skaters  and even when using the major routes like 5th avenue  7th avenue , the main obstacles   tend to be vehicles which have parked double , and pedestrians walking in the road or crossing  on red lights .

I did intend cycling Brooklyn bridge today  and i get onto the eastside riverside path but it does not run far enough  and although i do see a large bridge  a few miles off  and head for it , it turns  out to be Williamson bridge and it doesnt look suitable for bikes , there is no direct rout to Brooklyn bridge  without cutting into the lower east side/chinatown and i only have a subway map with me for directions . The bike isnt too much fun and i decide to return it , the chain comes off and i get grease and oil over my hands and  even my legs , i'm wearing shorts .
I give the bike back , not telling him about the puncture , get my credit card  and slip into a nearby cafe  for coffee and some of those nice cinnamon and raisin bagels .Looking around you can't  help but notice how relaxed and happy the people are and also how excited and positively expectant the many tourists are , it makes for a good vibrant atmosphere  .Walking along the avenues there are metal grills in the sidewalk and there is a hot gush of air coming from them (similar to that famous marlyn munroe  dress picture) from the subway , in my case i get dust in my eyes which makes them itchy for a few days .Many of the New York young women  are wearing thier flimsy summer frocks  and lots of people are in shorts .
I end up in that internet cafe  just off 5th avenue  and buy a 6 hours for $10 speciual offer ticket from him .
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out of the Train window  en route …
out of the Train window en route…
room in royal park , loooks better…
room in royal park , loooks bette…
Hoodoo bike  outside hostel
Hoodoo bike outside hostel
central park  tennis
central park tennis
Manhattan viewed from central park…
Manhattan viewed from central par…
looking south down 5th avenue , fr…
looking south down 5th avenue , f…
photo by: Fitnessguru729