Manhattan , cycling around ,shopping .
Manhattan Travel Blog› entry 9 of 10 › view all entries
June 3rd, 2008 – by: redzzed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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 www.craigslist.com 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.
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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