A Three-Borough Tour

Greetings, intrepid Citi Biker! In Part I of our New York City travelogue I went from the High Line to the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Guest post by Bike Snob NYC

In Part II I traveled along the Brooklyn waterfront. And now, in Part III of our bike share triptych, I’ll pick up where I left off, which was in Williamsburg:

And from there make an incursion into Queens before returning to Manhattan:

So let’s begin at the McCarren Park Citi Bike station:

Where I chose the very finest steed on offer, wrested it from its hitching post, and pointed it towards the bike highway that runs along Kent Avenue and the waterfront:

Heading north, Kent Avenue runs into Franklin Street, and I rode past the fringe brunchers dining well off the main drag:

As well as the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg:

And into Greenpoint, which is Williamsburg’s somewhat more humble next-door neighbor:

Once you get north of Greenpoint Avenue, Franklin Street is a fairly tranquil strip dotted with the odd boutique or café:

And if you hang a right at Eagle Street this will take you right to the Pulaski Bridge protected bike lane, which on the day I rode it was so new that the paint was barely dry:

This bridge takes you over Newtown Creek, which is the body of water (if you can call something that’s 98% petroleum “water”) that separates Brooklyn from Queens:

And as I crested the span a sign welcomed me to the latter borough:

Into which the new bike lane deposited me gently:

Queens is the largest New York City borough by land area. It is also often cited as being one of the most ethnically diverse places on the planet. Given this, a thorough exploration of its many wonders (Flushing, the Rockaways, I could go on…) goes well beyond the purview of this post – not to mention well beyond the present Citi Bike service area. So instead, once over the bridge I headed east onto Jackson Avenue and then docked the bike:

Right outside of MoMA PS1:

Which is a place you where can go to look at art.

I admit that on this occasion I did not look at art, but presumably you would.

Once I finished pretending to culture myself, I headed over to 23rd Street, where I encountered a quintessentially Queens tableau, that being a diner adjacent to an elevated subway track:

Following the tracks I headed north:

And followed the signs to the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge:

Though you should only call it that if you want people to know you’re a tourist, because everybody else calls it the 59th Street Bridge.

In recent years the Queens Plaza and the approach to the 59th Street Bridge has been beautifully bike-laned:

Which means accessing it is a pleasure:

As for the bridge itself, F. Scott Fitzgerald famously described it thusly in “The Great Gatsby:”

“Over the great bridge, with the sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen from the Queensboro Bridge is always the city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

Yeah, it’s alright I guess:

Though if you fail to see the beauty you might want to check in with Queen’s favorite optometrist, Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, for a new pair of glasses:

But yes, it’s no surprise Fitzgerald was so captivated with this bridge, as it swiftly and purposefully deposits you right into the thickest part of Manhattan:

Though apparently for some riders I was not moving swiftly and purposefully enough:

Whereas others were moving so swiftly and purposefully…

…that they lost their hats:

And were forced to return sheepishly for them:

Once in Manhattan, I contemplated the eternal: “Uptown, or downtown?”

If you’re taking the subway that’s a major commitment, but with a Citi Bike you can always do both: