04 May 2010

Brooklyn-Queens Bike Express

The Brooklyn-Queens Bike Express... NOT! Without actually being part of the New York Bike Tour, I thought the route would get on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Queens and enter Brooklyn that way. Just because I was stuck on the BQE before because of the Bike Tour does not necessarily mean the Tour went from Queens to Brooklyn via the BQE.

We left Manhattan for the last time via the Queensboro Bridge. It has been ages since I last used the QB. When I lived in Long Island City the QB would be the quickest way to get into Manhattan. It took me a few minutes to realize that we were on the upper level of the QB. The view was great! I had to pull over a few times to take picture of the surrounding. It is not everyday that one gets to be on the bridge, free of cars, to briefly mill about. Someone made the snide remark "Tourists!" while another said that he sees this, referring to the Manhattan skyline, from his office every day. How unappreciative of the City, these wise guys!

We got off the QB around 21st Street and traveled mostly along Vernon Boulevard and eventually reached the Pulaski Bridge, an entry point for Brooklyn. I again took some photos of the Manhattan skyline. I can almost swear that I once saw some sign informing drivers that they are leaving Brooklyn but I just couldn't find it. I only got the sign welcoming people to Brooklyn. I realize now the tour route is basically along the waterfront of Brooklyn and Queens. The northern waterfront part of Brooklyn is one area that I am not familiar with. Some kids and their mother had a lemonade stand out but if was on the far side of the road so I had to turn down the offer but the rest of the trip I had this urge for a nice cool cup of, what else, lemonade.

Eventually we reached DUMBO, the area Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. It was around 1 PM so some people pulled over for lunch, sitting outside under the beautiful sky. One woman had a sign advertising coffee and such for the restaurant nearby, which was within sight where she stood. I think she would have more business if she had the items ready-made, that people could just buy from her right near the bike route.

Finally, we entered the BQE after passing Atlantic Avenue, over the Gowanus Canal, and along the elevated portion of the BQE that is in constant need of repairs. Some plans call for that part of the BQE to be put underground. Maybe not being exposed to the elements will allow the expressway to last longer, who knows?

I thought we would go to the Verrazano Bridge via the BQE but instead we took the Belt Parkway. It was early in the evening and we were right off the waterfront along the Belt. Occasionally we would be greeted by a cold blast of wind, which was refreshing. Just what we needed to keep going for the last few miles.

Note that there are no photos taken on the BQE or the Belt Parkway. Living in Brooklyn for more than 10 years now, I travel those paths often and don't have any special connections to them. Not like parts of Queens, which I don't visit that regularly these days. Something about absence makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose.

Some interesting-looking apartment buildings north of the Queensboro Bridge.

Citi Corp building, the lone high-rise in the area.

The 7 train making its ear-splitting turn.

The Manhattan skyline viewed from the sharp turn toward the 21st Street exit.

Manhattan skyline viewed from the Pulaski Bridge.

Brooklyn, like no other places in the world.


  1. Thanks for sharing the photos - wish I was there to cheer you on. But then you might be embarrassed when people asked, "Who was that chubby short old woman yelling, Let's go Red Wings?" Haa haa
    Glad that your hand is healing nicely. How about the burn?
    Did we go to that Malaysian restaurant last year for Mother's Day when I was in NYC? The same fate happened to other restaurants in Park Slope - I would not be surprised if there was a sign, "TOTA needs not come in!" posted at other restaurant.
    It is sunny today but there will be rains and thunderstorms the next few days.
    I should start blogging again before all 3 of my adoring fans stop visiting!

  2. TOTA, that's what CH said, too. You seem to bring bad luck to these restaurants!