bicycle trip from Reading to Long Island has been successfully completed (only about an hour ago). I am exhausted and happy. I have a lot of things about the trip I hope to write about in the next few days (including my sitting in on a PhD dissertation defense for the first time!).
But for now, I just want to celebrate that I made all my goals for the trip (completing it in four riding days, with one rest day in there also) and that I am safe and sound. . . and the weather! It was great. Today, I got awesome views of Manhattan and the Hudson River valley from the George Washington and Triboro bridges. Blue skies. Green trees and grass. Skyscrapers of grey and glass. Sparkling blue waters. Awesome. . . . And I got to see how Harlem (looking quiet and prosperous in spots) is looking these days, as well as the incredibly ethnically diverse and rapidly changing neighborhoods of Queens. . . . What I love so much about New York (among many things!!!) is the way it is always both constantly changing and is also always just as you remembered it from "way back".
Years ago it was the incredibly intense immigrant energies of my own people (Jews!) who gave so many New York neighborhoods their incredible vitality. Now it's largely other immigrant folks, but the basic energy is the same (and I love it!). And it was wonderful to see the Jews still there, too. Around lunch time, I happened to run across a old-fashioned kosher deli (I swear the paneling on the walls was vintage 1952) next to the Long Island Expressway near (my early childhood home of) Fresh Meadows. What a treat!!! I so seldom get to eat meat anymore (not a great offering of kosher options in Reading, PA, as you might expect). . . . Matzah ball soup. Hot pastrami on rye (with mustard). Kasha varnishkes. And real deli pickles. What a treat!!
Anyway, like I said, it was a great trip. :)