Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New York, New York

As promised, a post about the exciting things I did on my trip to New York City last week:

Since I was working (and getting paid!), I didn’t have nearly as much free time as I’d hoped. What I’d anticipated would be a light teaching schedule turned into all-consuming days that, although rewarding and even fun, were exhausting. By the time I left around 6:15pm or 6:30pm, I was a little drained. By the time I’d attended a networking or dinner event, or found dinner on my own, it was 9:30pm or 10:00pm, and I was ready for bed (or at least to head back to the hotel to go to bed shortly). As a result, I didn’t take many pictures. Here are a few of the lovely Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia’s medical campus in Washington Heights, which is quite lovely:

The one really exciting and touristy thing I did while I was there was rent a bike and ride around Central Park. It was shockingly similar to riding in traffic in Ann Arbor, which I found a little disappointing. It’s not that I wanted it to be terrible, I just wanted to come home feeling like the drivers here were so much more aware of cyclists on the roads, etc… After navigating my way down 57th St. to 8th Ave and through Columbus Circle to the entrance of the park, I had a lovely ride. It took me a little bit to find the road (where bikes are supposed to ride) rather than the walking paths (where bikes are not supposed to ride), but once I did, it was great. There is a huge bike lane as well as a walking path beside the road. I assume that on a normal day these are used more or less as marked, but I happened to be there on a day when there was “an event.” I’m still not sure what was going on, other than that it appeared to be some kind of corporate fitness challenge, but I am sure that part of the loop road was closed, shunting me out of the park and on to real streets. I turned around and did another U-shape around the park, turned around again, and then went out on the real streets to see if I could find another part of the loop. I should have paid more attention to the map before I left (or brought one with me!), but I didn’t, and when I reentered the park (and what I think was the southeast corner) I was hopelessly lost. I thought I was at the north end, and so went down to where the road was closed (which I thought was southeast of where I needed to be, but was actually northeast of where I needed to be) and asked the nice park guides how to get back. They rightly pointed me toward the opposite side of the park, but I was so turned around that nothing would have helped. After completing the U-shape again and asking another park guide (who pointed me back south, which I thought was north), I was starting to panic. I had rented my bike at 7pm for only an hour, as the bike shop closed at 8pm. It was dangerously close to 8pm and I didn’t feel like I had time to be lost in the park. Instead of trying to navigate the loop, I stopped another park guide and looked at his map. I headed out on the 72nd St exit and made a quick left onto Central Park West and headed south. At that point I realized how turned around I had been, but knew where I needed to go. I made it back to the bike shop by 8:10pm, and thankfully they were still open! (They didn’t even seem to notice I was late…)

Out of breath and sweaty in my lovely bike gear, I headed back to the hotel. I called Alicia to tell her of my escapades, and didn’t want to get into the elevator and lose my signal, so I sat in the hotel lobby in my padded shorts and jersey, which seemed hilarious to me. After I got off the phone, I tried to capture the hilarity, and largely failed, but here is my bike gear in the hotel lobby photo:

Overall I had a good time, though I came back tired and feeling behind on my work. Back to it…

1 comment:

  1. WOW...that sounds like a fantastic little thing to do at the end of the day. I'm sure it was tiring and that you did have a lot to do when you came home...somedays life is like housework...no matter how much you do, there's more to do the next day...Glad you had a great opportunity!