A California Girl Biking Through New York City
Biking through New York City has never been at the top of my must-do list. It seemed dangerous and quite frankly more trouble than it’s worth. But on my last trip to New York my friend Waldo asked me what I would like to do and see. He gave me a list of fun tour options, and one of them was to take a bike ride and make stops at some of New York’s best food spots to pick up goodies for a picnic in Battery Park.
“OK!” said my adventurous side before my practical side had the chance to talk me out of it. Then I convinced my friend Erin to tag along on our adventure.
Our early cab ride took us to meet up with Waldo in the East Village at Abraço Coffee, located at 86 E. 7th Street. “This place has the best olive oil coffee cake and coffee in all of New York,” Waldo said, “We have to start our morning here.” So at 8 a.m., my friend Erin and I met up to have cake and coffee.
Once we were caffeinated and ready to go we walked two blocks to the Citi Bike station, where Erin and I chose our bikes and began our adventure on two wheels.
Waldo headed out toward the East River Park, but somehow along the way poor Erin hit a bump and crashed to the ground. I couldn’t believe it; my friend just ate the pavement. You know that moment when you want to reach out, but the person is too far away and it looks like slow motion? That is what happened. I turned around just in time to see Erin hit the bump, fly off her seat, and crash to the ground. She landed so gracefully. She instantly started to laugh, and a very nice man who also witnessed her crash came right over and offered her some first-aid supplies he had in his bag. So, bandaged up and back on her bike, we continued our journey through New York City.
The East River Park we rode through is absolutely gorgeous, especially early on a summer morning with the sun reflecting off the water and the silhouette of the Williamsburg Bridge.
After a lovely, scenic view we headed back into the streets to The Pickle Guys—because what kind of picnic doesn’t have anything pickled? Since 1910, the Pickle Guys have been making some of NYC’s best pickled products. We picked up some pickled turnips and gherkins as a great start to our picnic fixin’s.
Once our pickled products were loaded into the bag on Waldo’s bike we headed off to Essex Street Market, where we planned to get our bread from Pain D’Avignon and maybe some cheese and salmon. Essex Street Market is loaded with great vendors of everything you could need for a great picnic, but we got there kind of early so not everyone we wanted to visit was open. Be sure to get there after 10 a.m. and everyone should be in business.
After a quick once through at Essex Street Market we hopped on our bikes and headed to Katz’s Delicatessen. You know, the place where the famous fake orgasm scene from “When Harry met Sally” was filmed? Yep, we got ourselves a big fat pastrami sandwich on rye then went straight down the street to Russ and Daughters for cured salmon.
What could be missing? Oh yeah, cheese and wine. We made two more stops on our way to Battery Park: at Murray’s Cheese, where we were matched to our cheese by the very charming gentleman behind the counter, and at Astor Wines, where we picked up a local wine that was light and refreshing to go with all our fantastic goodies.
It couldn’t have been a more beautiful summer day in the city. When we arrived at Battery Park, it was the perfect scene; kids were playing with their parents on the green grass, the sun was shining, we could see the Statue of Liberty in the background, and, most importantly, I was with two great friends getting ready to share a very nice picnic in the park.
Waldo, thanks for putting together such a wonderful day and for being such a fun and adventurous tour guide.