Bike Ride to Roberta's in Bushwick

There are places in New York that you start to hear rumbles about, then they are splashed all over restaurant pages in the Post, Daily News, Times, and blogs, people like Anthony Bourdain tweet about it, then the wait times exceed 3 hours which of course makes the "cool factor" seem even higher. Oh, and the Clintons hosted a fundraiser here too. For me, there isn't much I'd wait 3 hours for, which is why I had avoided Roberta's up until now. Plus, it was in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a neighborhood I don't really frequent but is one of those changing areas where something cool always seems to be opening.

On Easter Sunday, after a proper Upper East Side church service and breakfast with our wonderful friends, we decided to break out our bikes for the first time in months and bike to Bushwick. The ride, when combined with a visit to Fort Greene, ended up being 14 miles round-trip, and was relatively flat most of the time, except for the Williamsburg Bridge. You really see New York when bike riding, and how the neighborhoods quickly change. We rode through everything from sketchy areas, perfect brownstone streets, and gritty urban sprawl.

And there, after passing factory after factory (no wonder the smell of wontons wafted through the air), there was Roberta's. The pizzas were perfect - thin, crispy crust charred to perfection, and the ideal ratio of cheese to sauce. The vibe - casual, edgy, Good People all around. Plus, we saw a hipster walking his cat when we left (read this for the full story and photo...hilarious). The verdict? Roberta's is worth the journey, and is right near a subway stop if you don't want to bike it! 

Now if only I could score a reservation for Blanca next door...

Taking America's Oldest Bike Path to Coney Island

I’ve wanted to ride on Ocean Parkway, America’s oldest bike path, out to Coney Island for awhile.  So I borrowed a bike, Andy took his, and we took off.  We ended up going about 32 miles round-trip and had an awesome time.  Ocean Parkway doesn’t start until you’re in Park Slope, Brooklyn, near Prospect Park.  So we started in Manhattan, rode over the Brooklyn Bridge, through Cobble Hill and on to Prospect Park.  Riding in Prospect Park was my favorite part because you can just cruise.  We entered the park through Grand Army Plaza and the famous arch.


We found this little sign below telling us how to follow Ocean Parkway when we exited the park and hopped on for the last 5 miles out. 


One side of the parkway is for bikes and the other for pedestrians, though most pedestrians either A. had no idea or B. decided to be obnoxious and walk in the bike lane.  Still it’s a straight shot out to Coney Island through the old traditionally Jewish neighborhoods of Brooklyn, which I loved riding through. 


We got to Coney Island, fueled up with smoothies and enjoyed the late summer cooler weather. 


My favorite photo of the day: Yes, this man was jump roping. In his underwear. On the Manhattan Bridge with his clothes folded neatly in a pile next to him. I laugh at this every time I look at it. That's me on the left on the bike.