Tag Archives: New York City

Long Island from East to West

Montauk Lighthouse.

A few weeks ago I got to experience the greatness that is Long Island all the way from the easternmost tip to the westernmost. Well, almost westernmost. Anyway, I spent one day out at the Montauk Lighthouse, and the other day at the Aqueduct Racetrack. Two very different experiences.

You are here. All the way to the right.

It was a beautiful day, right after the nice warm (approx. 60 degree) spring days. Still March though, which leads to my important piece of advice. Be sure to check when parks open fully, and don’t assume that just because it’s unseasonably warm these traditionally seasonal parks will automatically be open. I didn’t even think about this possibility of a closed lighthouse, so when we arrived and we discovered the lighthouse doesn’t open until April 15 I was a little surprised. Whoops! We could still walk around the grounds though, which was nice.

It was a bit chilly out on the point because of the wind, but on the occasions when that died down it was a beautiful, sunny, warm day. Not too bad to be walking around, enjoying the fresh air. And, because it was so early (too early?) in the season, there were not many tourists compete with.

Montauk Lighthouse

We discovered it’s possible to walk down by the beach. It’s a rocky beach, not a sandy one though, so be sure to keep the shoes on! If you want you can walk up higher by between the lighthouse and the ocean on a nice stone walkway.

Me on the nice wide stone walkway by the ocean. Montauk Lighthouse.

A cheerful March ocean. Montauk Lighthouse.

The were doing construction on the walkway in some places.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT'S CLOSED? Montauk Lighthouse.

Make it 'bearable' ...RECYCLE!

As we headed back west, I had to take a picture of one of the cool windmills they have in some of the towns. They’re historic, with the one pictured dating to 1804. It’s the Gardiner Windmill in East Hampton.

Historic Windmill.

We also saw some deer on the way home. There were probably about six. See if you can see any of them below. Unfortunately I scared them away when I insisted we drive closer…so they are very tiny.

Where's the deer? How many?

The next day we decided to class it up by taking a trip to bet on the ponies. Having gone to college in Saratoga Springs, NY I’m not unfamiliar with the track. I haven’t actually been to a racetrack since college though, and since I’ve been dying to see some horses up close it seemed like a great opportunity (so long as I put a blind eye towards the horse’s health…not so easy after skimming a NY Times article about the industry). The people I was with rub elbows with some of the owners, so we got to head down to the paddock and get up close and personal with the horses.

#8 in the first race...a favorite for the win. (I think).

#1a first race. Another favorite for the win. I wanted to bet on this guy...but my betting skills are rusty and I somehow chose #2 for the win...

I couldn’t remember how to place a bet, and somehow ended up betting wrong for the winning horse. I won my 3rd place bet though. Was feeling good for the start of the day…then I proceeded to lose on every single other bet I made. Good think I didn’t bring too much money. It was a fun day all in all. Got to go right up next to the track where the owners, trainers, and photographers stand. I also got my picture taken with a winning horse. It was pretty cool.

My photo-finish taking skills.

We ate lunch up at the buffet, which was really tasty. Reminded me of Vegas (kind of) actually, but more windows. Just as much gambling though.

So it was an interesting weekend, seeing how things change on Long Island from the easternmost edge to the western-ish edge. Very different mentalities, and nice additions to the New York Adventures I’ve experienced this spring.

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Adventures in New York City

My 'hood is so positive! And the squirrel and pigeon are wearing crowns!

So, I’m about to embark on a road trip to Colorado with the Mominator. We will pack up the little Yaris and head off for 2 weeks across the country and back. Our mission: To eat at places mentioned in Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood book and/or blog. They are frequent contributors to the Splendid Table podcast on NPR, and make everything they eat sound delicious. Oh, yeah, the other goal of the trip is to visit the Sister out in Crested Butte.

Since I will surely be creating blog entries instead of studying for my big exam at the end of the summer, I thought I’d warm up by throwing out some of the (free!) things I’ve done in NYC in the past few weeks. Summer is a great time here, especially when you have lots of free time, or need to do anything besides study.

Arch at Grand Army Plaza

Grand Army Plaza

Pond in Prospect Park

About a month and a half ago me and the roomie went to Prospect Park to check out the farmers market. Still early in the season there wasn’t much variety, and everything was pretty expensive (even for a farmers market). We dropped off our compost (why does it cost money to drop of our waste, which they then turn into soil and sell at the farmer’s market?), and then started walking. We ended up walking most of the perimeter of the park, and our simple exploration turned into a 2.5 hour hike.

Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island

I went to Coney Island a couple of weeks ago to beat the heat, and take a study break…that lasted all day. It was so much fun, and cleaner than the last time I went (about 4 years ago), although it’s surely not the Hamptons. You still need to watch out for broken glass in the sand…it turns into a little challenge! It was also great, because it was a Friday, and there weren’t too many people there at all. I didn’t go on any rides (I was alone, and I’m kind of a chicken), but I couldn’t figure out why this place isn’t packed! It’s a great bit of NYC history, plus there are ads in like every subway car I ride in.

Even the sign for the High Line is classy.

Flowers in the High Line

Umm, more flowers in the High Line

View of the Hudson from the High Line

Future High Line? We'll just have to wait and see.

This past weekend me and the roomie went on an unplanned 6.5 mile hike. It started at the southern end of the new High Line Park. This park has transformed an abandoned above-ground subway line, turning it into a lush park. It’s planted with native species, and is landscaped beautifully. It is really more of a gorgeous walking path from about 14th street up to 30th than a park, but it’s one of the free things you should do if you’re ever in NYC. We turned it into a 6.5 mile hike by walking to the east side once we got to 30th Street, and proceeding down the East River down to NoLiTa to check out a tattoo shop and jewelery store. Exhausted, we returned to our hood and ordered a pizza!

So, that’s about it for the recent NYC adventures. Looking forward to exploring the country, since the majority of my travels have been overseas in one direction or another. And, of course can’t wait to see the Sister and eat good food!

This is how my kitties feel about me leaving them.