From the bottom tip of Manhattan to the George Washington Bridge, and all the way back. Rob and I did this 24-mile route by bike on Saturday and got to see so many cool sights along the West side of Manhattan that we hadn’t seen before.
We rented our bikes for the day at Bike and Roll at Battery Park, then started off along the Esplanade. It was a perfect, sunny day for biking!From biking alongside the West Side Highway to the serene Riverside Park to the quiet Hudson River Greenway, we always had some kind of bike path to follow.
Along the way, we stopped to see the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, parked our bikes in Riverside Park on the Upper West Side for a picnic lunch, and saw the Riverside Cathedral near Columbia University.
The shot below was our view from lunch in Riverside Park. The closing scene of “You’ve Got Mail” was also shot in Riverside Park. (“I wanted it to be you” …swoon!)
Our goal was to make it all the way to the George Washington Bridge where we knew we’d find the Little Red Lighthouse. We made it!
The Little Red Lighthouse is Manhattan’s only remaining lighthouse, and was made famous by the 1942 children’s book, The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge, by Hildegarde H. Swift. The book tells the tale of the friendship between the small lighthouse and the George Washington Bridge.
“Built in 1880, the 40-foot tower was moved in 1921 to Jeffrey’s Hook, a rocky point on the Hudson River near Manhattan’s northern edge. The Lighthouse warned ships away from the shore as they made their way down the narrow channel between New York and New Jersey.
However, when construction of the George Washington Bridge was completed in 1931, the brilliant lights of the bridge’s 600-foot towers overwhelmed the little Lighthouse. In 1947, it was officially decommissioned and abandoned, and by 1951, the Little Red Lighthouse was slated for demolition – its cast-iron shell to be sold for scrap.
Hearing this news, thousands of children who had loved Swift’s book started a nationwide campaign to save the Little Red Lighthouse. Thanks in part to their efforts, ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.”
On the way back, we locked our bikes at the pier at West 56th Street where the Downtown Boathouse hosts free kayaking on the Hudson during the summer months. All you have to do is be able to swim, sign a waiver, grab a life vest, and hop in a kayak! Rob and I shared a two-seater kayak and paddled our way out into the Hudson for beautiful views looking back to the city. Another check on our NYC Bucket List!
And since it happened to be the anniversary of our engagement (June 1, 2012!), we cooked ourselves a celebratory fiesta of fajitas and my special guacamole. Our tired bodies were so happy to sit down and rest… and EAT!