I had a highlight of my recent stay in downtown Brooklyn, Citybiking.
I met a friend up in Williamsburg, and after a most excellent lunch at Aurora, we walked around and checked out the funky shops, huge condo developments, and hand-painted
billboards, up close.
I walked a mile or so down Wythe Street, looking out at the river just beyond the development which will be 40 stories and take over the former home of Domino Sugar, right on the water.
As we passed another towering condo project, all glass and steel, my friend Tom said that most of the apartments will be bought up by Arab and Asian buyers, who won’t ever set foot in them. They will be empty, just investments, not anyone’s living space. Weird.
I have heard that Williamsburg is the hippest part of Brooklyn, and the interesting array of businesses, in a somewhat less dense surrounding, is pleasing. It is the effect of having so many buildings be converted from commercial uses, so you get the funky high ceilings and surprises around every corner.
Especially striking is how much construction is happening, and the giant buildings and complexes that are going up. And the William Vale Hotel is a stunner too!
After my walk, I contemplated the best way to get home. The Uber to get here was a traffic jam 30-minute pain, so when I walked by a line of blue CityBikes, I knew how I’d be getting there.
After simple instructions and dipping my debit card in for a $12 charge, I pulled the bike off the rack and set off down the separated bike lane. Hey, their bike lanes here are way better than what we have. It actually felt safer riding there in Williamsburg than at home.
Following the dotted line of the Google map directions on my phone, it was easy, and nearly the entire way was on bike paths, either marked with paint or totally separated by low barriers. Which is what you want since it’s so easy to get bumped off in the rush of traffic.
It was a pleasant ride, past the gigantic former Brooklyn Navy Yard, now home to 500 or more businesses and almost as busy as they were during World War II. Then a quick hop, to check the time, since more than 30 minutes on one bike costs extra. So I left the bike in the rack with 5 mins to spare and walked the rest of the way to my hotel.