roadtrip post #6

Before getting back on the road to my next stop, I took one last pic at Trackstar. This little gem was locked up to the pole out front:

Indeed…

My final destination in Manhattan was Deadly Dragon Sound System record shop. It was just a few blocks from Trackstar, and I was able to make the whole trek without looking at the GPS, since I kind of knew my way by this point. One other thing I had learned by then was, if you know where you are going, you can rock the parallel streets to avoid traffic, which isn’t as fun, but is waaaay safer and still pretty exciting. So I made my way to Forsyth st and crossed Delancy once again.

The street the record shop is on was actually closed to two way traffic and had a big bike lane down the middle. At least I think it was a bike lane. It just had diagonal stripes down a section about 10ft wide, which was pretty different than the other bike lanes I saw. In Baltimore, the bike lanes are painted to look like you are sporting some 70’s era gigantic headphones, but in NY, your head is a mushroom.

Reached the record store with no problem, even feeling kind of smug having used the grid system to my advantage avoiding cars along the way. There wasn’t really a good place to lock up the bike on the side of the street where the record shop was, so I had to get creative like the rest of the folks who had this issue and pop the bike up on this wall dealie and lock it. Here is my bikes one and only NY vanity shot:

The Puegeot is lookin good these days eh? Fortunately the record shop appeared to be open finally, so I headed in to check it out.

The place was so filled up that I actually couldn’t tell if they were open or packing up to move! I asked the guy inside if they were open and he said “yes but you know we only have reggae records right”, to which I replied…”Thats what I came for!”. I can understand him giving me the heads up, being that I was obviously an out of towner. I kind of got a chuckle out of it.

When I say this place was filed up , I mean FILLED UP!

See that little bit of walkway visible near the bottom left? Thats all the room there was to move in there. No worries though…even though the fit was tight the selection was RIDICULOUS. He had freakin everything. There was a section of the store that had records seperated by riddim, but most of the store was separated by decade…each decade then separated by alpha. It was a crate diggers goldmine if you dig this kind of sound. On the downside, as opposed to finding gems in clueless backwater record stands that the owners have no clue about the value of, this guy was waaaay informed, so the alot of the slabs were 15-30$. I dug through randomly for a while, looking for something for my friend Eric, but I was having no luck. Eventually digging prevailed and I started to find some biscuits worth listening to. There was a deck set up in the front of the store, which the guy said was cool to use to listen so I picked up the pace with the shopping. Most of what I found for cheap were in pretty bad condition, but I KNEW if I kept at it, I’d find the hidden gold. Sure enough, along the way I found something for Eric, and grabbed this little gem for myself:

SWEET FIND!

All too soon it was time to make the final trek back across the bridge into Carries neighborhood to sync up at her hut. By this time I had fully acclimated to the rythym and flow of riding a bike in NY. I also didn’t need my GPS for once I was back on the other side at all. The ride back was super fun since I didn’t have to keep stopping and making sure where I was…I even managed to throw a couple of bonafide -trackstanding to wait for cars at intersections- dealies on my way to Carries block.

Once she got home from work it was kind of like the bonus round because she suggested a place to eat which required us to bike to. Not only was I happy to get more NY ride time, but also really double stoked to be riding around with Carrie. She has a practical fendered and basketed Bianchi that totally fits her style.

Out on the streets Ms Whitenoise was blazing fast! I was pretty impressed with that. I had not really ridden fast all day til we set out for the food joint we were on route to. I found that the faster we went the more fun was, since I was with someone who knew where we were going.

The food particles were great but I don’t remember the name of the place. Mexican. Little mini tacos that burned like crazy. I’m not one of those folks who loves hot sauces and such, but it was pretty freakin good one my mouth got used to the heat.

After dinner we rode to this place where you can walk out to the waterfront and check a really great view of Manhattan.

Some dude caught a radioactive fish while we were standing there, which created much excitement among the folks on hand.

From here, in order to keep with my schedule, we headed back to her hut and I started wrapping things up. We chit chatted for about an hour and just like that it was time to go. Carrie walked with me to the car and hung out while I disassembled my bike and made all the other preparations. I was so sad to be leaving, especially knowing that I had options to extend my visit, but there was a matter back in Atlanta I had gotten a phone call about that had sort of preoccupied me with heading south ever since I arrived. Sucks.

…And just like that, I was on the BQ expressway on my way back to Baltimore and points south.
Overall I am hugely satisfied. I had achieved all my riding goals during my short time in NY. I felt like I experienced a huge amount in the short time I was there, without spending a zillion dollars. Maybe at some point I will come back and do touristy things, but this time around I really wanted to play New Yorker for a day. I have been so envious of all my Atlanta friends that have made the move up there. I think that by coming to town and doing regular things as opposed to super touristy things,  I got more of an image of what it is like to actually LIVE there, which will have to hold me over til I get a chance to return. Next time around I’ll certainly bring my bike, but I would also like to learn to use the train system so I can cover more ground. I know a lot of people up there and I didn’t get to see anyone this past time. I won’t make that mistake again.

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