On Sunday, we began the second part of our trip. A visit to Hoboken to see my old friend Gordon, and then to play tourist in New York City.
We started with a short cab ride from the hotel to the Park Ridge train station. While we were waiting for the train, I noticed Cyclesport across the street. Back in the ’70s, when I was racing for the North Jersey Bicycle Club, Cyclesport was the headquarters for our arch-rivals, the Italian Cycling Association. It appears that they still have a racing team, although it’s under a different name now.
This was my first time riding the New Jersey Transit Pascack Valley Line. I always remember seeing it when I was out on bike rides, but I don’t recall ever seeing a train on the tracks ever before. I always wondered how they did it, since most of the line is single-track. So while we were riding the train to Hoboken, I paid attention, and I saw that there were about two or three places where there were passing tracks built along the line to allow trains in opposite directions to pass each other. It was a pleasant ride, and pretty soon we were in Hoboken. I’ve been through the Hoboken station countless times before, but never before have I actually gone out the door to the town outside. But this time, that’s what we did. We walked outside, and Gordon met us there to give us and our suitcases a ride to his house.
After a short rest, we decided to start our sightseeing. We took a walk down to the waterfront, passing the “Cake Boss” bakery and the line down the block of people waiting to get in. There is a park built on one of the old piers where we had a nice view across the river to Manhattan.
Next, we walked back to the train station and took the PATH across the river to the 14th St station. From there, we walked west to go to the High Line. I’d read about this park some years ago, and it sounded interesting. It’s certainly a good way to reuse an old structure.
We walked up to the end of the High Line at 30th St, and then we took a cab back to Greenwich Village. We passed by the Stonewall Inn, which was where the gay rights movement got its start in a riot on a hot June night back in 1969. Then we walked around Washington Square Park a bit until it was time to head over to Houston St to meet up with my friend Thaddeus for dinner.
We met with Thaddeus and his family at Veselka Bowery. We had a nice dinner there, and we got to talk and catch up on stories. It was a nice evening, and afterward, he showed us to the subway entrance so we could make our way back to Hoboken. It was amazingly hot and stuffy down in the subway stations. I know I’ve been in the subways in summer before, but I don’t remember it ever being quite so totally uncomfortable. But the trains were air conditioned, so once we were moving, it was all right. We rode the train back to Hoboken and Gordon’s house, and we planned our sightseeing for Monday.