September 05, 2006

The Steinway Mansion

The last time Jon and I went bike riding, we rode down Berrian Place. At one point, I noticed a small road going up hill but didn't think anything of it. Then when I wrote about our last bike ride, Vidiot mentioned that we were near the Steinway Mansion and I figured out that the small road I'd noticed was probably the path to the mansion.

So, today we went to check it out. It wasn't as exciting as I thought. It is a cool old ivy covered house made of stone sitting on a nice piece of property.
Steinway Mansion

But clearly, somebody is living there and they've completed gated the house and bought a guard dog. After I took this picture of the Indian statue in the garden, a dog snuck up behind us and started barking.
Steinway Mansion Indian Statue
We turned around and saw a fluffy looking mutt. He wasn't that scary looking except that was unleashed and had no collar. He looked like a wild dog. We hesitated for a moment because we didn't want to run and excite the dog any further. I was very scared because I just finished a book about dangerous dogs which told cautionary stories about victims of dog attacks. Jon wisely suggested that we walk away slowly with our bicycles because riding them out might cause the dog to snap at our ankles.

The dog watched as we started walking our bikes away and returned to the garden through the gate which he shouldn't have been able to pass through. He was just warning us. He was a well-trained dog with good impulse control because he didn't chase us and he didn't bark again.

But I was disappointed because I did want to snap off a few more pictures.

Here are some other pictures from today's ride. We passed by Astoria Park where you can see the Triborough Bridge, the East River, Randall's Island and the Hell Gate Bridge.
Hell Gate Bridge

Our plan was to go all the way up to Flushing Meadows Corona Park and as we were crossing over the Grand Central Parkway on 81st Street, I stopped to take this picture. Grand Central Parkway

We then rode East on 23rd Avenue but it started to get really, really hilly. Too hilly for me and I had to call it quits on riding to Corona Park. So we turned right on to the block where Malcolm X used to live to see if we could see his house. That was somewhere in the 90's in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia airport. I can't remember where exactly. We didn't see the house because there wasn't any marker or anything that we noticed. Presumably, another family lives there now.

Anyway, we continued in that direction because I wanted to get to 32nd Avenue so I could show Jon where I used to teach but the hills in East Elmhurst were unrelenting. At some point, we just headed home down 32nd Avenue and that was nice because most of it was downhill. We encountered a couple of more hills after that but it wasn't too bad.

Jon told me afterwards that we had only ridden about 9.5 miles but with those hills it felt like 15 miles to me. Of course he continued his ride after dropping me off at home and did an additional 10 or 15 miles.

Overall it was a good ride.

I love my new bike.

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