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Bike NY (continue 1)

May 13, 2007

Bike NY – my initerary

– Friday afternoon: Set off to Busch Campus, Rutgers University. Arrived at midnight. Stayed at a friend’s house.

– Saturday morning: Visited Princeton University on Washington Road.

– Saturday afternoon: visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

– Saturday evening: Headed back to Busch Campus, Rutgers.

– Sunday morning: Drove to NYC at 6:30 am. Arrived at 7:45am. Parked free on Moor St. Assembled my bike. United with fellow co-workers at Washington Square Park. The ride began soon after.

Riding.

Broke away to get to Strand bookstore: Rode halfway under the Brooklyn Bridge towards Manhattan. Got on subway with my bike. Got off at Broadway-Lafayette. Walked to Strand bookstore.

Got back to the parking spot.

Drove back to Vermont.

NYC trip bits and pieces                      

Traveling

I gained tremendous traveling experience. I read maps, no GPS. I drove at night and in the day. I drove on highway and unfinished roads and toll roads. I drove through dark, empty and winding town roads.  I lost my way and took wrong exits. I knew how to get back to highway.

Gas and foods.

I asked questions. I asked grocery store staff. I asked drivers. I asked black people. I knew how to smile and showed respect and care even though I was tired.

I talked with people. My friend. Visitors. Students. Subway passengers. Riders.

New Jersey and Busch Campus

New Jersey is truly the Garden State this time of year. Lots of trees and leaves. The leaves joined themselves in creating vast waves of leaves with the wind. A very green place.

However, New Jersey has lots of highways and traffic as well. It is fortunate that it has lots of trees.

Busch Campus at Rutgers is so generous a place. It has space for golfing and tennis. There is also a big lake.

Rutgers’ academic rule is tight. In order to print out a document, students need both userID and swiping studentID. I was fortunate to find a kind girl who helped me print out a google map in the library.

Princeton University

Princeton is a great academia, located in New Jersey. It has an ancient beauty. Its vivid traces of time shows the depth of knowledge. Its library looks like a museum.

There were many visitors to the university. I joined one tour and listened to the guide talked about famous people graduated from Princeton. The guide knew quite a few, for few that he did not know he said “that’s an interesting question…” A clever young student.

I walked to the Arts museum. A funny story happened in my entrance.

The rule is that visitors must leave their bags outside. The girl said that she needed 1$ deposit for the locker key. Because of my English problem, I think it’s commercial.

I said “that’s cute” and gave her 1$.

I then went to the locker but got back to her and said “How about you give me 1$ back, I assume that people are good so I leave my bag outside” 😉

She said OK but then realized what I meant, she explained that one dollar is for security deposit only. I said

“Oh I think it’s a commercial mindset”

We both laughed. When I got out, we laughed again.

As I walked in, I joined a tour led by an elderly artistic man. He explained much about the pictures. He dissected layers of meanings and forms. I felt so humble.

I walked around a large area of one corner of the campus. As I walked, I took notes of what I saw and sudden ideas I might thought of. Here is an ad of a pub: “Dedicated to the fine art of being open”🙂

As I was about to leave the campus. I had another high school joke.

There are a statue of two person, one higher and one lower on the entrance of the campus. A group of high schoolers passed by and one guy said excitedly “Took a picture in this direction”.

I was surprised and asked “Why?”

He said “I don’t know… maybe because of my high school immaturity…”. I complimented him on “did a good job”. Wow, I stretched my mind quite a bit.

Philadelphia

This was the second time that I visited the city. This time by myself.

Philadelphia is a city of higher ethnicity. As I drove in the city, I saw diversity in the streets, houses and the people.

Hard to find but I found the free place to park at last. It was on a street on a flea market of mostly black people. Most the the items are from African people such as jewelries, decorations, books and music.

I went downtown and Performance Arts museum. The downtown was big. The museum was under reconstruction. Its platform was a higher place to see the city. There were few couples taking wedding pictures at the Arts museum.

One black person asked me for changes for his food. I gave him 1$. He said “God blesses you”. I truly felt blessed.

I made a huge mistake not taking down the street name where I parked my car. One two data: flea market and its proximity to the museum. It was like finding a car in a city! I found it finally by asking around.

The parking spot was close to a Philadelphia prison. A huge and ugly one. One that street, black people were enjoying their dance and music late afternoon. Some just sit on the porch for fresh air.

Any people are actually kind, if you know how to approach them, to make them feel friendly and safe.

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