One of the wonderful things about living in New York in the summertime is the multitude of free activities available to locals and tourists alike. This afternoon, my sister and I walked over to tourist central, otherwise known as the South Street Seaport, with one purpose in mind: renting bikes – without the rental fee.
I received a flyer in my mailbox a few weeks ago advertising locations of free bikes at the seaport and Battery Park, but it took us a while to finally manage to make it over there. In preparation, I put on my practical shoes and knee sleeves; my sister…did not.
Now, a little background: the last time I was on a bike, I was nine years old. That was a long, long time ago. So today I had to do a bit of practicing, and the first few minutes were looking a little bleak. Mounting a bicycle for the first time in almost fifteen years on Manhattan streets – not exactly an ideal locale.
Although there were some near misses with cabs, small children, and delivery boys, as well as an unfortunate collision with a pole, the experience of zooming down the West Side Highway was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Once the first few unstable minutes had passed, pedaling into the breeze was as easy as – well, riding a bike.
The last time I was on that path was also the last time I ran, and riding down there today was nostalgic – but in a positive way. Honestly, I’m relatively sure I’m going to go rent a bike on my own sometime this week. Exercise is always more fun in the fresh air!
After our ride, my stomach was audibly hungry, so I got to work on dinner. My task of the evening was to conquer mustard greens and actually enjoy them. I passed my test:
bbq beans and mustard greens (serves 1)
- 1/2 c onion, chopped
- 1/2 c diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 large zucchini, diced
- 1/2 c kidney beans
- 4 c mustard greens, chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 T barbecue sauce
- 1 T rice vinegar
- 1 T maple syrup
- 1 t ground mustard
- 1 t cumin
Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add onion; sauté until soft. Meanwhile, whisk together barbecue sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, and cumin.
Add zucchini, tomatoes, beans, mustard greens, and barbecue sauce mixture to saucepan. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.
I served it over barley and felt as though I should have been dining in a Southern backyard, rather than my New York countertop. A good one for a muggy summer evening.
Do you remember the first time you rode a bike? Did you fall? Need training wheels? Were you a natural? (My answers would be yes, yes, and definitely no).