2015-10-02 40 -74
In a road in east Staten Island, New York City
I had no other plans that evening, and hadn't hashed in SI yet so a trip was in order. There were two reasonable ways to get there, either the subway to Bay Ridge (Brooklyn) from where I could catch an S53 bus over the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, or the Staten Island Ferry to the Staten Island Railway. I decided on the bus/bridge option, because the ferry was only leaving twice an hour in the evening. I would take the railway/ferry option home to make a big loop (though for some reason I didn't think of the Tron achievement.) It was only a few hours later, looking at the satellite picture after work, that I realized the bus would take me directly through the point, rather than a few meters away! Another ultimate public transport hash was in order. I don't know why I find this type of hash so cool.
Unfortunately, I didn't get out until around 8:30pm and then the subway trip to Bay Ridge took forever. First the 2 train, already slowed by construction, made an extremely long stop in downtown Brooklyn waiting for the paramedics to pick up a passenger who was having a seizure. Finally another train came by on the parallel track and I was able to transfer and continue. It looked really bad - I hope he didn't have to wait much longer!! Then the R train to Bay Ridge took about 20 minutes to show up. So it was well after 10pm by the time I finally got to Bay Ridge and the bus, which departed after a much shorter wait (during which I forgot to rev up the GPS.) Bay Ridge seemed like a friendly ethnic neighborhood, there were Greek and Asian businesses and even something unexpected from my hometown of 41,-87. Reminded me a lot of 2015-02-08 40 -73.
The bus windows were fogged up with the rainy, raw, 50F (10C) weather, so the view from the high bridge was grand but ghostly as the GPS got in gear, happily unimpeded by said windows. Soon we were down on Staten Island, which was much darker and more suburban, though again I couldn't see much. With a quarter mile to go I started taking video and sure enough I captured the GPS dropping to exactly 0.00ft as the bus carried me through the spot. Another success on the MTA!
Unlike the other two times, though, I'd actually be able to document the surroundings on this one. As soon as I'd put away the gear I hit the stop request button, but I ended up being let off a quarter mile down the road. The walk back to the hash was dark, quiet and full of puddles and trees with the occasional passing car... the neighborhood reminded me a lot of residential parts of 47,-122, especially with the steady, light to moderate autumn rain falling and the breeze blowing. The hash area was surrounded by houses and a visibly patriotic realty office.
By this time it was nearly 11pm and it occurred to me that the Staten Island Railway might not be running anymore. I went to find the station on Google Maps, it turned out it was still running but I was going to miss the 11:03 and the next wasn't until 11:33 (so I'd be on the midnight ferry, and not home until well after 1am!) I briefly thought about just retracing my steps back to Bay Ridge and the R train, but at this hour that could take forever too. So I decided to go with the original plan and take a very unhurried walk west and north to the station.
This turned out to be the right move: the neighborhood was fascinating, totally unlike the more built-up parts of the city. In some ways it looked like it hadn't changed since the mid to late 20th century, there were very old-school Italian-American businesses and a lot of forest and little hills. There was even a Wildlife Crossing sign, and a random Chinese restaurant open at 11:15pm in the middle of the trees. See the photos below. The train was like a cute tiny version of the subway (but out in the open instead of underground), and ran right along the dark rainy waterfront facing Brooklyn for the last few miles.
The ferry ride back to Manhattan was cool too, with the dark buildings of the Financial District slowly and epically looming into view, looking like some sort of future sci-fi capital. The subway timing was excellent and I was home surprisingly quickly. Another borough down... I have hashed Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx already, so now I just need a reasonable Brooklyn point and I will own all five boroughs!!
The video turned out too blurry to read. Drat.
I ran out of batteries at this point, but pretty much everything after this was through wet foggy windows.
| OtherJack earned the Public transport geohash achievement
| OtherJack earned the ULTIMATE Public transport geohash achievement