2014 HW: Starlight Park

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Intro Lesson
Today, the Hot Wheelers started off with a talk about about what community means to them. There was a sweeping consesus that the people around you constitute your community. We talked about how communities can come together to protest. We also learned that communities can unite to get stuff done. Today we visited a community quite unfamiliar to some of us: the one around the Bronx River. Before heading out, we talked about our destination and its ties to the community we were visiting: Starlight Park. Starlight Park used to be an amusement park where everyone could come for free music and performances. Unfortunately, it fell into disrepair. Thankfully, the community decided something had to be done, and so the Bronx River Alliance was born. This alliance is united by their mission to clean up the area and make the park a hub once again.

Word of the Day: Community
(from communis- common, public, general, shared by all or many)

Starlight Park
We started out on the East River path (and old stomping ground for the Hot Wheelers at this point), and headed north. We crossed over the Pedestrian Bridge to Randall’s Island, and coasted around Randall’s Island towards the Triborough Bridge. This wasn’t the Hot Wheelers’ first encounter with the bridge, but this time we were headed to the Bronx instead of Queens. You know what that means…everyone got their Bronx badges today! While on the bridge, we peeped down to the water below. You wouldn’t believe what we saw…a car! We got pretty creative coming up with ways it got there; how mysterious!

There was a lot of riding on the street today. This can be very daunting for kids and adults a like, but armed with our hand signals, everyone was super cautious and did a great job.

We took a bit of a long route to the park, but we got to compare the different communities we rode through. Some were more industrial, some had more trees…all very different from each other and from our own. It was a tiring ride, but the park was definitely worth it! We sat right down at great little picnic benches, and gobbled our healthy lunches.

After lunch, we were in for a treat! We got to meet with someone from the Bronx River Alliance who talked to us a lot about the eels they catch. Did you know that it is strongly believed that all eels are born in one place? Yep, the Sargasso Sea! Before heading out,  Cappy showed us what a Mugwort is. Most of us tried this bitter, minty herb…and by try, I don’t necessarily mean swallowing but A for open-mindedness!

And what’s a ride without a technical issue? Ontus’ bike deflated, but no fear…the Hot Wheelers are here! Together, everyone helped ensure Ontus would be back on track in no time.

Unfortunately, our time in the Bronx had to come to an end, so we headed back to the Stanley Isaacs Center. The weather was sunny, and we had a great day overall!

This trip was on July 31, 2013
Programming time: 5.5 hours
Ride time: 4.5 hours
Ride Distance: 13.56 mi.
Walk Distance: 0.49 mi.
Calories Burned: 1089

Participants
Tymel Church
Ontus Bangura
Estuardo Bustamante
Cay’la-Monee Watts
Keith Floyd

Co-Leaders: Emily Bai, Cappy Collins, Lara Crystal-Ornelas, Justin Downs, Dani Niderman, Juleon Robinson, Perry Sheffield

Posted in Hot Wheelers, NYC East Harlem 2014 Summer

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