NYC-By-Bike: The Best Cannoli in the Bronx

From a series of posts on exploring New York's neighborhoods, bike lanes and parks.
Today, the clouds finally cleared and so I unclipped my bike from the trainer and headed out into the sunshine. A friend who lived uptown and worked in the Bronx invited me to coffee, and so rather than dread the hour-and-a-half subway-bus ride to meet her, I decided to go by bike instead, using the opportunity to cover some of the East River route I abandoned after my chain broke last Thursday.
To avoid the tourists, I took the Manhattan Bridge (Photo 1) and then headed down the separated (and separately-signaled) bike lanes on Allen Street to the East River bike path that curves around the LES and Alphabet City (Photo 2).
It's been six months since I'd been on this stretch of bike path and I'd really hoped that in the intervening time the City might have found the time and resources to repave the surface. I used to take the East River bike path daily when I commuted between New Haven via Metro North and Grand Central and my old office in the Financial District, and I got in one of my most skin-removing bike crashes on it last spring when the front tire of my Brompton got wedged in a crater-like pothole disguised as a mud puddle.
Unfortunately, the path was as rutted and puddle-y as before and I had to dodge various backhoes and other pieces of heavy machinery that were using the path as an access road to the East River Park.
The pavement evened out around 14th Street (Photo 3) but there's a gap in the waterfront pedestrian/bike path from 38th-61st Streets,
The promenade along the Upper East Side was unsurprisingly crowded with strollers and dog-walkers. Too narrow, crowded and bumpy to really cycle on, it also featured a long set of stairs at 81st Street (Photo 4). At 120th Street, the bike path ended after getting thoroughly lost at the highway interchange like intersection at the northernmost end of 2nd Avenue, I found my way over the pedestrian walkway on Willis Bridge and into the South Bronx (Photo 5).
I was able to follow on-the-street bike lanes up Willis Avenue to Melrose and eventually to the semi-separated bike lane along Park Avenue that paralleled the Metro North railroad tracks (Photo 6). Near the Fordham Campus, I met my friend in the old Italian neighborhood around Ciccarone Park for a quick cup of coffee and cannoli at Palombo's Pastry Shop (Photo 7) before heading south again on the Grand Concourse to Macomb Bridge (Photo 8). As the sun set over the Hudson, I pedaled west to Riverside Drive (Photo 9) and cruised south towards Brooklyn.

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