Getting to Central Park for my Sunday softball games is pretty easy from Long Island City. I just ride over the Queensboro Bridge and head west on one of the streets in the lower 60s until I reach the Dairy and walk under the drive to the ballfields. The ride takes less than a half hour.
But Sunday was the annual National Puerto Rican Day parade. This one of the biggest parades of the summer, and its route along Fifth Avenue, from 44th to 79th streets, creates a “wall” that is difficult to cross. (The Gay Pride Parade is also big but its route along Fifth Avenue doesn’t block Central Park from the east side, as its north end is in the upper 50s.)
To get to the field, I have resorted to some creative solutions. Sometimes just take my bike on subway to the west side and ride the rest of the way. I once took the subway the entire way to Central Park, but that took much longer than one would expect. Subway service on a Sunday is sparse compared to weekday service. Another time, I took the East River Ferry to East 34th St and rode the rest of the way, but it cost $10 round trip for a five-minute ride.
This year, I took the Williamsburg Bridge, headed north along Avenue A, then west along Ninth Street, and up to Eighth Avenue. The trip was about six miles longer than my usual crosstown trip through the Upper East Side, and took just less than an hour. But I was warmed up for the game, ready to go.