Yes, that’s right–whales–humpbacks to be exact, disporting themselves around New York City, particularly just beyond Coney Island. We attended a Gotham Whale event sponsored by the NYC Sierra Club that proved it. There they were–60 foot giants breaching and gorging themselves on schools of fish called bunker almost on our shores. You can view them on four-hour whale and dolphin watching cruises on the American Princess.
The mission of Gotham Whale, a research and conservation group, is “To study, advocate for, and educate about the whales and marine mammals of New York City, through Citizen Science.” The next NYC Sierra Club cruise is October 18 and anyone can go along and even register as a “citizen scientist” to help spot and count our local ocean mammals. The boat leaves from Riis Landing in Rockaway, Queens, and returns around 4 pm. It was good to hear that the waters around New York’s harbors are clean enough to attract fish and their predators–whales, dolphins and seals. Also white sharks, but don’t worry, the whales get rid of them for you.
While we were in the neighborhood of Jackson Heights, we took the opportunity to wander around the area on 73rd and 74th and 82nd Streets between Roosevelt and 37th avenues that caters to South Asians from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (traveltips.usatoday.com Here we found restaurants including the famous Jackson Diner –yes, it serves Indian food,clothing stores complete with saris and bridal wear, fine jewelry shopsand groceries. We wandered into the vast Patel Brothers food palace which offers condiments, packaged foods, fresh fruit and endless bags of rice.
But, of course, we were on a mission–dessert–and there are many choices. These desserts are very very sweet–fine with me.
We headed to Rajbhog where Simon directed us, and found ourselves in a little place with a wide variety–Dry, Bengali and Rajbhog Special Sweets.We thought we had an obligation to sample a few from each category….Jackson Heights is easy to get to: take the number 7 train from Manhattan to 74th Street and you’re right there. It’s fun, it’s free (except for what you buy) and it’s New York.