Right next to the bike path you can take a break on the river itself.
Downtown get off at 14th street and head west for a few blocks. When you see this weird building around 10th Ave and 13th st...
...park your bike and look for steps up to what had been an abandoned elevated railroad track. Now it's an elevated art/park that stretches for a half mile (so far) called The High Line. Here you can look at the art, look at the city and learn to think like a New Yorker about parking.
Who knew that you could turn a rusted old hulk, a familiar eyesore for decades, into a garden spot?