We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Sunday, October 18. 2015
Exploring southern Manhattan on foot, as if a tourist: A photo report from the First Annual Maggie's Urban Hike
Re-posted from Oct, 2014. Was it really a year ago? Seems like yesterday.
We began our jolly urban hike on the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park, where the ferries depart to Staten Island, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty.
What is fatiguing is not the hiking itself - it's the overstimulation. So much going on, so much to look at.
Below the fold, a photo summary of our hike, with relevant links -
From the Battery (the old location of the forts defending Olde New York), with the towers of Jersey City on the right, across the Hudson
This looking north from Battery Park (still under renovation post-the Sandy storm)
Heading north into the Financial District.
Then we wandered east to do a walk-by of South Street Seaport - Brooklyn Bridge in the background
Then zigged west through the gleaming towers to the WTC, stopping by Trinity Church of course but I somehow lost the photos. Who cares? It's still there.
Some of us went to view the memorial, some did not
Heading back a little west to Broadway, St. Paul's Chapel (built 1766)
Then we hiked up Broadway to City Hall - a fine old building now draped in renovation
Pretty fountain in the little park in front
That little area is packed with intimidating court and government buildings and there is nobody there on a Saturday
From there, we strolled up to the infamous Five Points - quite harmless today with a very busy Columbus Park
And suddenly you are in Chinatown!
It is one of nine Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City and twelve in the New York City Metropolitan Area, which contains the largest ethnic Chinese population outside of Asia, enumerating an estimated 735,000 individuals
Then, heading north, you cross Canal St. and you are suddenly in the rapidly-shrinking Little Italy. It's mobbed with people, and even a few Italians.
Our group had lunch at one of the nice cafes, and some grabbed cannoli on the street. Still on olde Mulberry St.
Heading a bit north, you enter Soho (SOuth of HOuston St). A land of old manufacturing lofts turned into very expensive dwellings.
When you cross Houston St (pronounced House-ton here), you are in NoHo (NOrth of HOuseton)
NoHo blends into central Greenwich Village (as opposed to the East Village and the West Village). The central area is dominated by NYU and Washington Square Park, and a bunch of old, small jazz and other music joints where Bob and all the others used to play.
Around 6th St is the original (and still) Cooper Union, where Abe Lincoln really set his candidacy on fire in 1860. We're on lower Broadway now.
Just a block east is good old McSorley's. Everybody took a look inside but we did not stay for any McSorley's ale (they only sell their own brew, they now will admit ladies, it's still dirty and dark with sawdust on the floor and the same peanuts)
Thence north to Washington Square
Then we headed uptown on 5th Avenue (which begins there)
We hiked up 5th, then jogged east for do a walk-by of a very busy Union Square
Blue Water Grill on Union Square is one of our favorite seafood joints
The back uptown on 5th
Then another jog east to do a walk-by of elegant old Gramercy Park
Then back up on Broadway to the Flatiron District with the iconic Flatiron Building
We're in Midtown now, and the pedestrian traffic is heavy. Across the the Flatiron, we walk-by Madison Square Park, where the original Madison Square Garden once was.
Then up 5th to do a walk-by of the Empire State Bldg
Then a walk-by of the main NY Public Library (what are the names of those lions?)
Even on a Saturday afternoon, Midtown has. crowded sidewalks. Why?
At this point, it's after 4 pm so we decided to cut the hike a bit short (cutting out the next bit with Times Square, Theater District, Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle, Central Park, etc) and headed east on 42nd for a photo op of a busy Grand Central Terminal and to introduce people to the elite and comfortable Campbell Apartment where 1920s-era cocktails are the main draw - as is the attractive and prosperous after-work crowd on weekdays.
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great job, thank you very much for hosting and organizing. My son and I were only along for a short time, but we enjoyed meeting you..
Re: Washington Square: did you know there is a small museum in the actual arch? I doubt any members of the public have been shown it more than a handful of times in the last fifty years, and you probably have to know someone in the Parks Department to get the keys.
Link to article about how to get inside Washington Square Park Arch
Looking at Maggie's Farm from England (a habitual treat). Thanks for the memories of New York.
A walking tour of London is right up my alley. I've done several, both planned and unplanned. During the day and the wee hours of the morning.
Yes, we learned that cannoli is plural. We also learned that it is very important and we will be corrected.
I noticed the drone that was following us in Madison Square Park didn't make the gallery.
The lions are Patience and Fortitude. Thank God for the internet. I don't have to remember anything.
Yes, and they say that the lions grin every time a virgin walks in front of them.
I hate to lower the tenor of these comments on BD's lovely pics, but who is the babe standing in the doorway of McSorley's?
Never mind the lions....what's HER name?
When I was a very little girl (age 5?)I went to live with my Aunt who worked in Newark. She found me a wonderful baby sitter. A blonde gal about 19, very polite and so kind to me! One day we went to the big city to sit on a little rise in a little park and wait for the ferry that would bring her boy friend home. He arrived in army uniform--nothing so unusual to my family. But in retrospect I think he must have been getting ready for Korea.
Today, when I am napping in the afternoon sun my mind recalls the happiest moments as a little girl and that day still comes back as one of the best. Bathed in sunshine and kindness. I have never known for sure where it was until just now -- the picture on top with the ferry looks as if you are very close to that place where we waited for a boy friend to come home. Thank you.
After writing this I examined my memory carefully and took a look at the dates in my life. This day was spent in 1951 or 52. I think the reason they were both so happy is that the war had been called off and he was home for good! That is how I recall the joyful faces, and the bits of conversation.
We call it House-ton in Georgia, too. (Houston, GA and Houston St. in Atlanta.)
What a town. Grew up in the area you "walked" - an amazing place that made memories lasting a lifetime...
This native (and now ex) New Yorker appreciated the pix and the comments.
I once walked from Brooklyn Heights to the Metropolitan Museum and then back.
Thanks for the travelogue, from this armchair traveler. I've been to NYC once many years ago, but my daughter loves it.
Looks like the trek was most enjoyable.
About how many miles did you end up walking?
A year late, but I only just noticed this question.
The overall length of the walk, with meandering and side stops, was about 8.4 miles.
This was a wonderful day for me and my family touring Manhattan with the Maggie's community. Thanks so much for sponsoring this hike. Great fun to learn more about the city, and getting to know the people behind the Maggie's website. Next time we'll have to sample McSorley's. Also, who gets to live on that private street just off Washington Square?
Great pictures. Wife and I were there last weekend to surprise her grandmother for her 98th Bday. While there we also took in Little Italy and the WTC Memorial. Wonderful City.