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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Tuesday, April 26. 2016
All of New York City - not just Manhattan - is a patchwork of neighborhoods. If somebody asks you where you live, you name a neighborhood, not a street. The neighborhoods, with their mostly fuzzy edges, are distinctive in character and more like towns with invisible boundaries.
During this Maggie's Hike on the past Saturday I figure we explored, or at least passed through, these Manhattan neighborhoods: Lower East Side and Alphabet City, the East Village, Gramercy Park, Murray Hill, a bit of Midtown, a slice of the Upper East Side, most of Central Park, the Upper West Side, and Morningside Heights to the edge of Harlem. Not bad for a day's stroll.
That was 12 miles in all and 7 hours total, including pit stops, lunch break, visits into some places of interest, etc. Heck, Advil works!
Pic above is not our starting DD on Delancey St. - that pic is on Houston St.
Our team included friends, relatives, friends of Maggie's (new friends) from all over.
We also had with us celebrities like Stuart of Had Enough Therapy, Francis of Manhattan Contrarian, Dave of Assistant Village Idiot,
Pic documentary below the fold to see what you missed -
Before my pics, here's a fun image of the neighborhoods of Manhattan Island:
We started out in the Lower East Side, famed as a starting point for immigrants to the US. Every couple of blocks used to be a different ethnicity: German, Polish, Irish, Jewish, Armenian, Ukrainian.
Around 1910, George Bellows did this:
Naturally we passed by the Tenement Museum (reservations required) and world-famous Katz's Deli (reservations not required)
It's a youth and hipster area now, with 2 bedroom "tenements" going for over a million bucks.
Corner of 1st and 1st (First Ave and First St.)
We hiked into Alphabet City, through Tompkins Square Park (no pics due to a spell of refreshing Spring rain), then north thru the East Village where cops used to pick up the bodies of overdoses on the sidewalks in the morning clean-up. No more. Expensive now. There was a time when Alphabet City (Aves A, B, and C) were places to avoid.
Let's knock a bike over and see what happens:
Then a jog west past the vibrant Union Square and uptown to Gramercy Park and environs
North past Gramercy Park, we hiked up 2nd Ave (to avoid midtown sidewalk traffic, but still did not) through Murray Hill which is sort of ordinary bustling Manhattan.
Then we cut west, stopped at a favorite dress boutique, and then marched for fun through the lobby of the art deco Waldorf Astoria.
Thence up Park Ave to 57th St, west to 5th Ave and up to Grand Army Plaza where we hit the fun food trucks for lunches. New Yorkers and tourists alike love food trucks. Quick, huge variety, and you can eat outdoors or on the run.
We ate our stuff on the edge of the fountain next to the Plaza Hotel watching the crowds and pretty people and the horses and buggies as the sun came out.
Then we dove into the 800-acre Central Park and headed north on what turned into a beautiful 70 degree day. The Park was as lovely as I have ever seen it, with everything in bloom and filled with cheerful people, lovers, and families.
We did not walk through the zoo.
The Upper West Side: We cut out of the park at 96th St west over to Riverside Drive because Bulldog wanted to see the Atomic Buddha which survived Hiroshima. Have seen that thing, but never knew what it was. I didn't take a photo.
Then east again crossing Broadway to see the tiny Straus Park. It is quite a story about Isidore and Ida Straus - and of course the lovely Audrey Munson.
That was on the way over to Amsterdam Ave. to look into the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. High Episcopal for sure. It is still under active construction.
Then we cut through the center of the campus of Columbia University where they were setting up for commencement. Took a few pics but they seem to have disappeared. Hiked up Broadway a few blocks then over towards the Hudson to look into Riverside Church
and, of course, Grant's Tomb overlooking the river.
Then we took the Broadway train from 116th St. down to Times Square and the Shuttle over to Grand Central for the usual cocktail reward at the Campbell. I had a Rob Roy. Never had one before. I was pooped but some of our team then marched off to see an Off-Off Broadway play.
I think a good and memorable time was had by all. Not to mention sore legs. I greatly enjoyed our companions. Maybe the idea of urban hiking will go viral because it deserves to. NYC is so large and varied that it's easy to be a tourist on your own home turf.
Overall impression of the city from this hike: Looks mostly neat and clean, generally prosperous, new construction everywhere, busy streets, tons of attractive young people and, of course, it's so multi-ethnic that you stop noticing it.
Posted by Bird Dog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 12:58 | Comments (12) | Trackbacks (0)
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Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't see a single black or hispanic person in your photographs. Has NYC really become that gentrified?
Very nice. But you took the train from 116th st. DOWN to Times Square. Not UP.
1) there aren't many people period, though there were plenty on the walk. More heavily Hispanic and white than others, I think. 2) There are some black and hispanic persons in the photos, but they are not prominent. 3) Our hikers are disproportionately represented in the photos. 4) We looked at architecture and tourist sights, which don't tend to bring in the ethnic locals as much - not even the Ukrainians and Japanese.
I'm not sure if this is a legitimate question or an attempt to make a political statement. That may sound combative, but it's not meant to be.
The truth is I never spend time trying to figure that stuff out. Living here, I see all kinds of people all the time. If I tried to figure out who I see more of, I'm just wasting time.
As AVI points out, there are a multitude of reasons why you may see an under-representation of minority groups. To some degree, it's self-selection (our group being disproportionately comprised), to another it's just a bit of random chance. That said, particularly in the LES and Alphabet City portions of the town, we saw many other ethnic groups. In Central Park, the mix was substantial.
But I'm not even sure trying to figure out why they don't show in the pictures is important, unless being aware of minorities is important. It's not to me. After a while, all the differentiation fades and you just see people.
Dang, we're sorry we missed it... Especially having reading that there was another Mainer in attendance! We had good intentions, but young neice's First Communion that we came down to NJ to witness ended up dominating the day, and we didn't make it into the city until Sunday to drop our Junior off at Fordham... Maybe next year... thanks for the pics! I totally would have knocked on the Angel's door!
Looks like it was a wonderful time. Thanks for the post.
Mrs. feeblemind loves Katz's Deli.
Wow, what a great time! When will you set a date for another hike?
We are considering something for the fall, possibly September.
BD and I began hashing some of the details already.
Probably Tribeca and north. More sights, less walk (and less Advil).
Thanks to all who organized the event. It was a terrific gathering. We enjoyed our new friends. And the walkabout was pleasant as well. We hope to do it again.