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.
This was not the longest hike we've had, or so I thought. After reviewing the last three, I came to realize I'd bitten off a bigger chunk of steak than realized. We clocked in at just over 11 miles, and prior to yesterday, 10 was the longest. For some reason I had believed our hike two years ago was closer to 13 miles when in fact it wasn't even 9.5.
Despite this, we were on target for time during the first half, but fell behind on the second. Each site had a longer trek involved,and there were a lot of lights along the way. In addition, wrangling 25 people (the largest group yet) was not easy. Still, 8 people didn't continue past lunch (as expected) and a few other left midway through the second half. We had a solid core of hardy trekkers at the finish. Unfortunately, I made the tragic error of not checking to see if the water taxi was running. It was not. We are all very thankful for Citibike (the three who rode bikes back into Manhattan were the big winners!) and Uber (a cheap drive back into Manhattan from Red Hook).
As always, an enjoyable group. We renewed friendships from previous years' hikes, made some new ones, and I even learned my cousin and his friends have never seen Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, despite one of his friends working for Pinkerton. Kids these days!
Mrs. Bulldog and I enjoyed a cocktail with two of our fellow trekkers at Ryan Maguire's, near where we'd parked. We commented what a pleasant and interesting group of people we did these hikes with. Everyone is open to chat, friendly, full of fun and information. Good people, no microagressions were noticed, no need for safe spaces.
One thing I did not factor into the hike at all was the Battle of Long Island, also known as the Battle of Brooklyn. I really didn't think there was much left to look at. I was wrong. We did run into several items which discussed the battle and its locations. A plaque on a bank, just after lunch, indicated the spot Washington had used to observe the battle as it began down in Gowanus (then the Guan Heights) and the Old Stone House had more information about the holding action a Maryland regiment had engaged to allow the Continental Army to escape. I'm an old dog, but still learning new tricks.
Thank you all for putting up with my error regarding 7 Middagh Street. Where I'd first said it was the location of the Plymouth Church, on the ride home I was sorting through my notes and found I'd flipped addresses and that it was actually the location of a home which was shared (over time) by W.H. Auden, Gypsy Rose Lee, Carson McCullers, Paul & Jane Bowles, and Richard Wright. Thankfully, my error was offset by a wonderful view of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor - so plenty of picture opportunities. In fact, we did hit Plymouth Church two stops later, so we didn't miss anything at all.
Several intriguing spots were missed on the second half, and that's fine. It was getting late, and we had to get the (not in service) water taxi. But we did finish, found a great dive bar (Sonny's) that was unfortunately considered by many to be a great dive bar...it was far too crowded.
All in all, a fun day. Pictures below of the Manhattan Bridge (Mrs. Bulldog pointed out it's the most heavily posted picture on Instagram, and judging by the crowds clogging the street at 10:30, she was right), the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument in Fort Greene Park, and the Williamsburgh Bank Tower (once the highest building in Brooklyn).
It's easy to see why the DUMBO picture of the Manhattan Bridge is so popular...
I am older now and find that I cannot walk on concrete for any length of time. I can still do three miles on dirt, but only about 10 minutes on concrete. Pounding the pavement reverberates in my femur bone with pain.
I have a suggestion for you. Why not post a series of short walks that visitors to NYC could follow on their own. Nothing say more than 1 mile or 2 at the max.
You probably thought the hike two years ago was longer because I was whining the whole way.
In your search for future themes, you might pick a decade and arrange a route that takes in buildings or parks that are still left. Put out period photos beforehand and see how many recognise them as they pass by.
Assistant Village Idiot
We thought it was fine, including the industrial parts of Red Hook. Joey Gallo? It was good to see where the real people live and do real things, like making cement.
Amazing about Sonny's. Nobody on the street in Red Hook, dark dive bar packed with young beautiful people having a wonderful time. Loved to see that.