July 15, 2002


FROM BROADWAY BRIDGE TO BATTERY PARK: Today, along with friends Ben and Joelle, I did something I've wanted to do for quite some time: walk the length of Manhattan island, from the northernmost tip (220th Street, across the Harlem River from the Bronx) to the southernmost (Battery Park, facing New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty). It took the three of us eight and a half hours, but we did it, walking appoximately 260 blocks and 13 miles, all down Broadway, through the neighborhoods of Inwood, Washington Heights, Harlem, Morningside Heights, the Upper West Side, upper midtown, Times Square, Chelsea, the Flatiron District, Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca/Chinatown, the Financial District, and finally Battery Park. All of us New York residents but none of us New York natives, the three of us saw this as an opportunity to explore our city, "connecting the dots" of all those places we've been going on the subway for all this time, and just generally getting a better idea of the character of the city we call home (show of hands- how many of you have explored YOUR entire city on foot? Hmmmm?)
Discoveries made on the journey: on the entire length of Broadway, there are more Starbucks locations (23) than churches and synagogues (14, 4 respectively) combined. When we reached 171st St., Ben was reminded of a long-ago "Sesame Street" ditty called "The George Washington Bridge Song"- not as popular, apparently, as Simon and Garfunkel''s "59th Street Bridge Song." There is a section of a park near City Hall with the somewhat disjointed but still honorable name "People With AIDS Plaza." Somewhat surprisingly, none of us ran into anyone we knew, although we did see Fox News Channel host Alan Colmes in the Hamburger Heaven restaurant on 32nd Street. And while we were further up in Manhattan than I ever thought possible, we did unfortunately did not get as far north as the 375th Street Y.
We have discussed the possibility of making this into an annual event, perhaps going down the East Side next time. But anyone who participates has only one requirement: thou shalt not complain- because if Ben, Joelle, and I can walk that far and for that long without bitching, you can too.

Posted by Stephen Silver at July 15, 2002 01:13 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?