Ab ovo usque ad mala.
After years of false starts, I finally took a full day last weekend to walk a winding path from the northern to southern tips of the Isle of Manhattan.
A straight shot down Broadway measures out at around 13 miles, but my friend and I bobbed and weaved through neighborhoods and parks (and crowds and temptations) for a 10 hour trek that probably covered around 17 paved miles. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful way to see a city I love. Kept my camera in my pocket and my head up, but highlights and course are fresh in mind:
- donuts and coffee near the 1/A 215 Street stop before heading a few blocks north to the Broadway Bridge (connecting Manhattan and the Bronx) for an official start, 11:11 a.m.
- cut west to wander through Inwood Hill Park and Fort Tyron Park (home of the Cloisters) for a forest feel
- lunch (smashed plantains with cheese; rice & beans) at La Flor de Broadway in Harlem
- pause in Washington Heights to admire a foggy view of the Hudson River on a freakishly warm (60-something degrees F) December day
- sculpture-gazing at the Peace Fountain in Morningside Heights
- stumbling into a holiday orchestral rehearsal at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (feat. “Angels We Have Heard on High”)
- heavenly coffee (the “Russian,” spiked with almond extract) from the Hungarian Pastry Shop, Morningside Heights
- in Central Park, ginko leaves falling like gold leaf from the sky
- detour to admire the holiday windows at Bergdorf-Goodman
- detour to nearly suffocate in crowds for blocks on end around the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
- the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
- sweet relief on a less crowded 7th Ave, a cozy West Village
- Tribeca: a relative ghost town
- east to Chinatown for dinner at Wo Hop restaurant
- photos in photo booth at Chinatown Fair arcade
- stroll through South Street Seaport
- hypnotic trance induced by the SeaGlass Carousel in the Battery
- feet up at the South Ferry dock, 9:11 p.m.
Ten perfect hours on the dot.