Walking the Length of Manhattan

Ab ovo usque ad mala. 

About time.

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.

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