Great Manhattan Loop: Done

13 miles as the crow flies.

That’s the distance often thrown around as the length of Manhattan. As the Google Maps, Battery Park to Inwood Hill Park/Spuyten Duyvil Creek is 13.4 miles driving or 13,2. on foot.

Well, I’m not a crow and I don’t fly, I meander.

Yesterday alone I covered ~ 9 miles. On foot to “finish” the “Great Manhattan Loop” as I dubbed it last Spring. It was 9.8 miles per my new Jawbone UP (22,919 steps!) and 8.35 miles per MayMyFitness

Some other distances:

  • About 7 days of walking in just under two years.
  • 10.62 miles in last two days (Bennett Park to Inwood Hill Park)
  • 14.38 miles down the west side
  • 7.17 miles of the east side (East & Harlem Rivers)

I think that’s part of why I never seriously considered the Great Manhattan Saunter despite using their excellent map as the rough framework for my “loop” . Yes, it’s a “loop” and yes it’s “finished”. Part of the reason it isn’t a loop isn’t my fault. Unknown to me at the time I started this walk, there is no path that lets you circumnavigate Manhattan on foot/bike. The Greenways, or the larger loop (to hit Inwood Hill Park/Sputen Duyvil) require some use of surface streets, mainly on the Harlem/East River sides. And some of the surface streets? They’re boring. And slow, with lights. Since the walk was meant to be fun, I decided I wasn’t going to walk anything I didn’t want to. Some pieces I’ve missed, which all in all aren’t that many:

  • W. 79th to W 87th – not because I didn’t want to, but due to changing plans one day. I will do this short stretch when I do Riverside Drive, hopefully this summer.
  • E. 10th to as far north as the Greenway stretches until the UN cut.
  • Grand St. to Fulton St. (edit: done, on bike, June 10, 2013)

 Some highlights:

  • A walk down the East River on the day of one of 2011′s “raptures” got this all started. At the time, I had no idea what it would lead to, but it did let me see the place where mom and dad were married in June 1971.
  • Apparently, checkers are popular on the East River, some of which is living history to the transit hub it once was.  And some of Lower Manhattan, especially on the East Side, still looks like the 1800s.
  • There’s a “Palazzo” in the West Village.  And Seinfeld & Stephen King references rule the Lower East Side.
  • Anyone who says West Harlem isn’t pretty isn’t looking. Ditto Washington Heights. And if you’re not looking, you might miss the Upper West Side’s Civil War history.
  • Manhattan is photogenic in many different ways.

Recap:

I expected to feel a let down when this was done, except I realized it’s not done. As I alluded to the in the WH/Inwood post, this walk taught me how much I didn’t know about Manhattan, and now I want to explore more. Downtown: My Manhattan fed that, and I’m finally re-reading (and finishing!) Waterfront so I’m sure that will add to the list below.

Remaining NYC Bucket List:

  • Marcus Garvey Park, because the idea of a Fire Tower is really cool. (edit: done May 2013)
  • Riverside Drive – so much history, so many awesome sites including Joan of Arc, Riverside Church and Grants’ Tomb. (Edit: partially done May 25, 2013).
  • Audobon Historic District and surrounds.  Yep, more reading
  • High Bridge if it re-opens as planned
  • Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island (edit: done, unblogged, July 2013)
  • Brooklyn Heights Promenade
  • Historic House Trust Properties… when they’re actually open
  • northern end of Central Park

Yeah, I’ll be at this for a while.

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