January 15, 2011

Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 8 - 14

While setting out on daily walks this week, part of the ongoing project Pictures from 70 Days of Walks, the harsh weather made me seriously reconsider my commitment. It was literally freezing outside, with a cruel wind blowing down the urban canyons. For the first half mile or so, my thoughts often focused inward, stuck on the monotonous thoughts of the brutal wind. I can take the cold. I just can't take the wind.

Day 8. From a stroll along Central Park West.
See more at the post Central Park West: The Theater of Architecture.

Around the one-mile mark of these 2.5-mile daily walks, I'm warmed up sufficiently to shift my focus outward and to begin noticing the winter lights and colors dancing on the architecture. By the second mile I've hit my stride, and if I stay in the moment I can shift into a higher state of awareness and observance.

Day 9. In front of the New Museum on the Bowery.
See more at the post Economy Eye Candy: An Eclectic Walk on the Lower East Side
and A Rose for the New Museum.

Early in the week, I bought a new pair of walking boots, the kind that have traction and are insulated for the cold and snow. I cannot stress enough the importance of sturdy footwear. We had another significant snowfall in the city this week, and many intersections were covered in measurable feet of snow and slush. A couple of people I know have suffered serious fractures slipping on the ice, so I have been extra cautious about walking. My new boots have enough traction to give me confidence, but I'm still more aware of the conditions of the sidewalk. I would rather look ahead and up, but this is the reality.

Day 10. A walk in Tribeca near twilight

The idea of interval walking - alternating high speed bursts with slower strolls - has been touted by many fitness experts as a way to rev up metabolism and burn calories. Walking fast for several blocks does help in warming up the cold winter body, and walking slow for a few blocks affords the occasion to look around and appreciate the scenes of the city. The good news is that almost all walking in New York is interval walking - running to beat the stop sign at the crosswalks, racing ahead to pass slow pedestrians, slowing down to look at store windows.

Day 11. a golden building in NoHo on Broadway
near the intersection with Bond St.

A few walks this week took place in the late afternoon, timed to hit the warmest time of the day and to see the winter sun play on the buildings. I often stayed out until the gloaming, a poetic time of day, even in a major metropolis, to watch the illuminated lights appear on the skyscrapers.

Day 12. Union Square, southern section at 14th Street, at the gloaming.

With the cold and the wind, the hard part was getting out of the neighborhood, but trips to Central Park West, the Lower East Side and Astoria helped shake up routines.

Day 13. Evening walk from the subway to the opening gala for the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria.
The museum reopens to the public on Saturday, January 15, 2011 after a major expansion and renovation. It's beautiful and futuristic and looks like the set for 2001: A Space Odyssey (screening at 4 p.m. Saturday).

Speaking of routines, there's no problem with combining the long walk with a little errand-running. Walking briskly from the Strand Bookstore on Broadway to the drugstore and then over to the guys that sell pickles in a booth on 6th Avenue and then strolling home past the Blue Note Jazz Club is my idea of interval training. And I forget how cold it is outside.

Day 14. A walk of errands ends with a stroll past the Blue Note Jazz Club on W. 3rd St.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple. Coming this Monday - a post revisiting iPhoneography and the city, illustrating how I am making these pictures.



Posts in this series:


• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 1-7 (posted January 8, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 8-14 (posted January 15, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 15-21 (posted January 22, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 22-28 (posted January 29, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 29-35 (posted February 5, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 36-42 (posted February 12, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 43-49 (posted February 19, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 50-56 (posted February 26, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 57-63 (posted March 6, 2011)
• Pictures from 70 Days of Walks: Days 64-70 (posted March 12, 2011)

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