Skip to main content

On Memorial Day Weekend: A West Side Walk to the Intrepid, and Memorials to New Yorkers at War

(updated) While many neighborhoods of Manhattan looked decidedly sleepy over the Memorial Day weekend, anyone in search of company need only to head to the west side. Find your way to any street in the West 40s and walk west through Hell's Kitchen to the piers along the Hudson River. You'll soon be joined by many others. I highly recommend taking W. 43rd Street, if only for the novelty of not walking down 42nd Street, but mainly for the splendid roadside architecture of the Market Diner (at 11th Ave. CLOSED). A holiday weekend may require an oversize breakfast of eggs, bacon, and pancakes with syrup and butter, so stopping here at this nostalgic 1963-1964 era diner may be the perfect thing. Since this walk maps out to 3.19 miles, you may as well indulge.

Market Diner, Hell's Kitchen
Market Diner, 11th Avenue and W. 43rd St. (CLOSED)

The star attractions on these piers are the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum on W. 46th and 12 Avenue at Pier 86, where everyone gawks at the ships, and the popular Circle Line Sightseeing tours that depart from Pier 83 to the south. While visiting the sites yesterday, I entertained the fleeting fantasy of circumnavigating Manhattan aboard the Intrepid, but I figured that the enormous aircraft carrier could get itself stuck under one of the northern bridges. At any rate, it was fun seeing the Intrepid and other boats from the perspective of the Hudson River Park recreational pier next to it. Also worthy of attention were several locals who had stripped down to essentials for sunbathing on the pier, and many Hollywood-worthy sailors in their crisp midi uniforms. Obviously, sightseeing in New York does not only include buildings and monuments.

Hudson River Park, next to the Intrepid
Hudson River Park, next to the Intrepid

At the Intrepid Museum
Trees and aircraft carrier

At the Intrepid Museum
I said it was an aircraft carrier.

The Intrepid Museum serves a the focal point for New York City's Fleet Week events, and the usual ship tours are augmented by performances and special events. The tall ships are a big attraction, being more romantic-looking than our contemporary battleships, so hundreds of people lined up to board the GUAYAS, a 257' tall ship in service to the Ecuadorian Naval Academy. Fleet Week activities conclude May 29, 2012.

At the Intrepid Museum
The tall ship, GUAYAS, from Ecuador, ready for visitations at the Intrepid Museum

Memorial Day in New York is marked by many events, with the largest at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument on W. 86th and Riverside Drive on Monday morning. Yet, the city is full of monuments to New York at war. Just think of any World War II movie, and there's always that one wisecracking guy from Brooklyn. In an historically large and important city, many New Yorkers have lost their lives in wars, and speaking of Brooklyn, one of the most moving memorials is the Brooklyn War Memorial in Cadman Plaza. On this walk, however, you can visit a memorial dedicated to the local neighborhood "doughboys" who died in World War I. The work by sculptor Burt W. Johnson (1890–1927) and architect Harvey Wiley Corbett (1873-1954) in DeWitt Clinton Park features a doughboy with his rifle on his left shoulder and carrying poppies in his right hand. There are nine such statues in neighborhoods around the city.

WWI memorial, DeWitt Clinton Park
Clinton War Memorial in DeWitt Clinton Park

WWI memorial, DeWitt Clinton Park
Clinton War Memorial in DeWitt Clinton Park

A walk back toward the city center leads to Times Square. For this holiday weekend, the square looked less crowded than usual. I suppose you have to live in the city for a long time to evaluate the crowd size.

Winter Garden, Paramount Plaza
view of the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway, between 50th and 51st Streets

But here, too, from the vantage point of the top of the TKTS booth's red bleachers, you can clearly see another memorial to a New Yorker in war. It's the monument remembering Lieutenant Colonel Francis P. Duffy (1871-1932), a solider, Catholic priest and chaplain of the "Fighting 69th," a regiment made up of New York Irish immigrants. After World War I, Father Duffy became the Rector and then Pastor of nearby Holy Cross Church until his death in 1932. This northern part of Times Square is named Duffy Square.

Duffy Memorial, Times Square
Duffy Square, Times Square, with memorial to Father Duffy

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from May 27, 2012.

View A West Side Walk to the Intrepid and Memorials to New Yorkers at War in a larger map


Popular posts from this blog

Museums in New York Open on Mondays

Please see this post for current announcements of reopenings . Please consult the museum websites for changes in days and hours. UPDATED September 23, 2020 Advance tickets required for many museum reopenings. Please check museum websites for details. • The  Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)  reopened to the public on  August 27 , with new hours for the first month, through September 27: from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday to the public; and from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.  on Mondays for MoMA members on ly. Admission will be free to all visitors Tuesday through Sunday, through September 27, made possible by UNIQLO. See this  new post on WOTBA for a sense of the experience attending the museum . •  New-York Historical Society  reopened on  August 14  with an outdoor exhibition, "Hope Wanted: New York City Under Quarantine,” in the rear courtyard. The exhibit by activist Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman will highlight how New Yorkers weathered the quarantine

25 Things To Do Near the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

(updated 2016) The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) at 11 W. 53rd Street is near many other New York City attractions, so before or after a trip to the museum, a short walk in any direction could easily take in additional experiences. Drawing a square on a map with the museum at the center, a shape bounded by 58th Street to the north and 48th Street to the south, with 7th Avenue to the west and Park Avenue to the east, proves the point of the area's cultural richness. (A map follows the list below.) While well-known sightseeing stops fall with these boundaries, most notably Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and the great swath of famous Fifth Avenue stores, cultural visitors may also want to check out places such as the Austrian Cultural Forum, the 57th Street galleries, the Onassis Cultural Center, and the Municipal Art Society. The image above shows an intriguing glimpse of the tops of two Beaux-Arts buildings through an opening of the wall inside MoMA's scu

Visiting New York on a Monday

Mondays are OK. Let's have a look at some of the museums open Mondays - • American Museum of Natural History • Jewish Museum • Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) • National Museum of the American Indian • Neue Galerie • Guggenheim Museum • South Street Seaport Museum Any of these museums could be paired with a nearby restaurant or bar, making a complete full afternoon or day in New York. Monday is especially good for a museum visit, because the crowds tend to be thinner, and restaurants, too, tend to be less busy than on a weekend. A fun museum and bistro walk on the Upper West Side would be a combination of the American Museum of Natural History and the nearby Cafe Lalo on W. 83rd St. I also would suggest a pairing of the Neue Galerie with a nearby cafe, but the two cafes inside the musuem are so good, why go anywhere else? Image above: The Guggenheim on left and Beaux-Arts townhouse on right. View from E. 88th St. by Walking Off the Big Apple.

10 Short Walks from Grand Central Terminal

(updated March 2017) Famously crowded Grand Central Terminal functions as a major crossroads for the city, hosting busy commuters as they come and go from the suburbs via the Metro-North Railroad or within the city via a few subway lines, but the terminal also happens to be a good place to launch short walks. With its south side fronting E. 42nd Street and its massive structure interrupting Park Avenue, Grand Central provides quick access to many of the city's most well-known attractions. The New York Public Library and Bryant Park are only a couple of blocks away from the terminal, a quick jaunt on 42nd Street. And from there, Times Square is just another block or two farther west of the library, its neon shimmering in the distance. One wonders, standing near the intersection of 5th Avenue and 42nd Street, how many souls have been lured away from their well-meaning library studies by the beckoning lights of the Theater District. Grand Central Terminal : Before setting

25 Things to Do Near the American Museum of Natural History

After visiting the American Museum of Natural History, explore attractions on the Upper West Side or in Central Park. Visitors to New York often run around from one major tourist site to the next, sometimes from one side of the city to the other, and in the process, exhaust themselves thoroughly. Ambitious itineraries often include something like coffee in the Village in the morning, lunch near MoMA, a couple of hours in the museum, a ride on the Staten Island Ferry in the afternoon, cocktails at the midtown hotel, a quick dinner, and then a Broadway show. It's a wonder people don't pass out at the theater. While sitting on the steps of the American Museum of History, consider exploring the Upper West Side and nearby sites of interest in Central Park. There's a better way to plan a New York trip. Consider grouping attractions together geographically. Several posts on this site address this recommended approach. The Wild West of the Tecumseh Playground Groupin

25 Things to Do Near the Metropolitan Museum of Art

(updated) Sitting on the steps in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of those iconic things to do in New York City. On a sunny day, the wide steps can become crowded with the young and old, the tourist and the resident. It's tempting to stay awhile and soak in the sun and the sights. Everyone has reasons for lingering there, with one being the shared pleasure of people watching along this expansive stretch of Fifth Avenue, a painting come to life. Certainly, just getting off one's feet for a moment is welcome, especially if the previous hours involved walking through the entirety of art history from prehistoric to the contemporary. The entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue The Metropolitan Museum of Art should be a singular pilgrimage, uninterrupted by feeble attempts to take in more exhibitions along Museum Mile. Pity the poor visitor who tries "to do" multiple museum exhibitions in one day, albeit ambitious, noble, and uplift

The High Line and Chelsea Market: A Good Pairing for a Walk

(revised 2017) The advent of spring, with its signs of growth and rebirth, is apparent both on the High Line , where volunteers are cutting away the old growth to reveal fresh blooms, and inside the Chelsea Market, where new tenants are revitalizing the space. A walk to take in both can become an exploration of bounty and surprise, a sensual walk of adventure and sustenance. A good pairing for a walk: The High Line and Chelsea Market Walking the High Line for a round trip from Gansevoort to W. 30th and then back again adds up to a healthy 2-mile walk. Regular walkers of the elevated park look for an excuse to go there. Especially delightful is showing off the park, a model of its kind, to visitors from out of town. A stroll through Chelsea Market. Time check. If you haven't stopped into Chelsea Market lately, you may want to take a detour from the High Line at the stairs on W. 16th St. and walk through the market for a quick assessment or a sampling. Among the sampli

14 Useful Mobile Apps for Walking New York City

Texting and walking at the same time is wrong. Talking on the phone while strolling down the street is wrong. Leaving the sidewalk to stop and consult the information on a cellphone, preferably while alone, is OK. What's on Walking Off the Big Apple's iPhone: A List Walkmeter GPS Walking Stopwatch for Fitness and Weight Loss . While out walking, Walkmeter tracks routes, time, speed, and elevation. This is an excellent app for recording improvised or impromptu strolls, especially with many unplanned detours. The GPS function maps out the actual route. The app keeps a running tally of calories burned while walking, useful for weight loss goals. Another welcome feature is the ability to switch over to other modes of activity, including cycling. An indispensable app for city walkers. $4.99  New York City Compass , designed by Francesco Bertelli, is an elegant compass calibrated for Manhattan, with indications for Uptown, East Side, Downtown, and West Side. While facing a cert

Taking a Constitutional Walk

A long time ago individuals going out for a walk, especially to get fresh air and exercise, often referred to the activity as "taking a constitutional walk." The word "constitutional" refers to one's constitution or physical makeup, so a constitutional walk was considered beneficial to one's overall wellbeing. (Or, as some would prefer to call it, "wellness.") The phrase is more common in British literature than in American letters. As early as the mid-nineteenth century, many American commentators expressed concern that their countrymen were falling into lazy and unhealthy habits. Newspaper columnists and editorial writers urged their readers to take up the practice of the "constitutional" walk. One such essay, " Walking as an Exercise," originally printed in the Philadelphia Gazette and reprinted in New England Farmer , Volume 11, 1859, urges the people of farm areas to take up walking. City dwellers seemed to have the

From Penn Station to New York Landmarks: Measuring Walking Distance and Time in Manhattan

(revised 2017) How long does it take to walk from Penn Station/Madison Square Garden to well-known destinations in Manhattan? What are the best walking routes ? What if I don't want to see anything in particular but just want to walk around? In addition to the thousands of working commuters from the surrounding area, especially from New Jersey and Long Island who arrive at Penn Station via New Jersey Transit or the Long Island Rail Road, many people arrive at the station just to spend time in The City. Some have questions. Furthermore, a sporting event may have brought you to Madison Square Garden (above Penn Station), and you want to check out what the city offers near the event. This post if for you.  The map below should help you measure walking distances and times from the station to well-known destinations in Manhattan - Bryant Park , the Metropolitan Museum of Art , the Empire State Building , Times Square , Rockefeller Center , Washington Square Park , the High Line