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Showing posts from November, 2015

On Sixth Avenue and W. 53rd St, the Corner of Venus de Milo and the Halal Guys

At the corner of Sixth Avenue and W. 53rd St in Midtown Manhattan, the Halal Guys dish out gyros, sandwiches, and platters to a steady line of patrons. They have two carts set up on either side of the street. Their chicken sandwich, a pita brimming with shredded chicken, lettuce, and signature white sauce, is completely delicious at $5. Many pricier lunches can be found in the neighborhood but few are as satisfying on a bright chilly afternoon. But where to sit down and eat? A plastic fork is provided. Many choose to perch on the rim of the small fountains in front of the Crédit Agricole building on the west side of Sixth Avenue. These fountains are graced with artist Jim Dine's 1989 set of female torsos, variations on the Venus de Milo. Titled "Looking Toward the Avenue," the headless figures bring an elegant bit of color and curved lines to an otherwise monotonous steely grey canyon. Several attractions are near the intersection, including The Museum of Mode

Turn Around: A Walk to Fort Washington Park and the Little Red Lighthouse

On the New York side of the mighty Hudson River, directly underneath the George Washington Bridge, sits a little red lighthouse. You may know the story - The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge by Hildegarde H. Swift, illustrated by Lynd Ward, first published in 1942. And like a story, every good walk has a beginning, middle, and end. This post illustrates a walk from the intersection of W. 181st St. and Broadway to Fort Washington Park and the George Washington Bridge and then back again. The time of year is the weekend after Thanksgiving. The time of day is near sunset.   Many years ago, I housesat an apartment for friends who were in graduate school at Columbia University. They lived in a one-bedroom near the corner of Cabrini and W. 181st St., and I enjoyed walking around their neighborhood. I loved trudging up the steep steps on Pinehurst Avenue and checking out a little Cuban Chinese cafe down on W. 181st. Being from Texas, I didn't know that combin

10 Short Walks from Columbus Circle

For uptown residents, especially on the West Side, Columbus Circle serves as an entry point into "the city." A trip on the A train from uptown at 207th Street to W. 59th Street, from bucolic "Upstate Manhattan" to the busy metropolis, takes about 30 minutes, a fairly convenient commute even by New York standards. The area near W. 59th St. and Central Park West features some of New York's most posh stops and restaurants (Per Se and Jean-Georges are here, for example), but beyond the glitter, everyday shopping happens here, too.  The best parts about living in New York, such as proximity to great centers of arts and music, are within easy walking distance of Columbus Circle. In addition, the southwest corner of Central Park is an excellent starting point for a walk in any season, convenient to the Heckscher Playground to the north and the Sheep Meadow beyond, and to the Hallett Nature Sanctuary and the Pond to the east.  For a quick roundup of many NYC a

A Walk on Central Park West: Making Peace with the Early Dark

One of the disorienting aspects of daylight saving time is that it gets dark so early this time of year, usually before many people get off work. The effect can be disquieting, making long days at the office feel even longer. On the other hand, New York can look glamorous at night. And, if walking helps with stress, then a nighttime walk may help bring a little glam back to an otherwise tedious day. May I recommend Central Park West? This thoroughfare bordering Central Park is rightly famous for grand apartment buildings dating from the late 19th century through the 1930s. Central Park West is also home to churches, synagogues, museums (the American Museum of Natural History and New-York Historical Society serve as starting points for this walk), clubs, and philanthropic societies. There's little retail except on the north and south ends, and when Central Park spills out into the roundabout of Columbus Circle, the effect of the lights and commercial businesses is part