Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016

Walking Through the Snowstorm: 10 Scenes from Northern Manhattan

In New York City, the snow came down steadily, even relentlessly, all day on Saturday. It was a day waking up to snow falling outside the window and then falling asleep as the snow was ending.


As the winds never sustained blizzard force for very long, it was possible to venture outside for a few minutes.


In the Inwood neighborhood of Northern Manhattan, a few tromped over to Inwood Hill Park or over to Broadway to stock up on groceries. It was easier to walk in the middle of the street than on the sidewalk.


But most people stayed home, especially after 2:30 p.m. when government officials declared an emergency and banned non-official cars from the streets.


The snow emergency did not apply to pedestrians or ski enthusiasts. Or their dogs.


The math for the day was 26.8 inches of snow in Central Park, the second-highest total recorded there.


On Sunday morning, locals started digging out.


Walking in the snow is fairly easy with proper preparations. This snow is particularly crunchy on top …

Scenes in the Public Domain: New York City Views from the The New York Public Library

The New York Public Library made big news this month with the announcement it was opening up digital access to more than 180,000 items in its online catalogue. * With no known copyright restrictions, the items are now available for members of the public for use in any sort of way. The collections encompass a variety of materials - photos, lithographs, maps, menus, atlases, and more.


The public domain expansion includes a great many items of interest to New Yorkers and those interested in the city - Berenice Abbott's documentary photographs of New York in the 1930s (above, her rather startling view of the parking situation at the new Rockefeller Center), stereoscopic views of the old city, and photographs of Ellis Island, among them. The library is actively encouraging the sharing and creative reuse of the material.

Here are just a few photographic treasures, needles in the NYPL virtual haystack, if you will.

Let's begin with a couple of stereoscopic views of Central Park. The …

The Fantastic Electric Pedestrian Tunnel at the 191st Street Station

Passageways often symbolize gateways to another dimension or state of being. Think of the tunnel that people are said to experience at the end of their own mortality. Or the passage from adolescence to adulthood commemorated in many cultures. The passageway can also serve as a conduit for a change in consciousness, such as the LSD "trip" popularized by Dr. Timothy Leary. In Washington Heights, the long corridor that links the 1 train at 191st Street and St. Nicholas Avenue to Broadway may appear as such a "flashback."



In 2015, the New York City Department of Transportation and the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance invited several artists to spruce up the tunnel. The tunnel had previously been painted by artists under commission, but as things go, other artists had felt a need to superimpose their own work on the murals. So, the walls got a much-needed facelift along with new, improved lighting. Making the brightest of possible statements, the 191st Street Tunnel ser…

Walk and Eat: 10 Manhattan Food and Drink Places to Pair with Walks

Walking Off the Big Apple is a big fan of walking, of course, and also a big fan of food and beverages. Therefore, any sort of resolution to cut back on said food and beverages is met with an increased to determination to walk it off. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s pretty easy to walk off a big apple, but not so easy to walk off a pastrami sandwich and a slice of cheesecake.

I’d like to share some of my favorite food and beverage places. I’ve frequented many of them in solo walks this year, and I’ve taken visiting friends to these spots. They’re on this list because they tend to be convivial, comfortable, and reliable, and they are near great places to walk.

The restaurants are listed in geographical order from Lower Manhattan to the tippy top of the island.

10 Manhattan Food and Drink Places to Pair with Walks 
Pier A Harbor House. 22 Battery Place. Lower Manhattan. The long bar and window seating at this spacious bar and restaurant offers pleasant views of New York Harbor, especiall…