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Showing posts from April, 2017

New Web Address for Walking Off the Big Apple

Please note that Walking Off the Big Apple has a new web address.

For enhanced security, Walking Off the Big Apple has changed its web address to https://walkingoffthebigapple.blogspot.com.

Subscription feeds, including emails, are currently disabled. Please visit this website for new posts.

Some of the pages such as Recommended Walks are currently being rebuilt. Update - See NEW PAGE for Recommended Walks.

Learn more about the function of https at the Electronic Frontier Foundation website and how you can be more secure in surfing the web.

Things change. Spring is a time for new leaves and growth. Stay tuned.

Thank you for your continued support.

Keep walking.

- Teri

A Walk in Sakura Park

Sakura Park, a small city park just north of W. 122nd Street between Riverside Drive and Claremont Avenue in Morningside Heights, derives its name from the Japanese word for “cherry blossom.” In 1909 the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York, as part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration, had planned to present 2,000 cherry trees to the city of New York, but the steamer carrying the trees was lost at sea. Three years later, a new shipment arrived, and on April 27, 1912 the city held a tree planting celebration in Sakura Park. Most of the cherry trees were planted in Riverside Park and in Central Park.


A contemporary observer, William Shepard Walsh, characterized New Yorker’s keen interest in the gift of these trees and the ceremony:

“New York has had many interesting and some famous trees but never before, until the arrival, in April 1912, of the 2500 cherry-trees presented to the city by the Emperor of Japan, has it had a gift equal to this in quantity or importance. Several of the …

Forest Bathing in Central Park

Any day is good for a walk in nature known as Shinrin-yoku, also called "forest bathing," but on Friday in New York City, the opportunity was particularly welcome. In the morning, the subway system went awry after a ConEd power loss inside a station at Seventh Avenue at W. 53rd Street (NY1 story), leading to massive frustration with the city’s mass transit system. Trains were delayed, and some lines were cancelled for a time. There was a lot of drama underground.


Above ground, the spring temperatures were mild. The day was overcast, with intermittent drizzle, and the tops of tall buildings were enshrouded in fog. It was a good day for museum visiting, though the drizzly conditions closed the Rooftop of the Met. It was an excellent day for a walk in Central Park, especially as many of the trains weren’t going anywhere and the flowering trees were in bloom.


A walk from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the east side of the park to the American Museum of Natural History on the …

From the Waterfront to Joan of Arc: Locating the Past in Riverside Park

Riverside Park, New York’s historic and revered park on the western edge of the Upper West Side of Manhattan, presents a complexity of routes for exploration. Walking a sunny path next to the Hudson River can connect the explorer to the timelessness and tranquility of the water. A walk through the interior of the leafy park is perfect for the naturalist intent on observations of trees and plants. A walk along the higher ground near Riverside Drive is recommended for historians, as dozens of memorials richly illustrate the concerns and values of New Yorkers over the decades. Yes, please, we want all of the above.


A full picture of Riverside Park requires walking back and forth among the tiered slopes, so the walk is less a straight line and more a meandering path. Walking along the water here (increasing biking and running are the main pursuits) may be excellent for exercise and recreation, but much is missed in terms of New York history. As the city continues to revamp the waterfront…

On a Water Taxi, a View of New York’s Ebb and Flow

With the recent spring weather in New York and temperatures warmer than average, residents and visitors alike have been heading to the parks and piers along the shoreline. The visitors have also been boarding the city’s boats for exceptional views of city attractions and the skyline from the water.


New York Water Taxi is a business that runs specialty trips for visitors as well as the IKEA Express popular with many locals. Their water taxis are painted yellow and black-and-white checkerboard just like the street version. An all-day access pass allows sightseers to spend the day galavanting around various parts of Midtown, Lower Manhattan, and the Brooklyn waterfront, stepping off and on the taxis when so desired at a sequence of piers.

The taxis depart at staggered times from Pier 79 and W. 39th Street and continue to the World Financial Center, Pier 11 at Wall Street (Slip A), Pier 1 at Brooklyn Bridge Park (DUMBO), and finally the Red Hook Dock at the end of Van Brunt Street. If yo…

25 Great Things to Do in Midtown East

A leisurely walk in Midtown East from Paley Park on E. 53rd Street to the United National Headquarters in Turtle Bay, ending with a grand finish on E. 42nd Street, takes in many New York landmarks as well as international treasures.

Indoors and out, the walk features exemplary gardens, urban retreats, and prewar buildings of note. In addition, many of the twenty-five stops noted here highlight the promise of New York at mid-century and the civic optimism of the postwar years. The walk takes on an international spirit as a few buildings are inspired by the architectural modernism of the International Style. A few specific places serve as cultural embassies for their respective countries.


Beginning with Paley Park, the walk includes many public spaces that encourage sociability and provide much-needed breaks from the fast pace of the city. Take note of the ones you think are most successful and why.

The walk, which connects the dots to all these spots (with one detour), is about 2.5 mi…

VIA 57 WEST and a Walk on the Far West Side

Walk out of the subway station at Columbus Circle onto W. 57th Street, look way down the street toward the west, and you should see a tall pyramid-like structure rising high on the horizon. A residential building by the Danish architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) for New York developer Douglas Durst, VIΛ 57 WEST is one of the most novel structures built in the city in recent years. Once identified, walking over to the building is practically irresistible, unless of course you have pressing business elsewhere.


From the street, VIΛ 57 WEST makes for an excellent giant sculpture. From 57th Street, the 709 residential units taper up to the sky in an accordion manner. The muted cool tones of the windows blend well with the sky over the Hudson River. At the middle of the building, best seen from the Hudson River Greenway on the west side, a courtyard garden opens the building to the western sky.


Developer Durst met architect Ingels several years ago while traveling to Denmark with hi…