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Showing posts from April, 2018

A Spring Walk from Union Square to Madison Square

This-half mile walk between two historic New York parks is appropriate for any time of year. Springtime is particularly wonderful, even in the rain. The last week in April usually brings abundant daffodils and redbuds along with greening lawns. Even a cloudy day with light rain enhances the colors and smells of the flowering bulbs and trees.


Union Square Park is known for the role it played in the labor movement and still serves as a flash point for social activism. An equestrian statue of George Washington overlooks the action. Nearby are statues of Gandhi and Abraham Lincoln.


The Union Square Greenmarket is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays throughout the year, and a visit should be timed to include shopping at the market, one of the best in the city.


The walk north on Broadway from Union Square Park to Madison Square Park includes a variety of well-known shops in addition to many cafes. A major street of Ladies’ Mile, the historic shopping district of New York’s Gild…

A Spring Walk in Lower Manhattan from the Battery to the Courthouses

This walk, particularly nice in springtime, takes in dramatic sites in Lower Manhattan where blooming trees line several urban canyons. A 2-mile walk north and then east includes views of One World Trade Center, the Hudson River, and the Irish Hunger Memorial, all on the west side, and then stately government buildings near City Hall farther the east.


This walk should appeal also to those interested in history and politics in New York City. Beginning at one of the earliest Dutch-settled areas of the city, the Battery, the walk moves north toward the World Trade Center, a significant symbol of the contemporary city. Moving back in time, the nearby Irish Hunger Memorial recalls the tragic period from 1845 to 1849 when mass starvation forced a wave of emigration from Ireland, many to these shores.

The walk concludes at City Hall Park and the courthouses. The Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse at 500 Pearl Street serves as the home for legal proceedings undertaken by by the …

A River Walk in Inwood Hill Park

New Yorkers had a real taste of spring the past couple of days, a much longed-for break from the long winter. The warm weather brought throngs of people to the parks. Central Park looked especially crowded, from all the evidence on social media. In northern Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park was plenty busy, but Inwood Hill Park, a little wilder and even more remote from the downtown crowd, felt luxuriously available for a more contemplative walk in the park. Just enough people were there.


The first days of spring invite reveries about water and the promise of voyages on rivers and seas. "Manhattoes," as Herman Melville calls us in the opening chapter of Moby Dick, naturally gravitate to the shoreline and “must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling.” I had originally planned to walk through the Heather Garden of Fort Tryon Park, but the same mysticism that Melville experienced drew me west on Dyckman Street to the Hudson River.


A small fenced pier sits out …