Take a Good Walk in New York
On this trip to NYC, I actually did get lost. I had taken the PATH from Hoboken into the city in order to meet up with a friend. Halfway under the Hudson River, I realized I was on the PATH to the World Trade Center, not to 33rd St. No big deal.
Once I got to the WTC, I made my way to the uptown subway, getting off on W 4th Street at Washington Square. This is where my walk begins. And right on cue, as I walked out of the subway, I came across a hot dog vendor and a mad customer yelling at each other, letting me know that the hot dog vendor wanted to have a super fun and delicious time with the customer’s mother–but not in a positive way. Ah, I love New York.
Before leaving Washington Park, I glimpsed at the Arch, built to honor the centennial inauguration of George Washington, and the center of many renovation battles over the years. I also kept my eyes out for a competitive chess match, artists slipping in their craft, and the ghosts of the beatnik revolution. There’s always something going on in Washington Park, including free Tai Chi classes!
I picked 5th Avenue to walk up, but any of the avenues are interesting. One of the things I love about New York is the smells. In particular, I find the wafts of the food vendors enticing. Whether you want hot dogs, halal food, polish sausages, pretzels, or any other street food you could possibly think of, you’ll eventually walk past a vendor with the flavor you’ll enjoy. Every time I go to New York, a warm, salty pretzel must grace my lips.
It was 8:30 pm on my walk, and I decided a pretzel wasn’t going to satisfy my hunger. I hadn’t eaten since Denver, 7 hours previously. New York has no shortage of things to eat or places to find them, but I thought a quick Yelp might narrow down my choices. It did. Who wouldn’t want to eat at a place that makes its own cheese where the Mac & Cheese is “to die for” according to the Yelp review. So, I set my walk to Beechers Handmade Cheese at 900 Broadway.
The minute I walked in, I fell in love. A glassed-in, small cheese factory centered the top floor where I
could watch cheesemakers craft a light-yellow cheese that resembled a smooth jack cheese. I should have asked what they were making, but I couldn’t get past my drooling over the mac and cheese current customers chowed down. I quickly ordered my version, which included small bits of kale and slices of roasted red pepper. When I say it was the world’s best, I am absolutely not exaggerating.
With a full belly, I decided to head toward Penn Station to get back on the PATH. It was now around 9:30, the tourists were mostly in Times Square, and locals dotted the remainder of the walk… until I stumbled upon the Empire State Building. Seriously, when you’re “lost in New York,” you forget to find the things that should be there. All of a sudden, I noticed folks taking lots of pics, and straight ahead was a purple-toned beauty. Once the tallest building in New York, it’s still stately and romantic.
A beautiful balmy night enticed me to continue walking, enjoying the beat of New York. With people every where, well-lit streets and cross walks, and gorgeous site lining the Avenues, I meandered my way to Penn Station. On my way, I came across the statue of William Seward at Madison Square Park at the base of the Appellate Court.
New Yorkers walked their pups, sat on the benches and enjoyed the evening breeze. In this giant city of cities, Seward welcomed me to his neighborhood. I took a break and reflected on a two-mile walk that took me from the World Trade Center, up 5th Avenue, around Madison Square Garden and to Penn Station. All of these terms are world-known, yet New York, despite its bigness and grandiosity, is small, intimate, and welcoming. Although my friend had tweeted me that she couldn’t meet, it didn’t dampen my spirit or my joy of this wonderful city.
I come to New York often, and I never fail to get in a quick stroll through Manhattan. My feet have traced many sidewalk trails around the world. None the less, no matter which cities I see or where I walk, I always find a comfort level in New York that no other city has for me. Thus, I always come back.