Walking New York

A fat lazy idiot tries to walk every street in Manhattan.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Where to Begin

I'm 22 years old and most days I do nothing. This is an attempt to do something.

Although I've spent a lot of time in New York in the past, I just moved here officially after graduating college. Every day I spend inside, I get more cynical and sheltered. Time to go outside, get a tan, pull a hamstring, learn something.

I'll be spending the next few months walking around a lot. My goal is to cover every street in Manhattan south of 110th (maybe next year, Harlem). That's every tiny side street and every avenue, from Broadway to Collister, Central Park West to Trimble Place. If it's on Google Maps and it's walkable, I'll do it.

Along the way, I'm going to take some pictures and notes and post them here. My first goal is to actually keep this up and to eventually complete the walk, even if it takes years. My second goal is to make this blog as good as possible, and I see it as being part photoblog, part travelogue (travelblogue?), with maybe some interesting restaurant finds and weird stuff along the way.

The first thing I'd like is if somebody could figure out an estimate of how far I'll be walking. New York is about 2 miles wide from 23rd Street up to 110th, and so to walk each one of those streets would 174 miles. Add in the avenues and it's up to at least 250 miles in that area. Although the area south of 23rd is geographically smaller, it strays from the grid pattern and has lots and lots of small, diagonal, sometimes single-block-long streets. It also becomes wider at 14th Street, then narrow down by Battery Park. All in all, a very rough estimate of the total amount of walking I'll have to do might be somewhere around 500 miles. If somebody has a way of getting a more accurate figure, please post a comment with it.

So if I averaged 5 miles a day, I could do this in a few months. But realistically, with weather conditions, time factors, and the possibility that someday someone might give me a job, I won't be able to do 5 miles every day. I expect it to take all year.

I won't promise daily updates, but I'll come as close as possible, and after I walk I'll post an updated map with how far I've gone, as well as some photos and anything interesting I saw along the way.

Let the walk begin...


At 1:34 PM, Blogger Gary said...

No need to be so hostile toward the Daily News! I don't read it myself (more of Times guy, you know?), but the reporter who did the story (Jotham Sederstrom) got in touch with me and was really nice about it. How could I say no?

BTW, according to something I found on the NYC DOT website, Manhattan has 508 miles of street. The document (which purports to measure the bumpiness of city streets) breaks each borough into community districts, and if you subtract the mileage for districts 9, 10, 11, and 12 (roughly the area above 110th St), it leaves about 338 miles. Check it out, if you're interested: http://www.fcny.org/cmgp/streets/pages/1998PDF/Report/1998totalrept.pdf

Anyway, good luck, and let me know if you want to swap links. In the meantime, if I hear that the News is interested in what you're up to, I'll try to steer them in the other direction.


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