Walking New York

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

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Day 30: Brooklyn to the Bowery (5.5 miles)

It's been a while since the last long walk with photos, but I'm back. And since it was a nice day out, I decided to take the subway to Brooklyn, and to walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge is not really a part of the project (you could argue that half of it should still count for Manhattan), but I love the area down there in Brooklyn and walking the bridge is always really great.

I tried to do it last month, but I walked from my apartment all the way down there, and was so exhausted by the time I got to the bridge entry in Manhattan, that I just turned around and went home. I didn't want to get stuck on there without water, or to end up in Brooklyn not knowing where the subway is. Also, that was one of those 100 degree days, and today was amazing, around 80 and not too humid. But just to be sure, I took the subway to High Street in Brooklyn and walked back, so I'd be the least tired in the Brooklyn stages of the walk.

I walked around Brooklyn between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, then over the bridge, up the Bowery, and crossing back over west at 20th Street. Tons of interesting stuff along the way, as well as the standard nice skyline/bridge photos from Brooklyn. I usually take about 70 pictures and end up with 10 good ones to post. Today I took about 250 and have 36 to post. So be ready.

Former Manhattan home of famous Brooklyn roast beefery Roll-n-Roaster, now some stupid 3rd Avenue bar. I remember walking around there over two years ago when Roll-n-Roaster was first open, and they were giving away little roast beef sandwiches on the street. I'm usually wary of partaking in free street roast beef, but I tried it and it was pretty solid. I went there once in a while when I lived in the neighborhood last summer, and although I kind of prefer Arby's, I will still miss its presence, and it's $5 12 inch pizzas. The original is still alive in Sheepshead Bay.

More disastrous changes in the neighborhood, a couple blocks south on 3rd. This used to be a pretty awesome Hollywood Video, which looks like it fell victim to some kind of chainsaw attack:

The Hollywood Video was actually really nicely designed inside. It had a walk of fame, old movie wallpaper, and a generally interesting feel as opposed to the sanitary bus-depot-like Blockbusters around the city.

I especially liked the MVP deal, which cost $10 a month and allowed for unlimited rentals, 3 at a time. The only differences between that and Netflix is that they still had return dates and late fees, and you couldn't rent some of the newest, biggest releases. I didn't care about the new movies, because it encouraged me to rent older stuff, which is good. And the late fees weren't a problem because I lived literally directly across the street in an NYU apartment building. When I found an apartment here, one of the first things I looked for was how close the nearest Hollywood Video was. Sadly, this was the last one in Manhattan. At least that Robots poster survived.

In less emotional news, here's a shot of Gramercy Park, where Irving Place magically turns into Lexington at 21st St. It's the city's last private park, meaning only residents of the surrounding buildings get a key to its gates (it's open to the public on Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Gramercy Day, which is different every year). The statue in the center is of Edwin Booth, a former Gramercy resident regarded as one of the best American stage actors ever (specifically the best Hamlet, I believe). He once saved Abraham Lincoln's son from getting hit by a train, and a couple years later, his brother John Wilkes Booth killed the president. I consider this far less disturbing than Roll-n-Roaster being shut down, but I admit that if I lived in the mid 1800s I probably would be more concerned with Lincoln.

Wrapping up this extremely long post (a few more to come tonight), I saw the lowest street sign ever, on Pearl Street between Park Row and the Bowery. Further evidence:

My forearm is not that freakishly huge in real life (I think).


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