Walking New York

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

Thursday, September 07, 2006

West Side Photos

Even I know the answer to that one, and I went to public school (in Florida, no less). It's 12.

Over on the car-demolishing west side, a cab in ruins.

On Union Square East, somewhere a child is crying.

Block party in the teens between 9th and 10th Avenues.

Any time I see one of those crosswalk light boxes to put my camera on, I feel like a time lapse is mandatory.

Park Avenue Photos: From Top to Almost Bottom

Accidentally caught some blurred birds in this shot of a big construction project on Park in the 30s.

Pershing Square, best restaurant in the city for car exhaust aficionados, on Park and 41st.

Somewhere under the Met Life building, the seemingly popular Beer Bar.

On Park in the 50s or 60s, I think.

The nicest parts of Park in the 70s and 80s have insanely well-manicured medians with tons of fresh flowers and plants. I don't understand why you still see squirrels struggling with gloom on the Lower East Side when nice space like this is available uptown, but perhaps it's a culture issue.

First sign this neighborhood is about to turn bad: a city bus maintenance warehouse on Park Avenue.

The Metro North comes above ground at about 96th Street, and everything takes a turn for the Harlem. Something about active train tracks just makes most areas seem more run down, even in the suburbs, and up here there's not only an elevated train, there's this huge dark brick wall dividing the north and south lanes on Park, and essentially also dividing scarier Spanish Harlem on the east from still semi-UES and Mount Sinai Hospital area on Madison. Here's a better look at the great wall:

And finally, at my next-to-last block, I spotted further proof that we're not in Kansas anymore:

You just don't see that in midtown.

It's Still August Somewhere

Due to a crippling bout of late-summer laziness and a pretty not-time-consuming new job, I haven't gotten around to updating this in a while. I actually haven't done a long walk with camera in a couple weeks, but I have 2 from the end of August that I haven't put up. I'm going to combine them into one map post followed by 2 photo posts, then head out today for another walk downtown and hopefully not take 2 weeks to update it.

So for the future, know that if you don't see an update for a while, I haven't given up or abandoned the walking plan. There's a chance that the walking might take a several month hiatus beginning in the fall, but more on that if/when it happens (Am I moving? Youngest hip replacement surgery candidate ever? Limb donor? We'll find out). Whatever happens, I fully intend to walk every street in Manhattan as soon as I can. And now, let's go to the map...

The above walk all the way up Park Avenue was from August 22. I hadn't done much Upper East Side so decided to take out a whole avenue in one shot. I'm not a huge UES fan (something about a bunch of rich old white people seems so Westchester), but up through the 80s it's still pretty nice. I was surprised to find though that around the upper 90s, Park gets really gritty. I looked it up on Wikipedia when I got home and apparently above 96th is Spanish Harlem. You'll see the photos in the next post, but given that I have to walk every block on the east side between 96th and 110th, there will be a lot more photos coming if I survive.

Back on my home planet of downtown, I did this walk a few days later through Chelsea and over to Union Square. The only notably cool thing happening was a block party on 16th or 17th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, where the two big apartment houses on either side of the street got together for a BBQ on a Saturday evening. Kids threw footballs in the street, they had picnic tables set up, and it felt like a small town, except for the giant apartment buildings and Chelsea Pier driving range nets towering in the background. At least 2 photo posts coming up next.

(Quiz: What 90s after-school TV show was referenced in this post?)