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tdp
September 18th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Here's a challenge for you:

I would like to plan a route in Manhattan, for myself and some friends to walk - to take in some of the 'off-the-beaten-track' places; Buildings (old and new), parks, squares and streets etc.
Starting at the ESB, about eight miles in distance (ten maximum!) but not treading the same street twice - unless it's to cross one already travelled.

I am travelling to New York with six friends - four of whom have not been to NYC before - and I wanted to take them to lesser known places away form the obvious tourist attractions (which we will attempt during the other days of our stay).

I will be working on this myself in the coming months - making copies of my old map of Manhattan (circa 1989) and covering it in highlighter pen!
But I thought that I would ask you guys for some input, as you will be far more adept at it than I will.

Your comments would be most welcome.

ManhattanKnight
September 18th, 2006, 04:10 PM
^Consult the master:

http://www.newyorkcitywalk.com/images/nyc_banner2.gif

New York City Walk (http://www.newyorkcitywalk.com/)

ablarc
September 18th, 2006, 07:55 PM
Starting at the ESB...
...hop from square to square. In between the squares lie neighborhoods, some quiet, some bustling.

If you head south on Fifth Avenue, the better stuff starts at Madison Square with its architectural monuments (Flatiron, Metropolitan Life) and prim park, then head for Gramercy Park (a real beauty, but you need a key to get into the bosky part). Check out the hotel lobby.

From here, Union Square is especially good on market days and not too far from sleepy Stuyvesant Square and St. Marks-in-the-Bouwerie, incongruously marooned here since 1799.

Then you might head south to chaotic Astor Place, prime candidate for New York's next big public-space improvement, and from there west to Washington Square, New York's best for people-watching.

West of here lies the walkable and unbearably picturesque West Village (find first Sheridan Square, then Abingdon Square and Hudson River Park, with its great view of New Jersey (you might see an ocean liner if you're there late afternoon).

Or if you go south you'll find yourself, after passing Washington Square Village --a preposterous Ville Radieuse with an elevated park-- in parkless SoHo. Here a riot of ritzy chain stores squats in old cast-iron factories.

Or go east from Astor Place on raucous St. Mark's Place, patchoulied remnant of the counter-culture, to Tompkins Square, heart of semi-gentrified East Village, and cross over Houston Street's river of traffic to the Lower East Side --currently New York's fastest-changing 'hood. Check out the blue condo and the hotel on Rivington.

Chinatown is not far from Tribeca and City Hall Park. Now you're exhausted, so end your walk with a quick glance at Ground Zero.

For a decent but moderately affordable dinner in snazzy surroundings, end your day at the Odeon, John Belushi's favorite boozer. When you're done, the subway's just down the block.

.

Front_Porch
September 18th, 2006, 09:19 PM
It's one of the prettiest old mansions in New York. While it would cost you $15 each to get in, it shows you how a robber baron used to live, and the interior courtyard with pool makes a nice restful stop during a day of walking. (The challenge would be not spending two hours being drawn in by the art.)

this is a link to the Frick-as-catering hall, but it will give you an idea:

http://www.shopfrick.org/support/gardencourt.htm

Schadenfrau
September 18th, 2006, 09:39 PM
My favorite street to walk is Convent Avenue:

http://www.sci.ccny.cuny.edu/~kr107/index2/pages/Convent%20Ave1.html

Look for the Royal Tenenbaums' house at the southeast corner of 144th.

ablarc
September 19th, 2006, 07:40 AM
It's one of the prettiest old mansions in New York.
More than pretty; beautiful, really. Right up there with the Cloisters.

tdp, if you head north from the Empire State Building, you'll come upon it half way through your walk. That ramble will take you through the East Side and maybe Central Park.

Less diverse, though, than heading south from the ESB.

tdp
September 19th, 2006, 01:49 PM
tdp, if you head north from the Empire State Building, you'll come upon it half way through your walk. That ramble will take you through the East Side and maybe Central Park.

Less diverse, though, than heading south from the ESB.

I must admit that I was thinking of heading south - thank you for your in depth response (I knew I could rely on you!)
I will start pinpointing the map soon - then it's a case of joining the dots!

365 days and counting!

ablarc
September 19th, 2006, 04:27 PM
365 days and counting!
Sometimes the anticipation is as good as the experience. You have plenty of time to find your selection of goodies between the squares that define much of lower Manhattan. Shops, nifty buildings, funky people and street life all await you.

Certain things you shouldn't miss --and you won't if you head from square to square. The green at street's end is hard to miss and will work to orient you.

Depending on the length of your stay, you might be interested in soaking up museums, neighborhoods or outlying districts. You'll find a selection of these tucked here: http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8470.

Michelin's a good general guide that concentrates on the bigger, touristy stuff without completely neglecting the more low-key places that seem to interest you.

How long a visit are you planning?

tdp
September 20th, 2006, 01:59 PM
How long a visit are you planning?

Unfortunately Ablarc, not long enough!
It's a trip to celebrate my wife's (landmark) Birthday - we're visiting Vegas for a few days first and then NY. I am hoping for at least four days in your incredible city.

Planning proper will start after Christmas - but no matter what, we will be back after this trip - my landmark Birthday follows in five years and I hope to fit in at least one or two more trips in between (I could never leave New York thinking that it's my last visit!)

lofter1
September 20th, 2006, 02:16 PM
re-book --- fewer days in LV, more in NYC ;)

pianoman11686
September 20th, 2006, 04:35 PM
I agree. You don't need more than two days in Vegas.

tdp
September 20th, 2006, 04:40 PM
re-book --- fewer days in LV, more in NYC ;)

If it was up to me it would be zero days in Vegas!
Don't get me wrong - I'm sure LV is an 'interesting' place - but I am in love with NYC!

Seriously though, I am hopeful of a ten-day break.... which should afford us four in the east.

364 days and counting....!

ablarc
September 23rd, 2006, 07:48 PM
364 days and counting....!
Have you booked your hotel?

tdp
September 24th, 2006, 07:23 AM
Have you booked your hotel?

Not yet, Ablarc.

I hope to find somewhere midtown and am thinking that the Bedford would be ok - in a good location, and seems to be reasonably priced.

Probably won't get anything booked until into the New Year.

ablarc
September 24th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Have never stayed at the Bedford. Seems unexciting if serviceable --if the price is right.

See what price you can get at the Beacon: much livelier, authentic New York neighborhood, extremely good transport:

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=6437&highlight=beacon+hotel+fairway

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5519&highlight=beacon+hotel+fairway

http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8470&highlight=beacon+hotel+fairway

lofter1
September 24th, 2006, 12:53 PM
And do book early at the Beacon (I agree with ablarc on this one).

I recently tried to get something around the holidays this year and it was impossible -- completely booked.

ablarc
September 24th, 2006, 01:06 PM
(I agree with ablarc on this one).
Ahh, g'wahhn...you agree with him on most of 'em! :D

tdp
September 24th, 2006, 05:12 PM
See what price you can get at the Beacon: much livelier, authentic New York neighborhood, extremely good transport:

Thanks for the links.
I hadn't really considered staying that far up, although the area does look fantastic.
To be honest, I'm a little fearful of the Subway! (no, not crime - confusion!):confused:
I'm sure you'll tell me how easy it is, but as a first time user I'm worried that it's all too baffling... (this from a guy that's been to NYC three times!!)

ablarc
September 24th, 2006, 10:44 PM
To be honest, I'm a little fearful of the Subway! (no, not crime - confusion!):confused:
I'm sure you'll tell me how easy it is, but as a first time user I'm worried that it's all too baffling...
Subway's the easiest part of a stay at the Beacon.

The stop is 72nd Street.

That is exactly one express stop to Times Square (5 minutes, connections to all points, East Side and West).

Local trains take you to Lincoln Center in one stop (90 seconds); Columbus Circle, Central Park and Time Warner Center in two stops (3 minutes) and the theater district in three stops (5 minutes).

Heading uptown, you can get to Columbia, St. John the Divine and Grant's Tomb (very romantic) in one express and three local stops (12-15 minutes).

tdp
September 25th, 2006, 03:32 PM
[quote=ablarc;122099]Subway's the easiest part of a stay at the Beacon.
quote]

Okay - I will be brave and give it a try.
I has to be worth it to stay in that neighborhood.

Hof
November 6th, 2006, 04:05 PM
I'd suggest going a trifle more Uptown.Check out the Hotel Belleclaire,at 77th and Broadway.It's cheap,convenient and actually historical.
If you and your friends are walkers,the Upper West Side--even in Winter--is perfect.
You are only a few blocks from Central Park,Riverside Park,museums,Lincoln Center,the Columbus Av/Amsterdam Av restaurants and clubs,etc.The highly-walkable neighborhoods abound with architecture and the area has as many shopping opportunities and other diversions as 5th Ave,34th St or The Village.It's also quite safe.

It's a place overlooked by most tourists,so the neighborhood's streets are full of genuine New Yorkers who actually live around there,instead of flocks of sidewalk-packing day trippers from E.Jesus,Iowa,which is what the Midtown/Times Sq. area is all about...
A couple blocks from the Belleclaire in either direction on Broadway--72nd and 79th--are subway stops for the A,B,C and D lines,trains that will take you anywhere in NYC that you would want to go,without challenging your Subway skills.

Columbus Circle,Times Sq or Midtown,for example,are only 4-5 stops away from the hotel;The Empire State Bldg is a 10-15 minute ride and a two-block walk through the 34th St shopping district if you exit at Penn Station;you're only about 20 mins from The Village,a half hour (or less) from the Battery.It's probably one of the simplest Subway neighborhoods in Manhattan.Getting off the Subway at any of the stops along the way will provide you with immediate access to whatever you are seeking in NY.
Also,a $5.00 cab ride through the Park puts you on the East Side,which is a lot like the West Side,only costlier.

Instead of Midtown madness,try the UWS.You and your friends will like it.