I was reading this neat story about a man who has walked every block of downtown Manhattan (that is, below 14th Street). There are some cool pics; I especially like the one of the whirligigs in an East Village community garden.
I was going to post about this, and when I searched for the link (I was reading it in hard copy), I found this letter:
To the Editor:The guy's site is really good - full of photos. He's originally from New Mexico, but clearly a New Yorker at heart. He says about the end of his odyssey:
I enjoyed reading about Robert Jay Kaufman, who walked every Manhattan street below 14th Street ("His Long Walk Home," April 17). Mr. Kaufman has a delightful perspective on the city, and I'm looking forward to reading his book. But his walking accomplishment is not unique - many people have actually walked every one of Manhattan's 500 miles of streets.
For instance, Cmdr. Thomas Keane completed a four-year Manhattan walk in the early 1950's; his story made The Times on Dec. 15, 1954. I myself walked every Manhattan street in two and a half years, and I finished on the 50th anniversary of Commander Keane's final day of walking. Then there is Joseph D. Terwilliger, who last year walked the entire island in a staggering 10 weeks.
By the way, I have also heard from people who have walked, or are walking, every street in Minneapolis, San Francisco and Christchurch, New Zealand, and every road in Catron County, N.M.
Images of my walk can be seen on my Web site: newyorkcitywalk.com.
Upper East Side
I chose to finish at Thirty Third Street because it runs along the south side of the Empire State Building. From almost anywhere on the island, if you look up at the observation deck, you see little pops of light from the flash bulbs of tourists taking pictures. Those twinkling lights kind of became a beacon for me over the years as I was walking. After several toasts in a nearby KoreaTown bar, I took the elevator to the top, and sent my own camera flashes down to Manhattan. . . . I'm head over heels for this city, now more than ever. I'm still walking the streets, exploring, seeing what I missed the first time around.Really nice.
This is the kind of thing that, when I was younger, I would decide Allan and I should do. We'd set out to walk from our neighborhood at the northern end of Manhattan to the southern tip, get about as far 85th Street (about 100 blocks), stop someplace for lunch, have a few drinks, and that would be that.
Or after I bought a architecture walking tour book, I'd declare that we were going to do a tour of a different neighborhood each weekend. That might last three or four weeks. We'd have a great time, but I guess I'm not obsessive enough to dedicate so much of my time to a single pursuit. But I'm glad other people have done it, and extra glad they put it on the web!