Walking in New York

“Don’t try to walk more than 10 blocks”, our daughter advised us from New York a fortnight earlier.

Much of New York is surprisingly walkable. You probably wouldn’t want to walk from Central Park to Battery Park (about 90 blocks), but the theatre district and midtown areas are manageable if the weather is kind.

On our first full day, we explored solely on foot. First we walked down Broadway (12 blocks ) then east along 42nd Street (4 blocks) to find the departure point for our Washington trip the following day. It was on the corner of Park Avenue and 42nd, opposite Grand Central Station, where the rail tracks go above Park Ave on an ornate, cast iron viaduct.

After a quick look round Grand Central Concourse – remarkably familiar from many movies and TV shows – we walked one block south to 41st then two blocks west along “Library Way” to the New York Public Library on Fifth Ave. It wasn’t open yet, so we walked another two blocks down Fifth Ave to Lord and Taylors department store to look for jeans for Ann and brunch. We found the food but not the jeans.

By now we had walked 21 blocks.

We headed back up 5th Ave (1 block) and west on 40th alongside the Library (still not open) and Bryant Park to 6 Ave (2 blocks).

It is six blocks more down to 6th Ave (Avenue of the Americas) to Herald Square where Broadway crosses 6th Ave and 34th St.

We are now standing at Macy’s Herald Square entrance. We have walked 30 blocks.

In Macy’s we buy stuff. As you do.

But they don’t stock the brand of jeans that Ann wants. “They have them in Lord and Taylors”, the assistant tells us.

So we walk back a different way: one block east along 34th Street to where the Empire State Building towers over the junction with 5th Avenue . The lines for the trip to the top are long. Oh well, another time.

Then five blocks up Fifth Ave gets us to back to L & T where this time we find where they have hidden those darn jeans. Then it’s one more block to the NY Public Library.

We have a brief look round and wished we had a couple of days to see it properly.

Then it’s a repeat of the two blocks east to 6th Ave and Bryant Park where we have juice and water and sit for a while and enjoy the outdoor reading library, the chess games at tables under the trees, gentle buskers and many people from the nearby buildings having lunch in this little oasis.

We have now walked 39 blocks.

After our brief rest, it’s now one more block over to Broadway and then a pleasant stroll a mere 14 blocks north via Times Square back to our hotel to put our feet up and savour the coffees that we picked up on the way.

Our walking total for the day so far is 53 blocks.

In the evening we walk another three blocks east and two north towards the Trump Tower and Tiffany’s checking out restaurants before we find somewhere to eat on the return journey past Carnegie Hall.

Those 10 evening blocks take our walking total for the day to 63 blocks.

In spite of that, we don’t get to sleep very easily. There is a huge storm with lightning hitting the tops of nearby buildings and massive crashes of thunder. In amongst the racket, there seems to be a competition for the loudest car horn and the most police sirens per minute.

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