Where the Sidewalk Ends (the final part)

We are now down to the last mile! If you haven’t read my earlier posts, I am recounting the walk my husband and I took a few weeks ago. From the northern tip of Manhattan to the southern tip, 13.5 miles, over 200 blocks, we really got to see the city I call home.

In the last post, we had just finished dinner in Little Italy. It took us a little while to find our bearings after dinner. Once you walk south of Houston St., the easy to navigate grid of Manhattan all but disappears and you’re left wondering the twisted, diagonal streets of downtown. If you’re interested in the urban planning of Manhattan, I recommend this interesting article. The grid of Manhattan was originally described as the “republican predilection for control and balance … [and] distrust of nature.”

After the hectic crowded streets of Little Italy and Chinatown, the city bursts into a collection of impressive, European-looking municipal buildings and lit-up sky scrapers. I always expect to see Batman flying around this area.

During the daytime, Wall Street is bustling with pedestrians and cars, but at night it is nearly empty. This is a really great place to visit (during the day) if you have kids. The South St. Seaport has fun museums and a boardwalk. You can take a boat ride around the city, or just walk the cobblestone streets.

No trip to the Wall Street area is complete with out a visit to the famous bull. It’s always fun to watch people pose in front of the bull and wait for them to come up with the brilliant idea of posing next to the giant bull testicles in the back of the sculpture. This happens almost every time. People are very predictable.

It’s also worth it to visit this area at night to see the construction lights of the new World Trade Center.

By this point in our walk, Broadway, the avenue we had been walking down for the entire day, disappeared and we were just hoping that we were still going in the right direction. I hate to admit how many times I’ve walked this area thinking I was going east when really I was going north. It’s super confusing, I tell you!

Finally finally finally, we reached the Staten Island ferry; the southern tip! We quickly posed for a picture and then ran in to use the bathroom and got some more water.

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We made it!

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The Statue of Liberty is hiding somewhere out in that darkness.

We were tired and exhausted at this point, but we couldn’t go all this way with out stopping by the water and enjoying a few moments of peace. It was now 10 pm, but the docks were busy with men who were fishing. They all seemed to know each other and looked at us like we were the odd ones. Perhaps we were the odd ones. After all, who walks the length of Manhattan in one day?

Would I do it again? Absolutely.  I had been to almost every neighborhood we walked through before but it was so nice to see how they all fit together in the massive quilt of diversity that is New York City. Nowhere else can you see so many different styles of architecture and so many different kinds of people. Nowhere else can you eat so many different kinds of food and hear so many different accents and languages. Walking down Manhattan felt like a tour of the world.


  1. Me too, Rider! I just love this concept, but then I like any concept that involves soaking in culture within our own culture. I find it fascinating all the different flavors, right here, out our own back doors. So how long did this trip take from start to finish? What would you do differently (or would you) next time? I wonder if it would be fun to do that with girlfriends– would the perspective change? Fun fun series!


    1. Great questions. Let’s see, the whole journey took 10 hours, but we were only walking for 8 of those hours. If I did it again I would research the restaurants beforehand. Every neighborhood is known for some particular food, and originally I was going to plan the walk around those foods, but I got tired of putting it off an just went for it without any planning. I would definitely try this walk out with some girlfriends!


  2. Beautiful! I felt like I got to walk along with you on this neat trip. It makes me appreciate what we have, right in our own back yard. You don’t have to travel too far to see some wonderful and historic sites. Where are you off to next?? 🙂


    1. I think we spent a total of $100 for the entire day, but it felt like we went on a real vacation. We really got to see and do so much. I’m thinking of doing a walk around Brooklyn or Queens next, but maybe I’ll wait till the spring.


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