Touring Manhattan and Its Landmarks

One of the best things about the New York walk I did in 2004 was the amazing walking tour of the five Boroughs which was its byproduct. We walked from Belmont Park through Queens across the Triborough Bridge to Randalls Island back through Queens to Brooklyn across the Williamsburg Bridge down through lower Manhattan to South Ferry across on the ferry to Staten Island across to the very southern tip of Staten Island back up across the Bayonne Bridge through the wilds of Jersey City to our end point at Liberty State Park. Now that was one long run-on sentence and a real run-on walk of three days. I doubt I will ever have such a fantastic tour of the city again.

Networking and job hunting are the perfect training vehicles for a walk and also offer an amazing tour of Manhattan. To keep training and save some money, I have vowed not to take any cabs and can only take a subway if the walk exceeds thirty blocks or the time I have at hand. If you could chart my path on a given day, you would see my steps criss-crossing Midtown and zig-zagging from Soho to Central Park South. I think Google has a function that will track this and I always mean to plug in the data and see the lines that represent my ant-like crawls across the city.

Just as I am seeing sights on the streets that I may never have seen before, I am getting to see the insides of buildings I have never seen as well. For years I had a postcard hanging on the window of my office of the Chrysler Building. As I recall, a very thoughtful and soft-hearted colleague gave me the postcard in answer to my plaint that I had no “view” from my office. Voila! A gorgeous 3″x5″ view of the Chrysler Building…but had I ever been inside the Chrysler Building? Not until now. Not until my networking took me to the 23rd floor through the most amazing lobby full of gorgeous marble and Art Deco appointments.

And so it goes with my networking tour of Manhattan landmarks…the Met Life Building. No Snoopy in sight. The Lincoln Building in a driving snowstorm with visions of long ago advertising executives dashing from Grand Central Station across the street to the office. The 53rd floor of the Citicorp Building! We were so high on a foggy day that there was no view, just an endless blanket of clouds.  The “point” on the top floor of the Flatiron Building affording outstanding views on three sides, a tiny balcony with gargoyle and a perfect view of the line at Shake Shack–who needs the video cam then?

In a funny way I am more in touch with the city now than I was when I was commuting in to the city on a daily basis. Back then I had a routine. I caught the 6:48 express with the “boys from Greenwich,” walked about twenty minutes to the office, holed up in my lair for the day and headed home to catch the 7:08 express home. There wasn’t much city exploring going on. I was the proverbial hamster on the wheel. Now, I am in and out and out and about and seeing so many parts of the city, it is a daily adventure. And almost all of it is on foot, getting me in better and better shape for the big walk.

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One Comment to “Touring Manhattan and Its Landmarks”

  1. That’s so true: when you’re working in an office, you keep your nose down all day, maybe go out for lunch if you’re lucky. You don’t really get to enjoy the city. After more than twenty years, *one different turn* only *one block over* can still bring me somewhere new. What a city!

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