New York City is one of the greatest walking cities in the United States. Navigating the city is a sport of sorts, cars, buses, cyclists, and other pedestrians at times makes for an unexpected cardio workout, dodging umbrellas on rainy days. Commute hours, the sidewalks swell with a sea of people (and sometimes their pets). Crossing streets is a live version of the Frogger video game. The island of Manhattan is the ultimate in American urban density. Canyons of concrete and glass surround. Aside Central Park and the northern end of the island, it is a monument to architecture.
So far, the two previous city hikes were in Manhattan. The first, across the narrow island, from the Hudson to the East River. The second, a meandering course through Central Park, across Harlem to the Upper West Side. The third urban hiking adventure begins in Manhattan however the majority of the walk is in Brooklyn, the borough to the east. Many Brooklynites will tell you they may be part of New York City; however, their town is the best the greater city has to offer. That’s civic pride.
Today’s urban hike is about 2 hours and covers 5 and a quarter miles. A flat course except some elevation crossing a bridge. Beginning at the tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park is the end of the road, or in this instance, just the beginning. At the edge of the park, views of Brooklyn, Governor’s Island, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Jersey City arc around the tip of the island. Ferries glide across the open waters, a nautical highway of sorts.
The park is a people watcher’s delight. A large oval green in the center is an urban playground. Locals and visitors lounge, siesta, and gaze out to sea. In the park, a sea glass carousel entertains the young. Ferries to the Statue of Liberty work long hours. A memorial to World War Two veterans stands at the edge of the densely populated island. Now, on to the next waypoint, the oldest restaurant in New York City, Fraunces Tavern. A short walk, the three-story brick façade has stood watch since the 1760’s. In American history, that is ancient. Reservations are required; however, the restaurant offers five distinct dining…