The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Walking to Wall Street (#atozchallenge)





Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright





"View in Wall Street from Corner of Broad...
"View in Wall Street from Corner of Broadway", New York. http://oldstreets.com/index.asp?letter=B
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Walking to Wall Street

        In the previous post we discussed visiting Manhattan.  So how to get around to see the sights in the city?   If you're going a distance across town you must try the subway of course.  For those who prefer not to deal with those crowds, taking a taxi can certainly be a viable method of travel, but it can also get expensive if you use them too much.  These are decent ways to get where you are going and they are big city transportation modes that you probably would want to try at least once just for the experience of doing it.  However, you won't see the city like you should--on the street, up close and personal.

         If you want to immerse yourself among the population and have that tangible encounter with the city itself, then you need to take to the streets on foot.  Yes, get the exercise and trod that pavement.  You can walk on your own meandering and exploring the sights or you can join up with a walking tour guided by someone in the know.  Some walking tours are free while others with a more personal touch might cost you a few bucks.

          The tours might provide a more expedient way of seeing sights since the guides have the experience and know the best places to go, but if you've got the time why not hoof it on your own?   Don a comfortable pair of sturdy shoes and dress suitably for the weather (as well as for the places you are going) and have fun exploring.   A good city map or guidebook will be helpful to avoid wasting time, but the thrill of discovery by surprise isn't a bad way to go either.  Essentially it all comes down to your time, your stamina, what exactly you hope to accomplish while in the city, and your own sense of adventure.

          My last visit a few years ago was on a very hot day.  We took it slow, went inside air conditioned places now and then, and stayed hydrated.  The heat didn't affect me too adversely, but it did wear my wife down a bit.  Still things turned out well for us.  We didn't push too hard and took breaks when they were needed.

          Walking is not a seasonal activity either.  Inclement weather might be a deterrence, but that's what coats and umbrellas are for.   Any time of year the streets will be filled with pedestrians and there are many folks who are more than happy to get you back on track if you happen to get temporarily lost.

         When the question "What Does Manhattan Say to You?" was presented on this blog back in January, my cousin Tom Jackson from Tracy, California was quick to respond on Facebook with, "Capital of Finance".   This as most of you probably know refers to Wall Street.

          One of the places any Manhattan walking tour should include is a visit to Wall Street.  Centrally located with many other sights worth seeing nearby, Manhattan is the iconic financial hub of not just the United States, but the world.  There are several interesting walking tours that include visits to the New York Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, and many other fascinating sites that are educational, interesting, and fun.

           Going to visit Manhattan?  Bring your walking shoes and be prepared to get some exercise as you get an intimate look at Manhattan while mingling with those who live and work in the city.  There are bus tours and horse-drawn carriage rides as well that will provide a good look at the Manhattan tourist sights, but there's nothing quite like walking those bustling streets.

            If you're interested in walking tours you might want to check out some of the websites such as Free Tours By Foot, Wall Street Walks, and Big Onion Walking Tours to name just a few.

          Do you enjoy walking tours?   Would you rather tour on your own or with a knowledgeable guide?    Are there any walking tours in Manhattan or elsewhere that you have taken that you would recommend to readers here?


   





42 comments:

  1. I like walking, only this last week-end I walked to the beach, walked along the sea front and home again. Somehow it's different walking in a city, there are interesting buildings to see and one has to watch the traffic, however walking along the sea front one can out problems and life into perspective.
    Great post for "W" Lee.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, walking is a great way to get in better touch with ones surroundings as well as oneself. Whether it be the city, the woods, the seashore or wherever, a long walk is good for the body, the mind, and the soul.

      Lee

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  2. I'm not sure I've ever been on a walking tour, but I do love walking around and exploring on my own. I've never been to Manhattan either, but I'd like to visit one day. Thanks for sharing your experiences, it was really interesting to read! :)

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    1. EM, Try to make it to Manhattan one day and when there take a nice long walk through the city.

      Lee

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  3. Walking is usually the best way to see anything.
    Bonus points for the Steven Wright joke today.

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    1. Alex, Wright says so many obvious truths that they sound funny when actually stated. He's kind of like Carlin in that respect.

      Lee

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  4. These are certainly some good thoughts. Especially about taking a subway. The few times I've visited London, I've done the tube more than anything else to get around. It didn't afford me the ability to get to know the city however. I love walking tours and last time I was in London I did the Jack the Ripper walking tour. Very interesting. Still, I do need to walk more and the next time I'm in London I plan to walk more, I would love to walk the length of the Thames as long as I possibly can.
    Oh, but we were talking about Manhattan, weren't we? Well, the same applies if and when I get to visit New York City or Manhattan.

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    1. Jeffrey, the subway is an experience, but it's not much for seeing things unless you like dark tunnels and people watching (which can be pretty interesting). Riverwalks are becoming more popular. I like the walk along the river in San Antonio which is more like meandering than length. Walking the Thames would be a very neat thing to do.

      Lee

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  5. OMG! Stephen Wright. Love his humor. My favorite line of his is: "Some people are afraid of heights, I'm afraid of widths." Cracks me up every time. And definitely walking is one of the best ways to tour.

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    1. Em, I'm a fan of absurd humor that is laden with truth.

      Lee

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  6. I would enjoy a walking tour because I'd love to hear the history of someone in the know. But then I'd prefer to wander around on my own afterward to discover the hidden gems that got left off the tour.

    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Michele, I agree about doing both. If I had the time I'd want to do my walking just as you've described.

      Lee

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  7. I've been on a bus tour of Manhattan which was informative, but kind of detached. The last time I was in Manhattan was in December, at the height of holiday time. It was cold and crowded with no cabs/ubers to be had, so I walked quite a bit, but with only a paper map to guide me. Perhaps next time I'll get walking with a guide!

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    1. Ally, I think a bus tour or the like is an ideal way to get an overview, but then it's good to get out to see more sights up close and actually experience the environment. It's kind of like watching a travel documentary on television and then actually going to the place you saw on the show.

      Lee

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  8. We walked through London. So much so, I had to go buy a pair of walking boots. My flimsy shoes were not good for the job. Great post!

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    1. Nicola, when walking any great distances, good shoes are a must otherwise your feet and legs can pay a dear price.

      Lee

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  9. If you're in Manhattan, chances are you're going to walk. I had a fairly long walk to work when I lived in Queens and when I lived in Manhattan. Seems like all of my heels ended up at the office lining my desk. It was either tennis shoes or snow boots for that walk back and forth. That was only a problem if I needed a pair of heels on the weekend. Uh oh.

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    1. Robin, I think people in the city get pretty used to walking on a regular basis which is a good thing. Walking in the country or the mountains can be a very nice getaway though.

      Lee

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  10. Go on my own or go with a guide? Well, it depends. The first time I went to NYC I went with a great guide and I learned (and retained) more information than I probably would have if I had set out on my own. The last time I was in NYC (my 4th visit to the Big Apple), my party and I went out on our own. All of us had been there before and there were certain areas of the city that we just wanted to explore on our own and on our own schedule. Ideally, I would like to have both experiences, but know that isn't always possible.

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    1. Ericka, either method offers a plus side. As you say the ideal way to see New York with and without a guide, but visiting time is usually limited for most of us.

      Lee

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  11. I think it'd be more interesting to walk around Manhattan than other places. I like walking around downtown Boise, and would be fine doing 7 miles at a time. But I wouldn't consider walking to work because it'd be too boring with nothing to look at.

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    1. Loni, I don't guess Boise could really compare with Manhattan, but I wouldn't mind walking around Boise some. Walking 7 miles on a mountain trail or even around a city like Manhattan would be better than walking the same route to work everyday. And a 3 to 4 hour round trip to and from work is a lot of time, though good exercise.

      Lee

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  12. I'm a huge fan of walking and it is a great way to see a city--especially a walkable city. I can find tours this way frustrating though, as it seems the tour guide ends up only heard by a couple people who keep up.

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    1. Hart, it depends on the tour guide and the number of people on the tour I guess. I've had some really good ones, but I hear what you're saying.

      Lee

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  13. I love that quote. So true. As long as you have the time, you can walk anywhere. I love to walk. You see so much more sites on foot.

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    1. Rebecca, walking can take time, but it can be time very well spent. And the exercise is great.

      Lee

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  14. This is so informative...I would definitely go for a walking tour preferably with a guide

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    1. JKJ, having a guide to get you started is a good way to learn the basics of a city.

      Lee

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  15. I've done Ghostly Walks tours in Victoria BC but I prefer to be on my own. I have walked all over San Francisco and Boston...and Victoria and Vancouver, and parts of Portland OR. But in Manhattan, I never made it as far as Wall St. I've walked from Penn Station or Grand Central to Washington Square and back, though.

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    1. JoJo, I tend to prefer walking on my own, but hearing history and stories from someone in the know can be very interesting.

      Lee

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  16. I love walking and exploring on my own except in historical places where tour guides come in handy. And caves. I don't let the tour guide out of my sight when I'm in a cave;-)

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    1. Diedre, I have been in some self-guided cave tours, but most of the time there is a guide which is very reassuring.

      Lee

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  17. I love walking tours and hikes through the woods and that sort of thing. However, those are a thing of the past for us now. My husband has diabetic complications involving his feet and he isn't allowed to walk like that anymore. He sometimes does it anyway, but nothing that involves long bouts of walking.

    I prefer the on-our-own type walking tours, though sometimes the guided ones are very interesting. The last guided tour that we took was at the Varner-Hogg Plantation in West Columbia, TX. We didn't walk the grounds that time due to the weather, but got a tour through the house. It was great and very informative. I would recommend it for anyone interested in knowing more about Texas history.

    Have a blessed day!

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    1. Suzanne, it really depends on where the tour is and what I'm trying to achieve whether or not I want it to be guided. A guide does provide a lot of insight that might otherwise entail a lot of research.

      My wife is usually not too thrilled about walking in natural environments for fear of encountering animals like snakes, but I love those kinds of walks. Fortunately I'm still healthy enough for reasonable walks, but not the sort of hiking I used to do in my younger days.

      Lee

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  18. Another post full of great suggestions

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  19. I guess it depends on where you go in the city, but to me, walking is definitely the way to go. In March of 2015 we were there and walked almost every time we had to get somewhere. I think we were based around 54th street, but we often walked 5 to 7 miles a day. We actually drove to NYC - again, like 1974, in a 3/4 ton truck - but not propane powered this time. I parked it over by LaGuardia for the five days we were in the city. NO WAY was I fighting traffic with that thing. Caught a cab to the hotel, then walked everywhere. But we took the subway to get over to Queens, and once to get to Manhattan School of Music way north. Everything else... WALKING!

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    1. SBB6, I can see myself easily walking 5 to 7 miles a day in the city and probably farther if I'm not meandering in stores or museums. Don't blame you for not wanting to fight traffic. The only time I actually stayed in the city I was driving a VW Rabbit so that wasn't too bad. I was surprised that I actually found free overnight parking on the street and my car wasn't bothered at all. I was in a more residential area though so parking on the street was permitted.

      Lee

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  20. We were showing our US friends downtown Johannesburg the other day, and talking about how blocks here in Johannesburg are so much shorter than those in NY. If in NY you're told 4 blocks up turn left another 4 blocks, make a right and walk three blocks to get to the destination, that would mean a fair amount of walking. But it's the best way to take in the flavour of a city, pound the streets ..

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    1. Susan, usually if I'm just walking and looking around I don't even notice how far I've gone unless the weather is uncomfortable.

      Lee

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  21. I've only been to Manhattan once a couple of years ago, and yes, I walked around. Just a shame that I only had a couple of hours, so I visited very very little. But one day, I may be able to go back. and I'll walk around. That's I I like to visit places: walking :-)

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

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  22. There are some tours I have done on my own and enjoyed it with my travel book in hand but on other occasions, I enjoyed a tour guide as they can give insight that I would miss. When I was there in 2002, we walked from Times Square down to Ground 0 which I will never forget and then to see the Statue of Liberty.

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Lee