New York sightseeing for people who like get their walk on in the latest travel guest blog...
Using New York as my outdoor gym is key to my sanity and health. I love to get out and walk all over this mega-metropolis with its nooks and crannies, highrises and grids and meandering streets. And subway stairs are great for the calves.
My favorite combo is when I can combine exercise, history and chocolate. That is the trifecta and you cant get that on a treadmill. This can be done by walking over the Brooklyn Bridge and going to DUMBO (a part of Brooklyn that stand for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass, but you get there on foot via the Brooklyn Bridge). A visit to The Big Apple would be incomplete without taking in this wonderful New York icon. You can reach it by subway stop (various) on the Manhattan side and just follow the walkers, runners and cyclists across this massive, stony, wiry, glorious expanse.
Although there is a pedestrian flow etiquette on the path, dont let it stop you from taking loads of pictures; Just move to the side and snap away. Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It was completed in 1883. It has an interesting history which involves the engineer on the massive project dying due to a foot injury and his young son taking over, only to be bedridden by the bends and his wife having to help complete the project while he oversaw things from their bedroom window. No, really.
The view from the bridge affords you excellent perspectives of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. When I am walking this expanse I feel so alive and part of the history of New York. How many thousands of people have walked across in the more than 100 years of its existence? How many sunglasses and hats have blown away?
After you look up and look over, look down and follow the staircase on the Brooklyn side into DUMBO. Once you get to DUMBO you are in a world that looks like a movie set (and often is) where the backdrops of bridges and buildings and water are so real they look phony. Be sure to go to Brooklyn Bridge Park and sit and take in an amazing view; It is one of a kind. After that head to Water Street to Jacques Torres Chocolate; The store is magical and the chocolate is heavenly. They have to-die-for chocolate chip cookies that they will heat for you, and wonderful hot chocolate. Seasons such as Christmas and Easter afford even more amazement.
I suggest unless you want to walk off your chocolate to get the subway back to town as you have earned it. But work those stairs!
Patrick Connolly is a freelance writer and blogs at www.manhatin.blogspot.com
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