Sometimes you've just gotta follow your own path. We provide jumping-off points for six city roams, with a few suggested highlights. You take it from there.
Wed Apr 30 2008
Illustration: David Senior
Fort Tryon Park
Take the A train to 190th Street and stroll north into the 67-acre, Olmsted Brothers–designed park. Test your resistance to pollen in the blossom-heavy Heather Garden (Fort Washington Ave at Cabrini Blvd), where you can admire panoramic views of the Hudson and the Palisades. Sate any hunger at the New Leaf Café (1 Margaret Corbin Dr, 212-568-5323) and your hankering for medieval European art at the Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Dr, 212-923-3700).
Catch the Bx29 bus at the Pelham Bay Park 6 train station. Get off right after you cross the bridge and stroll along City Island Avenue. Stop by Midtown Antiques (310 City Island Ave at Fordham St, 718-885-2820) and say hello to owner Mort Ellis; on weekends (3–9pm), you don’t need an appointment to browse his collection, which dates from the Revolutionary era onward. Then lounge outside Johnny’s Reef (2 City Island Ave at Belden St, 718-885-2090), eating fried clams off paper plates as seagulls swoop overhead.
Ride the B or C train to 103rd Street and follow Central Park West to 105th. Here you’ll find the old New York Cancer Hospital, a stately group of circular towers built in 1887. Trek west along 106th until you reach Broadway and the tree-lined Straus Park. Starting here, anonymous apartment buildings are replaced by glorious limestone townhouses.
Historic Jackson Heights
Explore the many eateries around the 74th St–Broadway or Jackson Hts–Roosevelt Avenue stations, then pop in for a Bollywood film at Eagle Movie Theater (73-07 37th Rd between 73rd and 74th Sts; 718-205-2800, eaglemovietheater.com). Afterward, ogle the 1920s architecture and green courtyards—for which the term garden apartment was coined—along 70th Street between 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard, and on 34th Avenue.
Cobble Hill/Downtown Brooklyn
Take the M/R to Court Street, or the 2/3/4/5 to Borough Hall, and walk north to Cadman Plaza Park, where you’ll see a monument honoring Brooklynites who served in World War II. Walking south on Clinton Street, glimpse the Gothic architecture of St. Ann’s Church (131 Clinton St at Livingston St) and then grab a Middle Eastern snack at Sahadi’s (187 Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Court Sts, 718-624-4550).
South Beach Boardwalk
From the ferry, take the S51 or S52 bus to Father Capodanno Boulevard and Sand Lane. Then stroll the two-mile boardwalk (statenislandusa.com), starting at the Dolphin Fountain. Drop a line at the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier, or dine on seafood from less dubious waters at South Fin Grill (300 Father Capodanno Blvd at Sand Ln, 718-447-7679).
Like to walk? A lot? The annual Great Saunter—a 32-mile trek around the rim of Manhattan—takes place May 3, 2008.