Time Out to Go Walking
December 12, 2012

Take Time Out to Walk

Among the reasons to love winter in the city: As the temperature drops, the sidewalks clear out. Crowds that clog more touristy parts of the city in spring and summer migrate indoors to museums, cafes, and theaters in winter, making now a great time to bundle up and appreciate neighborhoods like Chelsea, Greenwich Village, or the Upper East Side.

When we were reacquainting ourselves with New York City several years ago, after a brief, semi-voluntary exile in Warsaw and Boston, we stumbled upon a resource, the Time Out Book of New York Walks: 23 Walks Around the Big Apple, that we have recommended to others ever since. Our children, Halina and Riley, were 10 months and 3 years old, respectively, when we embarked on our first Time Out walk, and now at ages 7 and 9, the children have continued to enjoy our favorite walks, asking more and more about a neighborhood’s history and architecture.  Though the book was published a decade ago, the philosophy behind it—that the city is a destination best explored on foot—is timeless. Even better, you can get a copy for the low, low price of about a dollar on used-book sites online.

The book consists of 23 walks as described by 23 authors, some of whom are New York natives and some of whom write from the perspective of an enchanted outsider who leaves looking forward to when they’ll be back again. In this week’s post—to give a sense of what the book offers—we’ll share a two-mile walk recommended by British Beat writer, Barry Miles, that takes you on a route through Chelsea and Greenwich Village. Next week we’ll review a walk by another Brit, writer and filmmaker William Boyd, that takes you around the Upper East Side.

Eyeball Kicks

That’s the catchy name Miles attaches to this walk, which seems apropos if you realize this is a guy who once hung out with the members of Pink Floyd and the Beatles. Among the best things about this walk is that Miles discovered it before the High Line—probably New York City’s most popular outdoor tourist destination, after Central Park—had been opened.

The jaunt begins in front of the famed Chelsea Hotel on 23rd street, between 7th and 8th avenues, and leads down 8th Avenue to 20th Street, where you’ll head east. This portion of 20th Street leads down a quiet residential street past Cushman Row, a historic set of townhouses. The Time Out walk leads south on 10th Avenue to 18th Street; however, if you walk three blocks north to 23rd Street and then one block east you can take the stairs up to the High Line instead.

Head north to the High Line terminus at 30th street, then double back and follow it to where it ends at Gansevoort Street. From here, head two blocks south to Jane Street and continue into Greenwich Village.

Though foot traffic in the Village is usually packed and slow on a hot day in July, on a chilly day in December you will find it otherwise. The Time Out walk ends at the corner of MacDougal Street and West 3rd Street, at which point we suggest you head north to Washington Square Park. The fountain has been shut down for the season, but the park remains open year round, with a great, newly renovated playground for children to explore. 

What are your favorite wintertime walks? 



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Help a neighbor: Whether it’s the season for shoveling snow, raking leaves, or weeding their garden, your kids will get double benefits from being outdoors and building community.

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