New York City Walking Tour: A Big Day in the Big Apple

Some years back, Bono “got an unquenchable thirst for New York” and wrote a song about it. Seems my own thirst gives me an opportunity to write about it on my blog. Since my trip last month to the East Coast, I’ve wanted to post the one-day walking tour itinerary a buddy and I did around Manhattan. Surprised to see the lack of one-day itineraries online, I created one myself, one that gave me a bit of the big sites of Manhattan while being on a bit of a Billy Crystal / Meg Ryan / Tom Cruise reunion tour. We walked from Battery Park to 80th St—not too bad a deal in the early morning, and finally broke down to use the Metro once our legs were tired. Here’s our itinerary. Enjoy it if and when you can!

  1. 6:00am Take the Staten Island Ferry to New York City (in time for sunrise viewing of Statue of Liberty and well worth it)
  2. 6:30am Arrive at South Ferry and walk west through Battery Park
  3. Walk to Charging Bull as seen in Hitch (walk State north to Broadway north)
  4. 7:00am Breakfast somewhere (would suggest Leo’s Bagels (Stone @ Hanover Square)
  5. Walk to Wall Street & New York Stock Exchange
  6. Head northwest toward World Trade Center site
  7. Keep on walking up Broadway and head west a few blocks at 4th St to Washington Square Park, where Sally Albright parted ways with Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally
  8. Head north on 5th Avenue to 14th St east to Union Square. Pick up a coffee at Starbucks and hang out in the park for a bit.
  9. Keep heading north on Broadway toward Flatiron Building (home of Spiderman’s Daily Bugle). Great spot to drink your free Snapple from Donald Trump’s The Apprentice show.
  10. From here, head north on 5th Avenue to the Empire State Building (where Tom Hanks’ Sam Baldwin finds his long-distance lover in Sleepless in Seattle).
  11. Tour the Empire State Building—well worth the price of admission.
  12. Keep heading north on 5th Avenue and note the New York Public Library.
  13. Stop for a spell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and pray.
  14. Reach Central Park and head northwest through the park up to the 79th Street Transverse on the west side.
  15. Take 79th Street west to Broadway and head one block north to Zabar’s (80th at Broadway) for lunch (the market where Kathleen Kelly got in the wrong line without any cash in You’ve Got Mail)
  16. Eat there or head back to Central Park
  17. Now that you’ve rested a bit, head through the park to the east side and walk to the Metro stop at 68th & Lexington.
  18. Take the Metro to Grand Central Terminal. Enjoy its beauty and find the clock that Melman got his head stuck in in the Main Concourse in Madagascar.
  19. From here, you can take a bus down 42nd street to see the United Nations (flags come down right around 5pm, by the way).
  20. By this time, it should be dinner and your dogs are tired and barking. A great place to wind up may be McSorley’s Ale House, a 156-year old tavern on 7th Avenue—amazing history, good beer and some great conversation.

Where’s your favorite place in NYC? Where would you recommend people go? I want to hear it.

Too little hospitality? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Much more than what is advertised in a recent commercial for an Italian restaurant, hospitality is the sharing of life with one another. Being hospitable people ourselves (at least we think we are!), my wife and I have known about hospitality, or so we thought. We had an opportunity to see just how far the hospitable rabbit hole goes in the past month.

Now all of us followers of Jesus long to have the life that Luke described about the early Church in Acts 2: “now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all as any of them had need” (v. 44-45). You know, mi casa es tu casa and the whole bit. But it’s definitely something to learn more about.

Months ago, an opportunity presented itself for us to go to a conference on my wife’s specialization of her field of study at school. In Boston no less, one of her favorite cities. Seeing a good thing when we saw one, we began to make plans to go. But at $250 a night for a hotel (that being the cheapest of hotel options), the trip began to look a bit too pricey for our budget. Thus began our search for finding someone to stay with while on our trip. As it turned out, a friend reminded me that another mutual friend lives in Boston, with whom we could stay or perhaps could connect us with someone in her network. The latter happened, and these someones actually needed housing while they were visiting LA last month. So, we had the opportunity to house them and then they got to reciprocate.

Just finishing our time with them, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that the spectrum of hospitality continues far off into the sunset—that is, there’s a lot to learn about opening your home up, helping one feel comfortable, while also learning that there’s a lot on my end in learning about how to not feel like a burden. While our time in Boston has finished with these new dear friends of ours, my journey on learning this continues, as I’m traveling the East Coast for the next couple of days, staying with other friends. I’m writing this having spent some time with a buddy in Jersey (which is much nicer than Hollywood would have you believe, as they don’t all say “badda-bing, badda-bang”).

When done right, the Church is an amazing community. And it’s been a real joy to live life with new friends this past week. It’s a bit of the picture I think Jesus had in mind when He called us to “love one another” (John 15). May each of us this week look for ways to practice hospitality this week, perhaps a phone call to one we’ve not talked with recently, a note of encouragement for an old friend, or an extended hand of generosity to a stranger.