It was overcast much of the morning, with a bit of wind and temperature of about 48F (9C).
(Don't forget you can click on the pictures to make them full screen!)
The building towards the left is the one we're staying in with our couchsurfing host Ike and his cousin Camila.
Opposite the apartment block is the Hudson River.
We figured we would follow the river as much as possible until we got to around 110th St. which is the block where Central Park begins. Ike had told us about some interesting buildings near 120th, so we made sure to make a detour in that area. But from the apartment, we followed the aptly named Riverside Dr. which has a nice sidewalk with lots of trees and views of the river.
Riverbank State Park is around 140th St. and it kind of juts out into the river allowing for some nice views in both directions.
Washington Heights, taken from Riverbank State Park.
And looking towards the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan, about 8 miles away!
Around 120th St, is the General Grant National Memorial. It's actually where Ulysses S. Grant and his wife are entombed, and it's the only place outside of Washington's Arlington cemetery where a former president is buried. The building is looked after by the National Park Service, but it's free to enter.
The building is huge! Can you see Ruth sitting on the steps?
Ulysses S. Grant National Memorial.
That huge empty building houses these two graves.
Across the street is the impressive Riverside Church. Opened in 1930, it is the tallest church in the U.S. with a tower height equivalent to a 22 story building. Unfortunately, the lighting wasn't good for a complete picture, but the entrance is impressive. Plus, there was a service going on so we couldn't get an interior picture either.
Entrance to Riverside Church.
We walked further south to the Grounds of Columbia University at Broadway and 116th St. Interesting to walk around, but it was Sunday and most buildings were closed.
The grounds of Columbia University.
We continued down Broadway. It's such a busy street, even up in the north section. Came across a TD bank building where I could take out some U.S. cash without paying the extra $3.00 fee because they are affiliated with the Canadian bank we deal with. But the machine wouldn't work for me. The branch was open on a Sunday! So I went in and had to get someone to call for me because my card had been flagged by security...they just wanted to make sure it was me! Back to the machine and it worked fine. So, be warned. Better to call your bank before you leave and make sure you tell them your travel plans. I know that we've done this with credit cards in the past, but never had a problem with a debit card.
112th St. off Broadway.
We walked through Central Park to 5th Avenue where part of the New York Marathon was taking place. Still some colors in the trees here!
Hard to believe there can be this much green space in a city this size!
We cheered the runners on!
Along with a lot of other people!
Then, we walked along the pathway that surrounds the Jacqueline Kennedy Reservoir. Lots of nice views, and by this time it was just after 12 noon and the sun was starting to come out.
Someone offered to take our picture!
Looking back at the Upper East Side.
We continued south on Columbus Ave. There were a lot of side streets closed off near the finish line of the marathon, so we didn't see the spot where John Lennon was killed. Of course security was extra tight because of the problems at the Boston marathon earlier this year. By 1:00pm we were getting hungry and we came across a Southwestern restaurant that was advertising Huevos Rancheros...eggs, beans, corn tortillas, and Chorizo sausage. One of the best meals we've had...we were stuffed. Have to recommend you go to Cilantro Restaurant at 485 Columbus Ave near 84th St. Including tip, our "brunch" was $28.
Advertised as "Tex Mex", but it was a pretty authentic Mexican breakfast that we enjoyed.
We walked WAY down Columbus Avenue. Lots to see, and simply people watching was interesting too.
Lots of these bicycle taxis. Hardly any being used though. At $5.00 per minute (seriously!?) it's pretty easy to see why not.
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle at Columbus and W. 59th.
By 2:15pm we were getting into the Hell's Kitchen area. Lots of interesting skyscrapers in this area.
The Empire State Building.
We were walking along, and I saw the sign for B&H Photo at 9th Ave and 34th St. Even if you aren't interested in photography, you have to stop in to this store. They have the largest selection of photography equipment, but it's also amazing to see the system of how you pay for things. We came across a nice little set of pocket binoculars (possible handy for anyone visiting Africa?!) that were only $8.95. So you go to one counter and they hand you a payment slip and they take away your item. Then, you go with your payment slip and pay your bill. Then, you go to another counter to pick up your item which has arrived there on a series of conveyor belts. It's all very interesting, and very efficient especially if you are purchasing more than one item because you can shop in different parts of the store without carrying around the items that you want to buy. Didn't take any photos, so you'll have to go for yourself!
From there, we walked over to the Empire State Building, which is just finishing up a $550 million upgrade!
Look up. Look waaaay up.
The Empire State Building.
By 3:30 pm we were getting tired. Wait until I tell you how far we walked yesterday! Anyhow, we wanted to make it to one more building for the day...the Flatiron Building.
The Flatiron Building, built in 1902.
We took the subway back to the apartment. We bought the makings for dinner, and Ruth made us all some enchiladas, and we spent the rest of the evening talking about travel. Ike's cousin Camila spent two months in South Africa this past summer, so of course we wanted to see her pictures and get her suggestions on some things to see and do.
Great evening with our couchsurfing host Ike, his cousin Camila who is going to school here, and of course Kevin and Ruth.
Now, do you want to know how far we walked??
10 miles (16 kms)!!
Our approximate walking route yesterday.