Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Walking New York City

We didn't leave the apartment until almost 10am yesterday morning. We planned it that way though, partly because the New York City marathon was taking place and we were going to walk from the apartment in Washington Heights to the northern corner of Central Park in order to see some of the runners nearing the finish line. And partly because it was a little chilly out and things might have warmed up a bit by then!

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.


  1. That's a lot of burned Calories walking 10 miles - good for you! As usual, the photography is superb; I especially like the street scenes of a very busy city. It seems that, no matter which way you turn, there's another incredible sight. Ike's apartment looks pretty big for NYC. Lucky couch-surfers. Have fun today.

  2. I was going to say, knowing you guys, you probably walked the length of Manhattan. Looks like you got the heck out of Saskatchewan just in time. They're getting something like 10 cm of snow!

  3. NYC is a walking city for sure. I always walk more there than anywhere else, it is the only way to really get the feel of the place. So glad you are enjoying my favorite place in the world.

  4. That purchase process in the photo store is the same as the fabric stores in Mexico. They have a man who cuts the fabric, he gives you a slip, you go to the cashier and pay for it, then over to another station where you pick up your purchase. I felt it was quite cumbersome for only one item, you have to find the man to cut the fabric then wait in two lines to get it paid for and out of the store. Every fabric store I have been in in Mexico is operated the same way.

  5. Thanks for taking us all along on your trip! I love that you always try to showcase a church or two!
    Safe travels.

  6. Fantastic day in NYC. We felt like we were there with you...except for the tired feet. ;-) Thank you!

  7. A great day exploring New York City. We visited the tomb of President Lincoln and his family in Springfield, Missouri so there is at least one other president buried outside of Arlington.

    1. Yep, we were definitely given some inaccurate info in that regard! Turns out that there are only two Presidents buried at Arlington...the rest are spread around the country!

  8. Don't you meet some of the nicest people in your travels? We find the New Yorkers some of the friendliest and most helpful whenever we're there. Enjoyed the photo tour - great shots!
    Connie in PA

  9. The apartment you're staying in seem to be a great location. Nice pics, thanks for sharing.

  10. great photos, the one of the church inside looks like a postcard.Our oldest Sammy lives somewhere close to where you are..
    had same problem with our card when we filled truck up when we were out of state. actually glad they do that. yep walking is the only real way to see nyc

  11. Sounds like a fabulous start to your big adventure and great that you have found not only a CS host but one with South African connections. You must be whacked after all your walking, for some reason city walking seems to take it out on you far more than a proper walk in the country. Do you have an app on your phone to log your hikes, if not I can recommend Endomondo and I am sure you would enjoy using it in Africa. Almost as excited as you must be about your onward plans. x

  12. Thanks for the great tour of the city, maybe someday we get there.

  13. Howdy R&K,
    Thanks, for the 'hike' and look-see... I didn't see $5.5M difference in the Empire State building; looks 'cleaner'... $300 BUCKS AN HOUR, who would do it, then??
    All of the pics were great, of course, especially the ones with my FAVORITE folks in them !!! Hope your energy stays up and you have a HAPPY DAY !!!

  14. I LOVE walking around cities, and rarely take public transportation. When we were in Manhattan a few years back we rode the subway but one time, and only because my young adult daughters refused to leave our hotel in midtown Manhattan at 6:00 AM in order to get to Battery Park in time to catch the first boat over to Ellis Island. Afterward we all started walking back, but my girls bailed on us around the World Trade Center memorial. We continued on without them and saw so much more than they did as a result.

    Catching up on your travels slowly. You two are amazing!!!

    1. Well, we're having an amazing time, that's for sure!

      We will be back in NYC in March for three more days. There is so much more to see...


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