101 in 1001: 090 walk the length of manhattan [completed 05.13.07]

6:16 - liberty indeed.

the manhattan challenge: frequently asked questions

Q. why 'the manhattan challenge'?

joe wanted to call it the tenderfoot challenge, for lordy did we hurt by the end, but i reject the newbie association: i'll have you know that i hiked 11 miles from glacier point at yosemite, um, a decade and change ago. i liked 'the manhattan project,' but then sarah told us a terrible story at dinner last night about nuclear wind blowing the skin off of horses in japan.

Q. what was your route?

we started at the henry hudson bridge (220th) and followed broadway down to columbus circle, where we switched over to eighth avenue until we got below times square; then we took seventh ave until it turned into varick, followed varick south for a while, and cut east until we hit broadway again - then broadway, more or less, all the way to battery park.

Q. why north to south?

because no one wants to end up exhausted in inwood at dusk. trust me, i lived there for three months. a guy who blogged his south to north trip (on the east side, moreover) sounds like he had a much sexier time than we did - resting on the steps of the met! - but celebrating the end in battery park sounded much better. also, we hit the most interesting (and unfamiliar) stuff in the first hundred blocks or so; if we'd done the trip in reverse, i'd have been too tired to check out washington heights. washington heights smells fantastic, by the way.

Q: any advice for other folks who want to do the walk?

1: bring your own toilet paper.
2: don't wear rings; your hands will swell.
3: take advil before you leave.

Q: how long did it take?

subtracting time for brunch at columbia, about four and a half hours. before and after we hit the aimless mass of humanity that is the upper west side, we averaged about a block a minute. this made me feel like a badass, at least until i remembered that jen will be running twice as far (we walked about 15 miles) in a few months.

Q. would you do it again?

totally, but not for a while - and i'd probably do the east side instead, even though i wouldn't be able to pee at my own apartment.

Q. hey, can you feel your legs today?


click on the photo up top to go to ye olde photo set (i snapped something every ten blocks or so, at least for the first few hours). more questions? hit me.


jacob said...

what shoes did you wear? what shoes did joe wear?

tom said...

1. The "Wash and Lube" on West 220th: Shouldn't it be Lube, and then Wash? I mean, you got guys (hard working, it should be noted) who have all manner of grease and fluid on them, working over your car after you wash it? Doesn't make sense.

2. I get the ban on solicitors at Ground Zero. I just find it ironic that, in five someodd years, there will be commerce there again, only of the high tax bracket sort. Mind you, I don't have a stick in this fight--they should rebuild, I guess--and I am about the billionth person in the world one would search out for advice on the subject. But: do businessmen in suits crafting deals over the memorial seem no less tacky that a guy selling NYPD t-shirts? I dunno.

3. Apart from deciding whether to quit, did either or you feel tempted to pull a Rosie Ruiz and hop on a bus?

lauren said...

jacob: i wore the golas [street sneakers, kinda like pumas] i got the day after our wedding - the ones that gave me such horrible blisters that i had to wear flip flops for the rest of our honeymoon, including the hiking around the antrim coast of northern ireland. in my defense, they have since become my most comfortable shoes. joe, in turn, wore a pair of blue nikes with exposed springy-things in the back. i think that after a certain point, shoe type doesn't matter as much as you'd think it would; pounding the concrete (and the jolt of going up and down curbs all the time) for that long is just painful no matter what. i would imagine that hiking the same distance on a trail, though it would be harder on the ankles, would be much easier on the feet.

tom 1: literally, nothing about inwood makes sense. maybe that place wanted to differentiate itself from the 3,251 other car places at the top of manhattan (seriously, you can probably get a muffler at 10 pm, but a coffee? forget it).

tom 2: i think the emphasis is on the 'donations' part of the soliciting, though i can see wanting the people with the light-up crystal twin towers to stay at least a block away. logical? no. while the site is (mostly) a shrine, though, i can see wanting to keep it simple.

tom 3: not at all - i'd have quit before i got there by other means, and i would have imagined battery park mocking me if i hitched a ride there. we decided that it really wouldn't be a feat if it was anything other than dragging our asses all the way there, au naturale, at one go.

wabes said...

this is something i've always wanted to do, so kudos to you both! i hope the weather was fair and the brunch/lunch was tasty. whereabouts did you eat before descending into expensive baby/toy-dogland on the UWS? i'd have been happy bring you an iced tea or lemonade, relay-style, if Kolz & i were home for any decent piece of the month...

lauren said...

we ate at toast, baby! it was situated perfectly (about a hundred blocks from our start point, and right there on broadway). we gave your 'hood a wave as we zoomed by.