New Yorkers are mostly awesome, but—and I say this with love—they can be severely delusional about themselves. Primarily when it comes to just how tolerant they are. For some reason, it is socially acceptable in this city to make fun of/be snobby about certain groups, such as:
1) People from New Jersey
2) Right wingers
3) People who live in Manhattan and don’t leave it/don’t know the other boroughs
I bring this up because I am (big shocker!) #3. At least on weekends, I don’t go north of the 14th street frontier. I get how the tendency to stay in one’s neighborhood could sound lame, but it’s not like I’m prancing around the Coach store. It’s just that I like where I live and my friends are nearby.
Anyway, this weekend, I took my love of not-leaving Manhattan to the extreme by walking from the top of the island (220th Street) all the way down the 13.5 miles of (mostly) Broadway. I thought it would be a fun experiment as part of my pet theory that the secret of life is to behave like a tourist.
Who knew the island didn’t stop at 14th Street? This is the Broadway Bridge. I crossed it to enter Manhattan. Until this weekend, I didn’t even know there was a Broadway Bridge!
What a trip! I highly recommend this for:
1) People who like to feel athletic but cannot be bothered to train.
2) People who want an occasional hot toddy during their workout.
3) Visitors (from out of town) who need to entertain themselves during your work day. The walk takes about 8 hours. Although, if you work in New York, your work day is probably closer to 10 hours.
I started in Inwood, where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jim Carroll, and my mom grew up. As a child, I could never understand why people giggled when my mom explained where she was from. Now I get it:
It is also, apparently home to Pizza Palace, which has been there since 1945. I found out about it from an awesome site called Jeffrey Tastes, about one dude’s adventures in NYC in search of good meals. When I asked my mom about it, she said “Now that was pizza.” So I had to go. And I totally agreed with Mom and Jeff.
The trek reminded me of Julia Sweeney’s one-woman show, which I saw in LA a few years ago. It was about her search across the world for God. After all that, she wound up not knowing what she believed about God, but she discovered that you could believe in people. You could believe in the buildings and bridges they built.
And how amazing life is because Man! Built! That!
(If that sounds stupid it is all my fault for paraphrasing. The show—and the way Julia Sweeney explained it—was brilliant.)
Anyway, I felt a little euphoric walking down Manhattan. It’s a good place to call home.