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From Battery Park to Chinatown:
The Most Historic Walk in America Commences at the very bottom of Manhattan Island and takes us through the site of the old Dutch trading settlement, the original British colony, the center of Revolutionary War New York, Wall Street, the Court House District and the site of the old and new World Trade Centers.
Chinatown and Little Italy:
Two of the most historic ethnic concentrations in America, Chinatown and Little Italy offer visitors a window into two of the world's great cultures. Two of this country's most impacting emigrant communities offer a wide variety of ethnic shopping, sights and sounds as well of varied regional dining adventures represented by several hundred wildly varying restaurants, noodle and dim sum shops and coffee houses.
Historic Soho:
Soho (an acronym meaning 'South of Houston Street') is a designated landmark district and its blocks of cobble-stone streets contain the largest concentration of so-called cast iron architecture in the world. These remarkable buildings date from the mid Nineteenth Century with many facades incorporating classic Greek and Roman design elements, the great majority of them fully restored. Soho also contains one of the city's largest concentrations of art galleries, boutiques, upscale dining establishments
The Lower East Side and the East Village:
The term "melting pot" was created to describe these two adjacent neighborhoods, and with good cause. This part of New York City became the first home of wave after wave of Italian, German, Polish, Russian, Jewish, Chinese, and other immigrants as they began their pursuit of a better life in America. Still dominated by a variety of Nineteenth Century buildings, the Lower East Side is now also the home of contrasting, sleek residential towers, boutique hotels, unique eateries, shops and small art galleries. In the halcyon Nineteen Sixties, the East Village was the East Coast's equivalent of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury District. It has now become the NYC neighborhood of choice for twenty and thirty-somethings and abounds in galleries, fashionable and uniquely quirky shops, and as great a selection of widely divergent restaurants, cafés, bars and coffee houses as any neighborhood in the city.
Greenwich Village:
This world famous location was originally a Manhattan Island backwater where many emancipated blacks first settled, then came the wealthy colonial merchants who built their estates and farms there in order to get away from the hustle and bustle of Lower Manhattan's business district. Now one of urban America's most desirable residential locations, The Village has a long history as a magnet for artists, poets, musicians, actors and writers and still functions very much in the character of a true village here in the nation's largest city. It is also one of the finest concentrations of nineteenth century townhouses and unique specialty shops.
The Flat Iron District and the Gramercy Park:
This neighborhood named for the unique Flatiron Building on 23rd Street, this district directly abuts the beautiful, exclusive Gramercy Park. This walk can include a visit to the birthplace and childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt, now a museum. Gramercy Park was the home of celebrated Victorian actor Edwin Booth (brother of John Wilkes Booth), the 'home away from home of Mark Twain, and the "Metropolis-Deco" New York Life Insurance architectural complex. Visit Pete's Tavern, established 1861 and writing haunt of Gift of the Magi author O'Henry and the 1820s home of Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving. Union Square is the home of the city's largest farmers market (in season) a five minute walk from The Strand, New York City's finest bookstore.
Central Park:
Urban America's largest park has been serving New Yorkers and the world for more than one hundred and fifty years, and while one could easily spend days exploring it's 843 acres, this walk is designed to take you through as many of its most beautiful and interesting areas. Depending on your preferences it can include the U.S.S. Maine Memorial Monument, 'The Dairy,' the Children's Carousel, the Chess House, Boathouse (now a restaurant) the rowing and model ship ponds, Bethesda Terrace and Delacorte Fountain, the Mall (the park's central walking promenade), the Alice in Wonderland statue, Belvedere Castle, and Central Park Zoo.
The Upper West Side:
The Upper West Side is one of America's most culturally rich and desirable urban neighborhoods. Great shops and eateries abound as does a great deal of unique and memorable architecture. This walk takes us through some of the finest brownstone neighborhoods, the historic Dakota and Ansonia apartment houses, Rose Planetarium and the Museum of Natural History.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island:
No matter how many times you may have seen the Statue of Liberty in photographs or on film, nothing fully prepares you for your first sight of the Lady in the Harbor. The Statue's grace, scale and impact are equally evocative in rough weather as well as sunshine. The Statue also houses a museum dedicated to the story of its creation, fabrication and installation. This gift from the people of France is truly one of the most moving and special places in America. Advance reservations are required for visits to the Statue. Ellis Island was America's central processing facility for European immigrants entering America from the 1880s until just after the First World War. This grand building has been authentically restored to what it would have been like in 1917 and also houses a museum dedicated to immigration. More than forty percent of all living American's can trace their family's presence here through Ellis Island's Great Hall, a staggering statistic.
A walk up Fifth Avenue
New York City's, and indeed America's premier boulevard is packed with history, brilliant architecture, and some of the city's finest and most prestigious shops. Dependent only on your interests and the time you wish to allot, this walk can take us down from Central Park or up from Greenwich Village to include the Flatiron Building and adjoining Madison Square Park, Marble Collegiate Church, the glorious Main Branch of the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Tiffanys and the rest of the 'Golden Mile' of prestige shops, the Plaza Hotel, Central Park Zoo and on into Central Park - or on to the Upper East Side.
Are you a 'museum person' or in town when inclement weather precludes spending the lion's share of your time outdoors? Our guide will be glad to accompany or guide you through any of the city's world-class museums. These include (but are not limited to) the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, The Cloisters (Museum of Medieval Art), the Holocaust Museum, New York Historical Society, Jewish Museum, Tenement Museum, Frick Museum, J.P. Morgan Library and the Intrepid Air, Sea and Space Museum.
Some of the other walks and specific destinations you may wish to inquire about: Tasting tours of the Lower East Side, Chinatown and little Italy, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera House, Broadway and the Theater District, The Main branch of the New York City Public Library, The Upper East Side, Fort Tryon Park, historic Brooklyn Heights, Hudson River cruises and helicopter flights, and a never-to-be-forgotten walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
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