First posted November 15, 2013. Updated with new text and new pictures!
Sometimes I forget that Manhattan is an island. This is because I rarely see the water. Plenty of New York is surrounded by beautiful water, and the closest I usually get to it is when I take an express train over a bridge and get a quick glance from the window. This is a shame.
A few summers ago I discovered the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, and while I haven’t taken advantage of it nearly often enough, I’m glad to know it’s there. According to Wikipedia the Greenway is 32 miles long. The part I’m most familiar with runs along the Hudson, and all along this cyclist/pedestrian path you can find green spaces that face the Hudson River.
There are parks, there are piers—there’s even the Frying Pan (pictured above), an outdoor bar made up of a couple of old boats. If you stop by Pier 25, like I did on my most recent visit, you can go mini golfing for just $6 a person! It’s not the most difficult course ever, but if your skills are a little rusty like mine were, that’s probably okay…
Because the Hudson is on the west side of the city, it’s the perfect place to watch a sunset. I kept taking photo after photo as the sunset made it look like New Jersey — and the clouds above the river — on fire. Most of these photos were taken with a smartphone camera — not too bad!
I biked all the way up to Riverside Park a few summers back, and the view from up there was absolutely gorgeous. I once walked all the way up to the Frying Pan at W. 26th Street from Battery Park, at the tip of Manhattan, with a friend, and every bit of the walk was beautiful. I have a special fondness for Battery Park because of the lovely views of the Statue of Liberty — and because there are usually tall ships hanging out in the harbor, making me think of pirates.
I’ve already expressed my love of the Hudson when talking about the view from the train, but along the Greenway you are right beside the water. Visiting can include a long walk from the subway, but hopping on a bus is always an option. If you have free time while you’re on the west side some day, or you’re wandering the city with no destination in mind, consider walking west till you hit the water. You won’t be disappointed.
Has anyone checked out the Hudson Greenway, or other parts of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway? What are your favorite bits?
P.S. The last Saturday of Summer Streets 2015 is this Saturday, August 15. I had a blast the one year I went (Biking through the streets with no cars? Free food? Yes please!) but can’t make it this year, again. New York Cliche has a great post about it here! Let me know if you go and tell me all about it!