One of the recent trends in sustainability is giving industrial features such as canal towpaths and railroad lines second lives as recreational paths. Perhaps one of the most unique examples of this is New York City's High Line, formerly a freight railroad running through lower and mid-town Manhattan, running directly through the 2nd and 3rd floors of numerous warehouses and factories, and now a lush landscaped testament to modern urban planning. This revitalizing/repurposing process is ongoing: Section One, from Gansevoort to 20th Street, has been completed, Section Three, north of 30th Street, is currently in the planning stages, and Section Two, from 20th to 30th Streets, will be opening during the course of this year: I am unclear as to exactly how much of it will be open for our visit June 4th, but you can check out the maps under the "About" link on their website, and well as look into the history, find out about ways to get involved, and more.
We are also planning on checking out Governors Island (a quick ferry ride from Manhattan), Battery Park, and the Hudson River Greenway. (More details will be posted as we work them out, but expect a little improvisation once we get there.) The 9:30am Chinatown bus will have us into New York (86 Allen Street, New York, NY 10002) around 11:30am, and we will plan on wrapping up our walk by around 3:30 in the afternoon, leaving the evening for other activities (I am planning on meeting some old college friends). The Chinatown bus runs at least once per hour (and mostly twice) from early morning to late night in both directions between Philadelphia and New York City. Buying tickets ($20 roundtrip, $12 one-way) at the last minute is nearly always an option, but you can pre-purchase online ahead of time if you wish: www.2000coach.com is their website (you may be re-directed to www.2001bus.com).
This is obviously an exception to our "local" model, but I believe that a number of you will find this idea as exciting as I do, and worth a little extra planning and effort.