What we're about

We have fun, informative, sociable, and scenic walks or events in NYC, NJ, LI, PA, CT, DC, & Westchester.

These walks or events go to historic neighborhoods/towns, scenic riverfronts/ocean fronts, gardens/arboretums, museums, art studios/galleries, historic houses/mansions/estates, forestland, waterfalls, annual festivals/events, zoos, animal sanctuaries, historic farms, and National historical parks.

Some of our walks are similar to regular walking tours, 1 1/2 to 4 miles in length, with the guide commenting and stopping at many points of interest; other walks, 4 1/2 to 8 miles long, explore a larger area, with the guide commenting at points of interest but not stopping as much as a regular walking tour.

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A modest organizer fee, which is listed in the description of each walk or event, is paid at the start of each walk or event. This charge is for the semi-annual Meetup fees as well as the preparation costs, such as spending a great deal of time and effort in planning and researching the walks or events, scouting out the walks or events (sometimes multiple times) in the New York metropolitan area and beyond, purchasing stationery supplies (presentation books, index cards, et cetera), and making photo copies. Each of the four organizers has her/his own fee structure.

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Aurelia's Policy:

New Policy for Aurelia's events: (Please read & follow)

Cancellation policy effective September 4, 2018:

As you know we need at least three (3) people to run an event outside of NYC. If we do not have 3 people, the event will be canceled and will not be rescheduled until the following year. For events within the 5 boroughs there is no limit on the number of attendees.

1) Cancellations must be received at least 2 hours prior to the meeting time of the event.

2) You will be considered a NO SHOW if you cancel after the 2 hours prior to the event.

3) After 5 No-Show's, you will not be able to register for one of my events.

Please note that these policies do not apply to events organized by John C.
Feel free to contact me with any questions.

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John's Policy:

Members who incur more than a small number of no-shows might be removed from this Meetup group. Please be considerate of others who are on the waiting list as well as the organizers who spend a lot of time preparing for these walks. Thank you for your cooperation.

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Liability Waiver: By going on an event/walk with NYC/NJ: Explore Architecture, Art, History and Nature, you agree to participate in the event/walk completely at your own risk and to take full responsibility for your safety and the safety of your guests. You agree not to hold the organizer, the co-organizer, and any other member of NYC/NJ: Explore Architecture, Art, History and Nature liable for any mishaps.

Upcoming events (5+)

Let's visit the old Shanty Town that is now Manhattan Valley

We are going to explore an area that was "Once known as the Bloomingdale Tract for the verdant farm that occupied the area after the Civil War." This area today is called Manhattan Valley, We will see what it was like in the past to today. There was a time it was called Shanty Town. There was an Irish community here at the turn of the century. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s the neighborhood faced the same problems that most of New York City was facing. The flight of the middle class to the suburb, the drugs, crime, and abandoned buildings. As many neighborhoods in our city, it took quite sometime before changes began to happen here. In 2005 there were twin towers build which brought dramatic change to the area. We will walk on Columbus with Whole Foods & Michael. We will check out the two tallest structures that line Broadway. This is one of the best kept secret neighborhoods of New York. This is a tour of the area from Broadway to Central Park West, and from 96th to 110th. We will go into streets that have landmark buildings. This is a sunset tour. Transportation: #1/2/3 train to 96th Street & Broadway Meeting Place: South east corner of 96th & Broadway (by Spectrum) Meeting time: 4:45pm Organizer fee: $7.00

Historic Greenwich Village: From Antebellum Era to Bohemian Times to Nowadays

This Greenwich Village walk is on a scenic route filled with interesting places. I will comment on architecture/history, but you will have plenty of time to socialize with others. Cost: The cost of this event is $4 per person, which is paid at the start of the walk. This is for the organizer's Meetup preparation costs and fees. (Please read the "About Us Section" for more information regarding the $4 per person fee for each event.) This walk is similar to a guided walking tour with a number of stops. If you don't like to stop at a number of points of interest, then this walk is not good for you. This walk is about 2 1/2 miles & moderate paced. I WILL SCHEDULE THIS SAME WALK ON A WEEKEND. As what usually happens on every event, many people from the waiting list will end up on the going list. If you are registered for this walk and can't attend, please change your RSVP online from "YES" to "NO". (PLEASE READ THE "ABOUT US SECTION" FOR THE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE NO SHOW POLICY.) THERE IS NO NEED TO POST WHY YOU CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT. No young children, service animals or pets allowed on this walk w/o prior approval of organizer. No smoking, please. If you have a personal matter or questions, please contact John, the Event Host, through his private Meetup account. Feature photo above of middle house was where Thomas Paine lived in Greenwich Village. The house was torn down in 1930. The street just to the south of this house was renamed ‘Reason Street’ in Thomas Paine's honor not long after his death. However, with Paine’s stature unfortunately already diminished at the time of his death, New Yorkers began to derisively refer to the street as ‘Raisin Street’. The street name was held in such disdain that by 1828 the city fathers had renamed it Barrow Street, which it remains today. (Source GVSHP) Description: We'll walk down Greenwich Village's crooked side streets & go past hidden courtyards/back alleys, old horse stables, cute antebellum houses in the Federal or Greek Revival styles & buildings where significant historical events took place. We'll see many obsolete 19th century artifacts and Village oddities, We'll also walk past places where famous people lived, worked, and played. One was a talented sculptor who has caused major controversies with his sculptures for three centuries. Another was a crooked politician who was very unlike any politician in NYC's history. Another was a gifted photographer who during her most productive years lived in an old horse stable. And another was a couple who packed up their belongings (including the house that they lived in) and moved down to the Village. Article from Vanity Fair about GV activist Jane Jacobs. https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2017/04/jane-jacobs-citizen-jane-documentary Article from the GVSHP about painter John Sloan who painted everyday life in Greenwich Village. http://gvshp.org/blog/2013/08/02/john-sloans-village/ Meeting Time: (after lunch) 1:45 PM Meeting Place: Outside of entrance to Pret A Manger, 821 Broadway, which is at NW corner of 12th Street/Broadway. Before walk, restrooms are located on 2nd floor of Strand Bookstore, which is directly across the street on Broadway. Transportation: Take the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, or R train to 14th St & Union Square. Finishing Time: 4:45 PM Finishing Place: 11th Street between West and Washington Streets, not far from the Hudson riverfront. Bad weather cancels this walk. If it is bad weather, I'll send out emails about cancellation before 10:30 AM on Monday morning. If I don't send out emails about cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

A historical & architectural tour of City Island (Sunset tour)

Pelham Bay Park - 6 train stop

You don't have to go to Boston or Martha's Vineyard to spend an evening in a marine community. We have such a resort just a subway & bus ride away--a great getaway at City Island. We will begin with the history of Ann Hutchinson to Thomas Pell to today. We'll discover who is a "clamdigger" or a "musselsucker". What were all the names for this community. Our tour will begin in front of Thomas Pell house and walk most of the island. There is great nautical history here from cultivating oysters, the building of winning yachts, and finally great views of Manhattan and more. We will visit some of the small gardens which honor some of their residents. We will check out some of their landmark homes and so much more. We will also check some of the homes used in some very famous films. There is a small private island and I'll tell you what his plans are (it is possible, it has been completed). Come join us as we leisurely explore this secret community in the Bronx. Transportation: #6 train to Pelham Park (last stop) Meeting Place: Next to the token booth at Pelham Park Meeting Time: 4:45pm Organizer fee $7.00 Optional: For those interested, you may want to have dinner at a seafood restaurant. ____ POLICY: 1) Please change RSVP before the time I state on the final notice. If you get 5 "No Shows", you won't be able to join my walks. 2) Please our policy is no children under the age of 14 or no dogs.

Spring Lake, NJ: Victorian Houses, B&B's, Rustic Bridges, Sculptures, Oceanfront

The Spring Lake, NJ walk is on scenic route filled with interesting places. I'll comment on architecture/history, but you will have plenty of time to socialize with others. Cost: The cost of this event is $4 per person, which is paid at start of walk. (Please read the "About Us Section" for more information regarding the $4 per person fee for each event.) Walk is similar to a guided walking tour with a number of stops. If you don't like to stop at a number of points of interest, then this walk is not good for you. Walk is 3 1/2 miles/moderate paced, on paved sidewalks. Bring lunch (or buy at deli near station), water, SUN PROTECTION. (On weekend, there are no open restrooms near train station, so we'll have restroom stop 15 or 20 minutes after start of walk.) If you are registered for this walk and can't attend, please change your RSVP online from "YES" to "NO". (PLEASE READ THE "ABOUT US SECTION" FOR THE GUIDELINES REGARDING THE NO SHOW POLICY.) THERE IS NO NEED TO POST WHY YOU CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT. No young children, service animals or pets allowed on walk w/o prior approval of organizer. No smoking, please. As what usually happens on every event, many people from waiting list will end up on going list. If you have a personal matter/question, please contact John (Event Host) directly to his private Meetup acct. Description We'll walk past a lake (Spring Lake that has 2 wooden pedestrian bridges), lovely Victorian houses, historic churches, romantic Bed & Breakfasts, former luxury hotel & beautiful ocean front. Plus sculptor Seward Johnson (grandson of co-founder of Johnson & Johnson) has 16 sculptures temporarily displayed on the sidewalks. These are similar to his sculptures at Grounds for Sculpture. http://www.springlake.org/sewardjohnson Still relevant 1988 Washington Post article about Spring Lake https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/travel/1988/09/25/spring-lake-splendor-on-the-shore/a9528734-b253-4638-8bbb-e404b6e2a448/?utm_term=.23cdeb3cf141 Photos from Globalphile of Spring Lake https://globalphile.com/charming-spring-lake-nj/ Meet 1:25 PM outside Joseph's Deli, 516 Warren St Public Transportation from NYC to Spring Lake NJ Transit section of NYC Penn Station, take 11:07 AM NJ Transit train (North Jersey Coast Line) from NYC to Spring Lake. Train arrives Long Branch 12:43 PM. You will then get off train at Long Branch & switch to 2nd train (shuttle train, extension of train line) across platform. (YOU WILL TAKE YOUR TRAIN TICKET WITH YOU.) 2nd train leaves Long Branch 12:46 PM, arriving Spring Lake 1:08 PM. (According to NJ Transit, if 1st train [N Jersey Coast Line] arrives late in Long Branch, 2nd train [shuttle train] will stay & wait for it at Long Branch.) Before boarding train at NYC Penn Sta, buy 2 tickets (NYC - Spring Lake, Spring Lake - NYC) at NJ Transit ticket window OR vending machine. Reg. fare $16.75 one way; children/disabled/senior fare [62 yrs & older] $7.65 one way. Buying reg. fare on train is $5 extra. But children/disabled/seniors citizens [62 years & old] who show ID may buy on train W/O $5 extra. ALLOW EXTRA TIME But utilizing NJ Transit app will allow buying North Jersey Coast Line tickets, thus saving time by not needing to go to window or vending machine beforehand. https://www.njtransit.com/mo/mo_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=NJTAppTo Train Schedule https://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/upcoming/R0080.pdf Public Trans. from NJ to Spring Lake Board N Jersey Coastline train 11:16 AM Secaucus or 11:25 AM Newark Penn Sta. Driving Directions Parking at Spring Lake train station is free on the weekend. https://www.njtransit.com/rg/rg_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=TrainStationLookupFrom&selStation=141 Circular walk ends 6:15 PM. Train arrives Spring Lake sta. 6:32 PM. Bad weather cancels walk. Therefore, if it is bad weather, I'll send email cancellation before 8:00 AM Saturday morning. If I don't send out email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

Past events (351)

Leisurely walk down the Highline to the Whitney

Hudson Yards

Photos (7,749)