• Historic Gramercy Park, Madison Sq, NoMad Walk: During the Gilded Age & Beyond

    Outside of the entrance to Barnes & Noble

    This Gramercy Park/Madison Sq/NoMad walk is on scenic route filled with interesting places. I'll comment on architecture/history/sculptures, 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. Bring water. Have sun protection. We'll walk on the shady side of the streets as much as possible. When we stop to look at something, we'll stay at a shady spot. 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. As what usually happens on every event, many people from the waiting list will end up on the going list. If you have a personal matter/questions, please contact John, the Event Host, through his private Meetup account. Description We first walk around the beautiful Gramercy Park area, which has lovely old houses. We'll then walk around Madison Square Park & NoMad (North of Madison Square). We'll discuss some of the architecture & historical events that shaped these neighborhoods during the Gilded Age period. These historical events include: the Sullivan Act, the once roaming pigs problem in NYC, an obscure statue in a park that stands as a memorial for a victim of the Great Blizzard of 1888; how to return a political favor in Congress during the 19th century; the heyday of the mansard roof on buildings; the popular Gibson Girl image in the late 19th century/early 20th century; the weather vane atop of a building that embarrassed some but amused others; the much admired artist models during the Gilded Age times; opulent hotels that had the best amenities and latest inventions during the 19th century; and the life and times of the well-known architect Stanford White. The feature photo above is of old Madison Square Garden II, which was located near the NE corner of Madison Square Park. The current Garden is actually Madison Square Garden IV. (Photo MCNY [Geo H. Hall & Son, circa 1900]) Photos from nyc-architecture of the old Madison Square Garden http://www.nyc-architecture.com/GON/GON016.htm From the Library of Congress about the Gibson Girl. https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/gibson-girls-america/the-gibson-girl-as-the-new-woman.html Article from Curbed about interior designer Elsie de Wolfe https://www.curbed.com/2017/3/23/15035218/elsie-de-wolfe-interior-decor-history-nyc Meeting Time: (after lunch) at 1:45 PM. Meeting Place: Outside of the entrance to Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 33 East 17th Street, which is between Park Avenue South & Broadway. Before the walk, restrooms are available in Barnes & Noble. Transportation: Take the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q, or R subway train to 14th Street & Union Square. Finishing Time: 4:45 PM. Finishing Place: Broadway/31st Street Bad weather cancels this walk. Therefore, if it is bad weather, I'll send out emails about the cancellation before 10:00 AM on Monday morning. If I don't send out emails about the cancellation, I plan to be at the meeting place.

  • Morningside Heights: From Undesirable Neighborhood with Asylums to College Town

    This Morningside Heights walk is on a 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 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 with small ups and downs & moderate paced. 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 the waiting list will end up on the going list. If you have a personal matter/questions, please contact John, the Event Host, through his private Meetup account. The above feature postcard, circa 1910, shows St. John the Divine that was scheduled to be completed in the early 20th century. However, St. John the Divine is still not completed in the early 21st century. According to recent comments by St. John the Divine officials, the cathedral will likely take several more centuries before it is finished. (Source Museum of the City of New York) Description: We'll walk around the side streets and in/around several institutions (including a major college, beautiful/historic churches, a Federal landmark, etc.) in Morningside Heights and see unexpected delights, neighborhood obscurities, and bits & pieces of architectural salvage from buildings that were long ago torn down. We'll discuss how really unappealing the neighborhood was to live in for most of the 19th century. Some of these buildings from this time period in the 19th Century have managed to survive in the neighborhood to the present. We'll see the changes that transformed the neighborhood into a so-called "college town" or "academic acropolis" in the 20th century and look at some of the recent developments that have been shaping the neighborhood into the 21st century. Morningside Heights also is the temporary & permanent home to some unexpected creatures whom we might see as we walk through the neighborhood. Article from the Bowery Boys about Columbia University. http://www.boweryboyshistory.com/2009/09/movin-on-up-from-kings-college-to.html Article from Curbed NY about the Cathedral of St. John. https://ny.curbed.com/2017/2/21/14690792/cathedral-of-st-john-the-divine-landmark-status-nyc Meeting Time: (after lunch) 1:45 PM. Meeting Place: Outside the entrance to General Grant National Memorial. About 122nd Street/Riverside Drive (Before the walk, restrooms are in General Grant Nat'l Memorial's visitor center, which is to the left of the tomb OR Riverside Church directly across the street. Transportation: Take the No. 1 subway train to 116th Street/Broadway. Walk down 116th Street 2 blocks to Riverside Drive, then walk 5 blocks north to General Grant National Memorial. You also can take No. 1 subway to 125th Street station and walk down to Riverside Drive. Finishing Time/Place: 4:45 PM, Amsterdam Avenue/114th Street. Bad weather cancels this walk. Therefore, if it is bad weather, I'll send an email cancellation before 10:00 AM on Friday morning. If I don't send an email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

  • Thomas Edison Nat'l Historical Park Walk (A Free Admission Day at the Park)

    Thomas Edison Nat'l Park walk is on scenic route filled with interesting places. I'll comment about Thomas Edison's Glenmont Estate & laboratories, 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. (Please read the "About Us Section" for more information regarding the $4 per person fee for each event.) Walk is 5 miles, moderate paced. Bring Lunch (There will be limited places to buy lunch during walk), water, sun protection. FREE ADMISSION TO THOMAS EDISON NAT'L PARK, AUG.25TH https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm THERE IS NO NEED TO POST WHY YOU CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT. 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.) As what usually happens on every event, many people from waiting list will end up on going list. No young children, pets, or service animals allowed on walk w/o prior approval of organizer. No smoking, please. If you have a personal matter/questions, please contact John (Event Host) through his private Meetup account. Description Thomas Edison built complex of red brick buildings on West Orange’s Main Street in 1887. The facility, one of the largest & most technologically advanced for the time, allowed Edison to develop & mass produce many of his earlier inventions, including phonograph & to develop movie camera, the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery & start film industry. Thomas Edison also lived about 3/4 of a mile away from his lab at his Glenmont Estate. Short YouTube video of the Thomas Edison home https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwDT32ch2Oc Information/photos from journeythroughjersey.com about Thomas Edison Historical Nat'l Park https://www.journeythroughjersey.com/sites/thomas-edison-national-historical-park-edison-ho/ Meeting Place/Time for Those Taking Public Transportation: As soon as you get off train, meet organizer on westbound platform of ORANGE Train Station at 10:50 AM. After we meet, we'll walk a mile on Main St from Orange, NJ to Thomas Edison Nat'l Historical Park in West Orange, NJ. (Restrooms available at Thomas Edison Nat'l Park.) Public Transportation from Manhattan to ORANGE, NJ At the NJ Transit section of NYC Penn Station, take 10:11 AM NJ Transit train (Morris & Essex Line) from NYC to ORANGE, NJ, arriving 10:42 AM. Morris & Essex Line Schedule http://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/R0040.pdf Before boarding train, buy ticket at NJ Transit ticket window or vending machine. Get ticket from NYC to ORANGE, NJ (Regular fare $6.75 one way; children/disabled/senior fare [62 years & older] $3.00 one way.) Buying reg. fare ticket on train is more expensive ($5 surcharge). However, children/disabled/seniors citizens [62 years & old] who show ID may purchase ticket on train w/o paying penalty of higher on train prices. 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 Meeting Place/Time for Those Driving Park your car in WEST ORANGE (somewhere near entrance to Thomas Edison Nat'l Park) & then meet organizer & those who came by NJ transit train at 11:35 AM outside of gate to Thomas Edison Nat'l Park (entrance to laboratory complex on Main St). Address is 211 Main St, WEST ORANGE, NJ. (Drivers will be walking 3 miles instead of 5 miles.) Info from Thomas Edison Nat'l Park about driving directions/parking https://www.nps.gov/edis/planyourvisit/directions.htm Finishing Time/Place Finish 4:45 PM outside Edison laboratory complex If you came by public trans., you can walk mile with organizer back to Orange train station OR take No. 21 NJ Transit bus across the street from Thomas Edison's Laboratory to Orange train station. Train arrives Orange Station 6:04 PM, getting to NYC 6:39 PM. Bad weather cancels walk. Therefore, if it is bad weather, I'll send email cancellation before 8:15 AM Sunday morning. If I don't send email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

  • 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 Saturday, 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. We'll walk on vendor-free boardwalk (maybe option to walk on sandy beach for those who want) later in walk. Until 9/2, Seward Johnson (grandson of co-founder of Johnson & Johnson) has 16 sculptures displayed on sidewalks. Similar to his sculptures at Grounds for Sculpture. http://www.springlake.org/sewardjohnson 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 Trans. 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] stays & waits for it at Long Branch.) Before boarding 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 $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 allows buying N 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/R0080.pdf Public Trans. from NJ to Spring Lake Board N Jersey Coastline train 11:16 AM Secaucus/11:25 AM Newark Penn Sta. Driving Directions Free parking at Spring Lake train station https://www.njtransit.com/rg/rg_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=TrainStationLookupFrom&selStation=141 Circular walk ends 6:15 PM. Train arrives Spring Lake 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 email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

  • Hoboken Walk: From Wealthy Resort to Rough Waterfront Town to Prime Real Estate

    This Hoboken 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 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. The walk is 2 1/2 to 3 miles & moderate paced. Bring water, walking shoes (we'll be walking sometimes on setts paved streets (commonly mistaken as cobbletones). Bring sun protection. Note: This walk is different from my Hoboken waterfront 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 the waiting list will end up on the going list. If you have a personal matter/question, please contact John, the Event Host, directly to his private Meetup account. Description: We'll see spectacular riverfront scenery (highest point in Hoboken), lovely rowhouses (some originally built for rich; others built for working class), old horse stables in back alleys, magnificent 19th century buildings that once housed elite social clubs, & bits & pieces of obsolete artifacts from Hoboken's gritty & interesting past. We'll also walk past several points of interest about Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Hetty Green, the Stevens Family, & others who once lived/worked in Hoboken. Article/photos from Brownstoner about the architecture in Hoboken. https://www.brownstoner.com/upstate/hoboken-nj-architecture-history-frank-sinatra-dorothea-lange-historical-museum/ Article/old postcards/photos from Maggie Blanck website about Hoboken. http://www.maggieblanck.com/Hoboken/Hoboken.html Meeting Time: (after lunch) 1:45 PM. Meeting Place: In waiting room (near shoe shine stand) of Hoboken PATH/NJ Railroad Terminal. Terminal is not a big place. Before walk, restrooms are in waiting room area. Transportation from Manhattan One Option Take PATH train from the following PATH stations in Mid-Manhattan/GV: 33rd St/6th Ave, 23rd St/6th Ave, 14th St/6th Ave, 9th St/6th Ave, or Christopher St (betw. Hudson & Greenwich Sts. The PATH train ride can take from 17 to 23 minutes. PATH subway fare is $2.75 each way. You can use NYC paid-per-ride to pay fare, but cannot use NYC unlimited MetroCard or NYC Senior MetroCard. 2nd Option Take NJ Transit bus # 126; it’s the last stop in Hoboken from Port Authority Bus Terminal & the first stop from a bus bay located outside, but still within, the confines of Hoboken Terminal. https://www.njtransit.com/pdf/bus/T0126.pdf Public Transportation from NJ Several NJ transit trains go to Hoboken Terminal. Take NJ transit train directly to Hoboken OR switch to NJ train at Secaucus Junction (major transportation hub) that goes to Hoboken. Driving Directions If you plan to take your car to Hoboken, please check website for info about parking regulations. It is difficult to find free street parking in Hoboken. You would likely have to park in garage. https://www.hobokennj.gov/resources/parking-in-hoboken Finishing Time/place: 4:45 PM, Hoboken Terminal Bad weather cancels walk. Therefore, if it is bad weather, I'll email cancellation before 10:00 AM Monday. If I don't email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.

  • Duke Estate/Farm Walk: Gardens, Historic Bldgs, Lakes, Sculptures, Ruins

    The Dukes Estate walk is on scenic route filled with interesting places. I'll comments about 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. (Please read the "About Us Section" for more information regarding the $4 per person fee for each event.) Walk is 5 miles (1 1/4 mile walk to Duke Farms, 2 1/2 miles walk inside Duke Farms, 1 1/4 mile walk from Duke Farms), moderate paced, small ups/downs, with easy/wide paved or gravel trails. Bring lunch (can't buy lunch at Duke Farms), water, SUN PROTECTION, bug spray (you might not need it but have it with you just in case.) THERE IS NO NEED TO POST WHY YOU CAN'T MAKE THE EVENT. If you are registered for this walk & 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.) No young children, service animals or pets allowed on walk w/o prior approval of organizer. No smoking, please. If you have a personal matter/questions, please contact John (Event Host) directly through his private Meetup acct. Description We'll walk in Duke Estate/Farm, which has 1,000 acres open to public. Admission is FREE. The Duke Estate has over 40 historic buildings, many sculptures, lakes, gardens & ruins. We'll explore section of Duke Estates/Farms that is enclosed with fence & won't go to Duke Visitors Center. Harper Bazaar article about Doris Duke https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/g2201/doris-duke-richest-girl-in-the-world-0912/ Alltrails photos of Duke Estate https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/new-jersey/duke-farms-trail/photos Meeting Time: 12:45 PM Meeting Place: Outside Raritan RR station ticket office, which has restrooms. Public Transportation from NYC to Raritan Take PATH from Midtown Manhattan or Greenwich Village to Grove St, Jersey City, where you will switch to another PATH train to Newark. For 2 years, there won't be PATH trains from WTC in lower Manhattan to NEWARK on weekends. You will have to take $2.75 ferry from lower Manhattan to Exchange Place, JC & then board PATH train Exchange Pl going to Newark. (PATH fare is $2.75 each way. You can use NYC paid-per-ride to pay the fare, but can't use NYC unlimited MetroCard or NYC Senior MetroCard.) THEN at NEWARK Penn Station, take 11:38 AM NJ Transit train (Raritan Valley Line) to Raritan NJ, arriving 12:42 PM. Before boarding train NEWARK Penn Sta., buy ticket at NJ Transit ticket window or vending machine. Get ticket from NEWARK to Raritan, (Reg. fare $11.00 one way; children/disabled/senior fare [62 years & up] $4.90 one way) Buying reg. fare on train is more expensive ($5 extra). But children/disabled/seniors citizens [62 years & up] who show ID may buy ticket on train w/o paying extra $5. You can also utilize NJ Transit app that will allow purchasing Raritan 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 (Note: There is no direct train service from NYC Penn Sta. to Raritan, NJ. Train schedule recommends 11:07 AM N Jersey Coastline train from NYC Penn Sta. to NEWARK Penn Sta., arriving NEWARK Penn Sta. 11:25 AM for connecting 11:38 AM Raritan Valley train to Raritan. This advice is only good if train coming from NYC is on time, which is sometimes not the case.) Raritan Valley Line https://www.njtransit.com/pdf/rail/R0060.pdf Driving Directions RR station has mostly permit parking but there is free street parking near RR station. Circular walk ends 6:00 PM. Train arrives Raritan Sta. 6:16 PM, getting to Newark Penn Sta. 7:15 PM. At that point, you can take another NJ Transit train to NYC Penn Sta. or PATH to NYC. Bad weather cancels walk. If it is bad weather, I'll email cancellation before 8:30 AM Saturday morning. If I don't email cancellation, I plan to be at meeting place.