Thursday, March 23, 2006

Wow. I am ridiculously awesome.

Usually, I lack the extreme self-confidence for such a subject line, but this post is about yesterday's events, which have officially made me awesome.

Yesterday, my brother Mark and I walked around the entire perimeter of Manhattan island, from the Staten Island Ferry all the way up to Inwood Hill Park and back, in 14 hours and 20 minutes. We walked approximately 34 miles.

As opposed to my first post about this project, I'm now permitted to say a tiny bit about my reasons: my brother is writing a book, and this walk was research for the book. I can't really say more than that, but I guess that's better than nothin'.

I can't fully describe what I'm feeling right now. My brother and I are both in pain this morning, but mostly, we're both kinda punchy and our heads are swimming with all the amazing things we saw on this trip. There are so many things that you could never see in Manhattan if you weren't on foot. Hundreds of little historical artifacts and amazing points of view and confounding constructions (examples to follow). I'm really having trouble with words right now, so here are some pictures:

Starting off at the Staten Island Ferry station, 6:49 am.

Standing on the dock, looking at the former entry gate of The White Star Line Shipping Company, owners of the Titanic. This is where the Titanic set sail.

My bro, Mark, on the west side of Manhattan. Waaaay off in the distance is the George Washington Bridge, sittin' pretty at 179th St.

Did I say "way off in the distance?" Screw that! We THERE.

Also, this bridge is amazing. Jeepers.

Up near The Cloisters in Washington Heights, there is a large structure sitting right on the water, which consits of enormous Grecian pillars and a wooden roof. There is not a single item inside this weird Gazebo thingy; not a chair, nothing. We have no idea what the hell this thing is. It is impossible to access any other way but on foot. Weeeeird.

It's 1 pm. We've reached Inwood, the very top of the island, and home to the only remaining natural park in Manhattan. We're eating peanut butter sandwiches and these two squirrels try to get all up in our shit. So we killed them! Not really. But look! The one on the left is black with a brown tail! Cute. And dead. Not really.

What, you still need proof because we weren't in the squirrel picture?! BAM. 9th Ave. and 220th St. Highest street intersection in Manhattan. Word. Oh yes, and my tea is delicious.

One of the more confounding commercial establishments we encountered was the Live Pou(l)try store. We walked past it, paused for a minute, and then decided it was best to go inside just so we'd know. Sure enough, it was a big room filled to the ceiling with steel cages that were stuffed to the gills (and way past any legal requirement, common sense would suggest) with tons of chickens, geese, ducks, I thought I swan, and some rabbits. What. On. Earth. My brother guesses it has something to do with the popularity of Santeria practices in the Dominican neighborhood in Washington Heights. I guess it has something to do with I DON'T KNOW.

Oh sure, it's just someone's boat house on the Harlem River.

Walking along the "beautiful" East River "beach." We don't know it yet, but we are about to walk right through some deserted homeless forts and mini-villages, which was seriously eye-opening. (Sorry for the somberness, next caption will have a joke in it, I promise.)

This is pretty. So we killed it!

Right below 34th St. on the East River sits The Water Club. I find it very weird that this is the only waterside restaurant in all of Manhattan. Wanna know how I know for sure? Because we walked around the whole damn thing. Case closed. Also, right next to The Water Club was one of many heliports that we saw on our walk. This was the only one, however, that had a sign next to it offering 7-minute trips to JFK. I think this is hilarious.

Williamsburg Bridge, you are so AVERAGE. Also, by this point, we've been walking for about 13 hours, and the only thing we're thinking is that this is 16 of the 18 bridges we need to pass under before we finish this thing.

Holy crap, I can see the blue sign of the Staten Island Ferry station again. That is, when I don't have my closed like I have to have for every goddamn important picture I ever take.

We are happy brothers with broken feet! Broken Foot Bros.! That would make a terrible video game!

When we told our waitress at The Old Town Bar what we had just done, she sent us out lots of free cake. Which was delicous. So we killed her. REALLY.

Theeeeeee End. Ow my feet.


Mark said...

Hi everyone. I hope you enjoy this (little) taste of our adventure yesterday. To one of the commenters to Jeff's previous post: we actually went a bit further than the Great Saunter, which I used as a guidebook. (Tip: If you're thinking of doing this, talk to us. I have a few corrections to the book to point out to you!) We went much further into Inwood and Harlem than they did, which is why I'm claiming 34 miles to their 32...

Apologies for a small erroneous factoid that I provided to Jeff yesterday: Pier 54 is actually where the Lusitania cast off and where some of the survivors of the Titanic were deposited. This doesn't change the fact that it is AWESOME: there is just one lonely bench there. That's it!

And finally, may I say: Ow, my freakin legs.

Alex said...

What does this have to do with Snakes on a Plane?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report. I'm not much for doing things that don't involve survival on some level but this one seemed like almost necessary.

I mean, I just don't understand mountain climbing. Unless there's something at the top that needs to be gotten. Gold or something.

Your endeavor seems to have retrieved one of those intangibles that people speak of.

By the way, did you find any gold?

Murchie said...

Fascinating! Even heroic!

* Also I believe you mean the *solar-powered* SI Ferry terminal. Never say I don't earn my paychecks.

* Also also wonder if that Grecian structure was a pleasure boat terminal? Olmstead caprice?

Neal K said...

1st of all: Thank you Mark for rectifying the Titanic thing. Clearly someone's been watching 2 much Ghostbusters 2.

2nd of some: The book should be titled "The Secret to Free Cake"

3rd of Hearts: You guys are awesome!

7 of 9: To those that got this: You nerds are geeks.

Curious George said...

Personally, I'd like to hear more about that poultry house. What recipes are available for rabbit lovers?