Manhattan's Avenues: Broadway

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AVENUE FACTS
Name: Broadway
Alternative names: None
Traffic direction: Bi-directional
Length: 16.3 mile / 26.2 km
North-boundary: Caryl Ave (Yonkers)
South-boundary: Battery Place / Stone Street
Number of cross streets: too many to count!
Avenue number towards 89th St.: 15
Specifics: Longest and oldest "avenue", Van Cortlandt Park, Dyckman House, Washington Bridge, United Palace Theatre, Trinity Cemetery, 125th street subway trestle, Riverside Church, Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, Times Square, Madison Square Park, Flatiron Building, Union Square, City Hall, Woolworth Building, WTC, Zuccoti Park, the Charging Bull, old US Customs House
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The past 3 years I have been hiking all avenues of Manhattan that intersect, or could intersect with "my" 89th Street.

The first side street in NYC: W262nd Street
I only hiked them on their Manhattan stretches, and only as far south as the lowest numbered street. I always said that I would make an exception for the exception of all of these avenues: Broadway. Which I kept for the grand finale of my avenue hikes.

Broadway is an exception by itself. First of all, it is "just" a "way" and not an "avenue". Secondly, unlike the other avenues Broadway is winding its way over the island of Manhattan. In the north, near 220th Street it intersects with Ninth Avenue, then it moves all the way west, almost touching Riverside Drive at 147th Street. From W169th to W108th Streets Broadway is actually an extension of Eleventh Avenue/West End.

Near W256th Street
At 71st Street it crosses Tenth Avenue/Amsterdam Avenue like it already did at W218th Street up north. From that point it moves almost diagonally down to leave the West Side at W24th Street . Madison Square Park, just missing Madison Avenue, that is just too short to intersect. At Union Square it touches the tip of Park Avenue and runs parallel to Fourth Avenue, as well as the other eastern avenues. Broadway ends at Bowling Green as a "split personality" avenue. On part briefly continues southwest to Battery Place, the other branch goes southeast for a few tens of meters, and silently changes name to Whitehall Street at Stone Street.
Near W233rd Street

Unlike with the other avenues, I decided to completely hike this "avenue", but only within the New York City boundaries. That meant; starting at the border of The Bronx and city of Yonkers NY. From that point Broadway still continues north for 24 kilometers (15 miles) until the village of Sleepy Hollow.

Broadway is probably the oldest street in Manhattan. It was "built" as the Wickquasgeck Trail by the Indians as a North-South cross-Manhattan trail, long before the Europeans arrived. When the Dutch arrived they started using the trail for their settlement New Amsterdam, they also made the first description of the trail in 1642. The Dutch called the improved southern leg of the trail later "Heerestraat". It was probably also called Broadway because compared to its branching streets it was indeed a broad way.

It took several years, until the English took over the island, to construct the road further northward. At that time it was called Bloomingdale Road.

Near W207th Street
Later the leg north of Columbus Circle was called The Boulevard, until the 14th of February 1899, when the whole long street was renamed Broadway.

The grand finale of my Avenue Hikes was today. I had been waiting for a day with nice weather. Given the fact that it is more than a 26.2-km (16.3-mile) hike I needed a summer day. To my surprise it only took me one subway and one bus ride to get to the northern start point of Broadway. For some reason I had thought there would only be one bus per hour. Stupid of course, since the start point is just in the middle of a busy agglomeration. Apart from the street name signs, the bus stops and the "Welcome to Yonkers" sign, one would not be able to tell apart the New York City and the Yonkers sections.

The first stretch took me along the nice Van Cortlandt Park. At some point, if I looked to my left, it looked more like hiking in a forest than in a large city.

Near W186th Street
At 242nd street Broadway turns from a residential street into a business area. The number 1 subway starts here as an elevated train. Underneath the rails are all kinds of business. The area has a lot of height differences. Near 231st Street e.g., is a huge pedestrian stairway.

A bit after 230th Street I entered the borough of Manhattan. Only few know that the borough of Manhattan begins a few blocks NORTH of the island of Manhattan. In the past the Harlem River flowed differently. The northern tip of the island Manhattan got split off the rest of the island and is now an enclave in The Bronx.

At 225th Street I finally left the mainland via the 50-year old Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River. I think this is the only major Bridge in the City that connects Manhattan to Manhattan!

At 204th Street I passed by the old Dutch Dyckman Farm House.

W122th Street
Still a nice little historic oasis in the busy city. At 178th Street I had a nice view on the George Washington Bridge and the buildings that are built over the I95 interstate. At 175th Street I discovered a Jewel of an old Theatre. The United Palace Theatre. This amazing 1930 theatre was saved from demolition in 1969 by a reverend who turned the theatre into church which also has a theatre function.

Between 155th and 153rd Streets Broadway traverses Trinity Cemetery. A huge cemetery related to the Cemetery of Trinity Church many blocks to the south on Broadway.

At 135th Street the 1 train, that had left Broadway at 218th Street, and later joined it underground, emerges back to the surface for the 125th Street trestle, where it is elevated until 122nd street, because of the deep gap of 125th Street.

Near W72nd Street

In the 70s Broadway is getting the élan where it is famous for. Paris like buildings! At 72nd we intersect Tenth Avenue/Amsterdam Avenue again, now heading east. At 65th, at the Lincoln Center, we also intersect Ninth Avenue/Columbus Avenue once more. Eight Avenue/Central Park West makes it first appearance in the grand final at Columbus Circle, tourist-crowded as always. From 47th to 42nd Street Broadway is a pedestrian's paradise. Since a few years cars are banned here. Unfortunately there were so many tourists that this was the part that took me really long to cross. This is of course the famous Times Square area. The tourist trap of the city, where Seventh Avenue appears in our finale. 

In the 30s was a nice temporary exposition of nice plants and artistic cubes of grass.

Near W39th Street
At 34th Street another Avenue shows up on "stage" majestic Sixth Avenue/Avenue of the Americas. And at 23rd Street and Madison Square Park Broadway makes it to the East Side of Manhattan by sharply intersecting Fifth Avenue. Thanks to this sharp angle we can enjoy the beautiful Flatiron Building that was squeezed in into this corner.

The last intersection with an avenue occurs at 14th Street and Union Square where the southern tip of Park Avenue is touched. In this area Broadway is not that broad anymore. The nice buildings of SoHo close it in.

At City Hall Park a few Icons meet Broadway, like City Hall, and one of the oldest skyscrapers of the city, the 241-meter (792-ft) high Woolworth Building.

At W29th Street
Once, for seven years, the highest building in the world. At Fulton Street its new neighbor the steadily growing One World Trade Center Tower is showing up. When completed it will be 2.2 times as high as Woolworth.

Liberty Street is the place where a very recent icon along Broadway presents itself, Zucotti Park. Until last year the center of the Occupy Wall Street protests. Some die hard protesters are now residing along Broadway.

Then, finally, after seven hours of hiking, the famous Charging Bull of Arthuro DiModica shows up. There were so many tourists that I could hardly see it. This is where Broadway splits to finish at both side of the majestic (former) US Customs House.

Just in time for sunset at Battery Park

Although this is the formal end of Broadway, I decided to continue on Whitehall Street for a few hundred meters more, where it ends at Manhattan's most southern tip, the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

Now I'll have to decide what to do next? Hike the remaining stretches of the other avenues into the Bronx? Hike the Avenues of Queens and Brooklyn? Hike all the Streets of Manhattan? We'll see!

More pictures below!

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The first side street in NYC: W262…
The first side street in NYC: W26…
Near W256th Street
Near W256th Street
Near W233rd Street
Near W233rd Street
Near W207th Street
Near W207th Street
Near W186th Street
Near W186th Street
W122th Street
W122th Street
Near W72nd Street
Near W72nd Street
Near W39th Street
Near W39th Street
At W29th Street
At W29th Street
Just in time for sunset at Battery…
Just in time for sunset at Batter…
The North Boundary: the border of …
The North Boundary: the border of…
Yonkers is more hospitable than NY…
Yonkers is more hospitable than N…
The first street name in New York …
The first street name in New York…
Near W259th Street
Near W259th Street
Near Mosholu Avenue
Near Mosholu Avenue
Near Henry Hudson Parkway
Near Henry Hudson Parkway
Van Cortlandt Park, near W246th St…
Van Cortlandt Park, near W246th S…
Near W246th Street
Near W246th Street
The Van Cortland Park 1 train subw…
The Van Cortland Park 1 train sub…
The Van Cortland Park 1 train subw…
The Van Cortland Park 1 train sub…
Near W240th Street
Near W240th Street
W240th Street
W240th Street
W239th Street
W239th Street
Near W234th Street
Near W234th Street
Near W233rd Street
Near W233rd Street
Near W232nd Street
Near W232nd Street
Near W231st Street
Near W231st Street
W225th Street, Manhattan on the ma…
W225th Street, Manhattan on the m…
From Broadway Bridge. Left Manhatt…
From Broadway Bridge. Left Manhat…
Meeting 10th Avenue at W218th Stre…
Meeting 10th Avenue at W218th Str…
An Arc de Triomphe in New York C…
An "Arc de Triomphe" in New York …
The Dyckman House at W204th Street
The Dyckman House at W204th Street
Near W204th Street
Near W204th Street
Fort Tyron Park at Arden Street (a…
Fort Tyron Park at Arden Street (…
At Elwood Street (near W196th Stre…
At Elwood Street (near W196th Str…
Near W196th Street
Near W196th Street
Near W190th Street
Near W190th Street
100 blocks north of my 89th Stre…
100 blocks north of "my" 89th Str…
W180th Street
W180th Street
Over the I95 Interstate to the Was…
Over the I95 Interstate to the Wa…
W178th Street
W178th Street
Near W176th Street
Near W176th Street
The United Palace Theatre at W175t…
The United Palace Theatre at W175…
W165th Street
W165th Street
Near W160th Street
Near W160th Street
Church of the Intercession at W155…
Church of the Intercession at W15…
Trinity Cemetery at W153th Street
Trinity Cemetery at W153th Street
The 1 train emerges at W135th Stre…
The 1 train emerges at W135th Str…
Near W134th Street
Near W134th Street
Near W134th Street
Near W134th Street
The 1 trains 125th Street trestle…
The 1 train's 125th Street trestl…
The 1 train goes underground again…
The 1 train goes underground agai…
Riverside Church at W120th Street
Riverside Church at W120th Street
Near 117th Street
Near 117th Street
My Street
"My Street"
Paris like at W74th Street
Paris like at W74th Street
Paris like at W74th Street
Paris like at W74th Street
Meeting Amsterdam Avenue at 71st S…
Meeting Amsterdam Avenue at 71st …
At W64th Street
At W64th Street
At W64th Street
At W64th Street
The Globe next to the Trump Tower …
The Globe next to the Trump Tower…
At Columbus Circle
At Columbus Circle
Time Warner Buildings at Columbus …
Time Warner Buildings at Columbus…
Between Columbus Circle and W58th …
Between Columbus Circle and W58th…
The Hearst Building seen from near…
The Hearst Building seen from nea…
Near 54th Street
Near 54th Street
Times square at W47th Street
Times square at W47th Street
The Disney Store at W46th street (…
The Disney Store at W46th street …
Nasdaq at W43rd Street
Nasdaq at W43rd Street
The Chrysler Building peeking thro…
The Chrysler Building peeking thr…
Nucky Thompson at W42nd Street
Nucky Thompson at W42nd Street
Near W39th Street
Near W39th Street
Near W33th Street (building strict…
Near W33th Street (building stric…
The Empire State building peeking …
The Empire State building peeking…
The Radisson Hotel at W32nd Street
The Radisson Hotel at W32nd Street
Madison Square Park at W24th Street
Madison Square Park at W24th Street
The Flatiron Building at 5th Ave a…
The Flatiron Building at 5th Ave …
General George Washington in Union…
General George Washington in Unio…
At Spring Street
At Spring Street
At Walker Street
At Walker Street
The Beekman Tower seen from Park P…
The Beekman Tower seen from Park …
The Woolworth Building at Park Pla…
The Woolworth Building at Park Pl…
One World Trade Center at Fulton S…
One World Trade Center at Fulton …
Evidence of more recent Dutch pres…
Evidence of more recent Dutch pre…
Zucotti Park at Liberty Street
Zucotti Park at Liberty Street
Another Mark di Suvero at Liberty …
Another Mark di Suvero at Liberty…
The Charging Bull at Bowling Green…
The Charging Bull at Bowling Gree…
Looking South from the South Tip o…
Looking South from the South Tip …
I saw Chickens at Second Avenue, t…
I saw Chickens at Second Avenue, …
Just in time for sunset at Battery…
Just in time for sunset at Batter…
Just in time for sunset at Battery…
Just in time for sunset at Batter…
Just in time for sunset at Battery…
Just in time for sunset at Batter…
New York
photo by: herman_munster