NEW YORK — We still had a few miles to go when the fatigue of being on the march all day started to settle in. Mathematically, we knew we could cover enough ground to finish our route by dinnertime, but we had to keep up the pace.
Our focus changed from enjoying the scenery to putting one foot in front of the other until we reached our finish line: the boardwalk at Brooklyn’s Coney Island. An ice cream sandwich at sunset was a well-deserved reward after walking about 12 miles from the northern tip of Brooklyn, in Greenpoint, down to its southern shore on the Atlantic.
While many people might lace up their hiking boots to spend a day in the woods, I’m a city girl and am more inclined to urban hiking.
My husband, John Tebeau, and I are fans of exploring cities on foot. We like to spend a day stopping in one place for a glass of wine, then another for a snack, turning a walk into a moveable feast. We can quickly get a feel for a neighborhood and its denizens while we walk and sit, walk and sit, walk and sit.
A long weekend adventure:Getting reacquainted with NYC and DC
The opportunity to connect with a place on a human scale — asking a retail clerk or barista where we should stop next — feels like adventure fused with socializing.
Back in 2019, we walked the length of Brooklyn. We took the NYC Ferry up the East River to Greenpoint for a fortifying breakfast of doughnuts and coffee at the legendary Peter Pan to kick things off. Then we ambled on to a few spots for snacks and cocktails, and finally landed for dinner at Ruby’s, a beloved Coney Island bar.
In 2020, we tackled a slightly longer, 13-mile walk down the full length of Manhattan, starting at the tiny northern nub across Spuyten Duyvil Creek. Making stops was more challenging then, with many restaurants and bars not allowing people inside because of COVID-19, so we had to get more creative, especially about finding bathrooms. But after coffee on some church steps, live jazz in Central Park and my favorite New York pizza enjoyed al fresco at Arturo’s, we made it to the southern end of Wall Street.
We had moved to New York in 2006 and spent untold hours exploring all five boroughs. (John wrote and illustrated a book in 2018, “Bars, Taverns and Dives New Yorkers Love.”) But these walks still took us through parts of the city we didn’t know well, and showed us …….