Favorite Metropolitan Walks

This page describes my favorite metropolitan walks. Other walks are categorized as open space recreational if they're frequently accessible but not in a big city, or special event if they're more exciting.

The Gering Metropolitan Walk

Gering, NE

1990 - Present

This walk is actually older than my walking program. I used to walk this all the time during the summer and school year when I was in high school, but not enough! Whenever I'm home in Gering, we go for the Gering Metropolitan Walk every evening. It's well lit, pleasant, and about 6 miles long.

The First Long Island Walk

Old Westbury, NY to Mineola, NY

May - November 1999

Long Island Northern State Parkway May 1999 640x480

My walking program officially started in Old Westbury, New York, when I was starting my first RIT co-op block. When I was at RIT, I'd usually take a walk once a day: no excuses, no exceptions. But for the first time, I was off campus, and had free evenings and weekends! My first neighborhood daily walk, the "Glen Cove Road" walk, started at Old Westbury House, crossed the north-south section of the Northern State Parkway where it meets the Long Island Expressway and the Meadowbrook Parkway, and continued past the Willets Road School and the Albertson LIRR station until the end of the road. Occasionally, I'd loop down a block to the East Williston LIRR station to form a square instead of a 4 mile line.

The Metropolitan New York City Walk

Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY

May - November 1999 and March - May 2000

Borough Hall Subway station June 1999 640x480
Brooklyn Bridge June 1999 640x480

My first large scale walk took place in New York City. I was living near Mineola, in Long Island, and could go from home to Pennsylvania Station with a 20 minute ride on the Long Island Rail Road. At first, my walks in New York City were rather small, but within a few weeks I was walking to all parts of the city south of 81st Street. For every walk, I'd start at Pennsylvania Station. The route of each walk would vary, and I tried to take different streets and avenues whenever possible. I'd usually walk south and over the Brooklyn Bridge to Borough Hall, and then back over the bridge, past City Hall, and into the financial district. From there I'd walk around to Battery Park, and then up Church Street past the World Trade Center. I had my first Krispy Kreme doughnut in the store in the WTC.

Taco Today 4 July 1999 640x480
New York Stock Exchange June 1999 640x480

I also found a fantastic Tex-Mex restaurant, called Taco Today, on Church Street. It's run by Chinese people. A Buddha sits on the highest shelf in the store, and hey take your enchilada order and write it down in ideographic. The remainder of the walk varied quite a bit. Sometimes, I'd just return to Pennsylvania Station and leave. Occasionally I walked all the way back to Times Square to visit The Olive Garden. Occasionally, the walk would head northward. I frequently walked from Penn Station to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, or the City Museum of New York up on 81st Street. It was during a walk to the City Museum that I encountered the worst weather, with a pouring downpour the entire time.

SOHO / Village June 1999 640x480
FDR Parwkay on 4 July 1999 4 July 1999 640x480

On July 4, 1999, I went for my longest walk to that date. I walked from Penn Station to Borough Hall, Battery Park, back to Times Square, and then watched the fireworks from the FDR Parkway by the United Nations Building. I walked over 20 miles in the July heat, and stopped only for lunch at Taco Today (when I first found the restaurant) and to see Wild Wild West at the Union Square movie megaplex. I arrived at the United Nations FDR Parkway entrance at around 6:00 pm, so I was early enough to get a seat on the concrete barrier by the water instead of having to stand on the pavement for a few hours. After the display, when everyone took off, I was most impressed with the MTA Long Island Rail Road: they had trains waiting on all of the platforms! Getting home was really easy.

Times Square August 1999 640x480
New York City night construction August 1999 640x480

I always walked during the day in New York, of course, but had the opportunity to visit the city several times at night. When my brother visited, we walked through Times Square at night, and he captured the pictures to the left. On three other occasions, Brian convinced me to venture downtown with him at night, and I'll never forget these trips to the city!

Update! I was in New York City for the big East Coast power failure on Thursday 14 August 2003. On Friday 15 August 2003, I was planning on going for the New York City Walk, but I ended up on a walk that is a personal record. Check out the New York City Blackout page for updated pictures!

The Ronkonkoma Walk

Ronkonkoma, NY

March - May 2000

5th Street in Ronkonkoma, NY 17 August 2003 (retake) 1024x768
Matt's House in Ronkonkoma 17 August 2003 (retake) 1024x768

For my second visit to Long Island, I lived in a small house in Ronkonkoma, NY. I was surrounded by the Long Island Expressway, the Long Island Rail Road, and the Douglas MacArthur Airport (also known as Central Islip). I still managed to go to Fire Island several times each week, but found a fantastic neighborhood walk. The complete walk, from my house to the train station and back, was about 4 miles long. I'd usually do half of it every morning before work, too!

George Washington Parkway Walk

Alexandria, VA to Washington, DC

June - August 2001

Alexandria power plant August 2001 640x480
George Washington Parkway under Metrorail August 2001 640x480

In the summer of 2001, I lived in Alexandria, Virginia, on the south side of the Beltway about one third of a mile from the Huntington Metro station. Because it's not a good idea to walk across the 10 lanes that constitute the DC Beltway, a quick train ride placed me conveniently in Old Town Alexandria. My "DC Walk" is really the longest routine walk I have ever performed. I would start at the King Street Metro station, walk down King Street to the Potomac, and then head north on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The Parkway walking trail passes a power plant, a marina, the Ronald Reagan International Airport, Gravelly Point, and Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington, it's a quick walk over the bridge to the Lincoln Memorial and downtown DC.

Bridge from Washington DC to Arlington August 2001 640x480
Lincoln Memorial August 2001 640x480

The walk from the Huntington to the Archives-Navy Memorial Metro stations, both on the Yellow Line, is about 12 miles and takes me a little bit under three hours. I had the pleasure of walking home from work using this route about three days per week in July and August after I figured out the route. Other days, I'd take the train. On weekend mornings, I'd reverse the course, and walk from Alexandria to DC for an afternoon of visiting museums and wandering around the National Mall.

Tantra Park Walk

Boulder, CO

June 2002 - Present

Tantra Lake pathway 24 October 2002 1024x768
View of South Boulder from Tantra Park pathway 24 October 2002 1024x768

My first and second apartments in Boulder were located near Tantra Park, which was very convenient for neighborhood walking. Tantra Park is well developed with wide pathways that are well lit at night. Tantra Lake built a small pathway leading from their apartment complex to the park alongside a small stream. The south side of Tantra Park is a gigantic hill with excellent sledding in the winter. The walkway leads up to South Boulder, and the southeast view is open and scenic.

University of Colorado Walk to School

Boulder, CO

June 2002 - Present

University of Colorado Engineering Center on my first day of school 28 August 2002 1024x768
Walking to school along Table Mesa Drive 25 October 2002 1024x768

They make me go to school, you know. I walk west on Table Mesa for a few blocks and then switch to Martin. Martin leads to Moorhead, which meets Baseline and the University. It's about 2 miles long, and I walk to and from school every day.

Table Mesa NCAR Walk

Boulder, CO

May 2003 - Present

View of Flatirons on walk to NCAR 22 May 2003 1024x768
View of NCAR during storm on walk down Table Mesa 27 July 2003 1024x768

After much anticipation, I finally obtained a reason to commute daily to the National Center for Atmospheric Research. NCAR actually provides a shuttle service up and down Table Mesa Drive, but I managed to walk to work almost every day for the entire summer of 2003. The walk from the start of Table Mesa Drive near US 36 to the top of Table Mesa is about 2 miles using the pathway or 3 miles via the paved roadway.