Everyone knows Brooklyn is the best borough, but there are still plenty of cool things to see and learn within the other four boroughs. Yes, even Manhattan can be pretty fascinating if you really look. How did I spend my Saturday afternoon? I braved the heat and embarked on a four hour walking tour of Inwood and Inwood Hill Park with Forgotten New York. Now, I know what you’re thinking, a walking tour? How lame is it for a New Yorker to play tourist and participate in a tour of their own city? Well if you’re on one of those double decker buses that floods every corner of Manhattan and Brooklyn now too, yeah, you’re a bit lame. But Forgotten New York is totally different.
Forgotten New York’s Kevin Walsh (a Bay Ridge native!) is known for chronicling the sometimes unnoticed details of the city such as painted building ads, decades-old lampposts, 18th-century houses, abandoned subway stations, trolley track remnants, out-of-the-way neighborhoods, and flashes of nature hidden in the midst of the big city. His book, Forgotten New York: Views of a Lost Metropolis was originally published in 2006 and is now in its 5th edition (2011). He also hosts series of walking tours several times a year. Check out Forgotten New York’s website. Check out this year’s schedule.
Mr. Walsh is also great about posting write ups for past tours, sharing photos and historical details. I expect the Inwood and Inwood Hill Park tour recap to be up soon (link coming soon), but for now, I thought I’d just share a little of what we saw yesterday. Whether you’re a native or a visitor to New York, I highly recommend linking up with one of these tours. If you happen to find one in your own neighborhood, even better! That building you walk by every single day might just take on a completely different meaning.