A walk that begins at the 110 subway B and C stop at the top west corner of Central Park and continues in a northwesterly direction toward Riverside Church and the General Grant National Memorial can take in most of the neighborhood's soaring architecture, sprawling parks, and the commercial life of the neighborhood's stretch of Broadway. While a lengthy walk in Morningside Heights may end up feeling more like a hike than a stroll, the excursion provides enough uplifting moments - especially for those turned on by classical styles of architecture - to make a 3-mile-walk seem much shorter.
|detail, Peace Fountain, 1985, Saint Michael struggling with Satan.|
Sculpture and fountain by Greg Wyatt, sculptor-in-residence,
Cathedral of Saint John the Divine
|lively grouping of saintly souls, facade of Cathedral of Saint John the Divine|
The walk could be edited down to two miles, but visitors may still want to see a bit of Morningside Park, the old St. Luke's Hospital building, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the Children's Sculpture Garden and Peace Fountain (plus any peacocks roaming around), Tom's Restaurant (from Seinfeld and Suzanne Vega song fame), at least some of the Columbia University and Barnard College campus, a promenade or two in Riverside Park, the Interchurch Center, Riverside Church, Grant's Tomb, the poignant little burial site known as the Amiable Child Monument (details with photo in the slideshow), Sakura Park, the Manhattan School of Music, Seminary Row, and the Church of Corpus Christi (important for fans of Thomas Merton; it's where he converted to Catholicism).
Visit these places in that order, too, by following along with the map. There are many beautiful apartment buildings in Morningside Heights, especially the block of W. 113th between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, and the Renaissance Revival-style Eton and Rugby Hall Apartments on Claremont Avenue.
|The Scholar's Lion at Columbia University, also by sculptor Greg Wyatt, an alumnus.|
The photographs below will illustrate the highlights of the walk.
The map below includes most of the places mentioned in this post.
View A Hike in Morningside Heights in a larger map
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple from July 24, 2012.