Friday, October 6, 2017

East Midtown Walking Tour

East Midtown Walking Tour

This is a part of Manhattan that I believe is frequently missed. It isn't far off the beaten path and can give you another perspective of this massive city.

Start at the Grand Central. It is a great metro stop and just outside east midtown that you can walk in...

Grand Central: Used today as the center for commuter transit and a large railroad terminal, it is hard to believe that this bustling place was built in 1871. The station was designed by John B. Snook; however, financed by the man with the more familiar name of Cornelius Vanderbilt. Many renovations and additions were done shortly after to further the reach of the Grand Central Station. The station started to eliminate congestion and serviced many railways making it a united front. Famous films that feature this great site is The Avengers, Cloverfield, and the Spiderman series. Of course famous TV series have also featured this site like Gossip Girl and Quantico. 

Grand Central
Outside of Grand Central during Christmas

Cross Lexington Ave on E 42nd st to the Chrysler Building...

Chrysler Building: One of the most famous and beautiful buildings in NYC by day and night, but of course this is one opinion; pick your favorite! This art deco skyscraper was part of the race to build the tallest building in the 1930s. It was indeed the tallest building for 11 months until it was passed by the Empire State Building, approximately 10 blocks away.  The Chrysler building was built on the rate of four floors a week (the building is currently 77 floors), and remarkably, no worked died during the construction of this building. 

Chrysler building with blue sky

Continue down 42nd and you will pass one of your first consulates, the Consulate General of Brazil on your right...

Consulates: You will pass many consulates while walking in East Midtown, and it is helpful to know what they are. A consulate is the representation of a government of one state on another's territory. In this case you are looking at the consulate of Brazil, which is a representation of Brazil's government on US land. The consulates are the ones responsible for it's own citizens travelling or presiding in the host county (aka this is where you go when you lose your passport). Consulates differ from an embassy, as an embassy is a collection of diplomats who are there to promote it's home country's economy, culture, and government. The purpose is to be a liaison between the two countries. 

Keep going down E 42nd, and you will run into the...

United Nations: There is a tour of this site if you are interested. Tickets are $22 for adults, and can be purchased on the official visitor centre website. If touring the site, please make sure you review the security requirements. Defining the UN can be difficult as it is located in the United States; however, it is international territory. Thinking of the Vatican City in Rome helps me wrap my head around this idea. The UN has its own firefighters and police; however, they do have agreements with the United States. The UN is not allowed to take people seeking refuge from the United States, nor assist people being extradited by the US government. 

UN Flags

Walk along and look at the flags. If you start to name the ones you are familiar with, then you will find a pattern. The flags are in alphabetical order starting at E 45th and finishing at E43rd. You will notice a couple of detours from the order at E 43rd, one of which is the Palestinian flag. New flags are added to the end of the alphabetical order as they are accepted into the UN. Palestine was accepted as a non-Member Observer State status in 2012, and therefore the flag was raised.

Palestinian Flag at UN

If you brought a snack or need a break this is a great place to people watch. Notice any important people crossing the street with a car protecting them in the crosswalk? Just get a feeling for all the people who have visited this site and the movements that have been born here. Think of all the political speeches made to address the union by famous (not necessarily popular) leaders. 

Walk down 1st Ave and turn right on E 51st. Walk down the stairs and over the pedestrian walk way to the look out. 
Peter Detmold Park Walkway

Peter Detmold Park & Lookout: Cross over the dog park, and take in the view of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island. During the 19th century, the island was home to several notorious and controversial hospitals. Some of the structures still stand today and are being reused as residential or other purposes building. However, you will be able to see the abandoned Small Pox Hospital from the viewpoint. This was a hospital built in 1856 and would hold up to 100 patients, but fell into disrepair. Luckily it was designated a NYC Landmark and is undergoing a $4.5 million (probably will be more) project and will then be open to the public. 

View from Peter Detmold Park Lookout

If desired head back to 2nd Ave and walk to E 60th St and catch the Roosevelt Island Tram for a scenic ride of the city. You will need a Metro card and standard fares apply. You can either take some time to explore Roosevelt Island or turn back to East Midtown...

If you have more energy, click here for the more New York walking tours!

Map of East Midtwon NYC

East Midtown Walking Tour


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