Our first themed walk has us checking out two of New York's "other" Botanic Gardens during Cherry Blossom season. Cutting through Bed-Stuy and Prospect Heights brings us to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens early in the day. We don't rest on our laurels for long, heading up to Queens via MIddle Village and Rego Park to check out the Queens Botanic Garden. This walk is also an opportunity to get our first proper looks at Flushing Meadows and Forrest Parks, with paths that hug Meadow Lake and Willow Lake. We've left a mile off the drawn route to account for daily wandering in the gardens.
This week is the first of our 'loose ends' walks, where we identify neighborhoods on the walk we either barely hit or missed entirely. It's also the last walk we'll be taking exclusively in Queens. We set out for the Northeast tip of the borough to visit Little Neck and Little Neck Bay. Then we'll drop all the way south to hit the neighborhoods we missed the last time we were around JFK: Brookville, Springfield Gardens and Rochdale. We'll end at Jamaica to take the J train home.
Our second walk focusing on music in NYC takes a look at the history of Hip-Hop in Queens County. From Queensbridge to Corona, from Hollis to Jamaica, Queens native musicians have played a critical role in the development of the form. We'll visit the neighborhood homes of Nas, LL Cool J, Nicki Minaj, A Tribe Called Quest and Kool G Rap, just to name of few. (Note: .4 marathon mileage delta will be made up as we wander)
In what could most succinctly be described as a walk about nothing, we visit some of the most iconic locations from the iconic NY-set sitcom Seinfeld. Starting at the Nexus of the Universe (East 1st Street and First Avenue), we'll visit Pendant Publishing, determine if a soup and a sandwich counts as a meal, and pick up a marble rye on our way home. We'll also hop over to Frank Costanza's house in Queens to shoot some pool. Here's to feeling good all the time.
Part two of our Queens coastal conquering starts with a significant hike before we even hit water, crossing through Glendale, Rego Park and the middle of Flushing Meadows Park. We pick up the start of Flushing Bay and reconnect with the East River at College Point, following to Beechhurst and the base of the Throgs Neck Bridge. The return trip takes us through Murray Hill, Forrest Hills and Woodhaven on the way to the J train home.
This week we take the long march to Fort Totten, a preserved civil war naval fortress on the north shore of Queens. A sweep through Kissena Park marks our trip there, while our returns route gives us an in-depth look at the marshy Alley Pond Park. A turn west leaves us at Jamaica for the train ride home.
Our first jaunt into North Queens starts with a passage on foot through Elmhurst and Corona. Cutting up through Flushing and taking a right at Spa Castle in College Point, we round the turn at Crocheron Park and Little Neck Bay. The route back takes us by the scenic Long Island Expressway and through Queens College.