I walked the 32-mile perimeter of Manhattan, by choice
Three years ago, I had the world's best idea: I would complete the ultimate urban hike by circumambulating the perimeter of Manhattan. All 32 miles of it. Turns out, I'm not the first person to have this idea. The New York Shorewalkers do it every May and they adorably call it The Great Saunter.
Well, I had this idea in the middle of June. And because I'm stubborn, I did it in mid-June, when it's decidedly hotter and more humid than early-May.
Tip #1: Don't do this in the middle of June!
I started at 8 a.m. I finished at 8 p.m. If you're checking my math, yes: it took 12 hours.
Tip #2: Plan to walk for 12 hours!
Beginning on the Upper East Side, armed with just my iPhone and a Fitbit, I energy-loaded at 3-Star Diner with pancakes, eggs, sausage and SO much coffee and water. Then it was off the races — walking! I headed north along the East River toward Inwood Park, the northern-most part of Manhattan. Made a pitstop at the farmers' market because I'd gotten pretty hungry. Turns out you need to eat for energy!
Tip #3: Keep eating for energy!
After some watermelon and peanuts, I headed south on the west side, along the Hudson River. That's where the sun followed me for the rest of the day.
Tip #4: Wear sunscreen!
I'm pretty sure I'm still trying to get rid of tan lines from this walk — I call it my saunterer's tan. It was around 2 p.m. when I started feeling sluggish again, so I rerouted inland a bit to Gotham West Market for the most necessary turkey sandwich of all time at Court Street Grocers.
Tip #5: Food is fuel!
Then I motored toward Wall Street. And when I got tired again, bee-lined for a Duane Reade for a Clif Bar and Gatorade.
Tip #6: You need to snack constantly!
The final stretch up the east shore of Manhattan was the hardest part. I'd already covered a marathon's worth of mileage and STILL had to keep walking. One final fuel-up at Mayhem and Stout and I was back at my starting point by sundown.
Tip #7: Even if you're not hungry, put something in your mouth! Especially water!
It's grueling, but super cool. Like, I now get to tell people I've walked the entire perimeter of Manhattan. Because I have. And most people haven't. Try it.
Nikki Palumbo is a New Yorker, by way of New Jersey. (Don't hold it against her.) She's also a comedy writer and amateur walker.