Thursday, August 14, 2008

"Off The Beaten (Subway) Track" by Suzanne Reisman (CAS, '97)




Tired of visiting the same NYC attractions? Well have we got a treat for you! Let us introduce you to Suzanne Reisman (CAS, '97) who is today's guest blogger and sent in the following entry:

NYU is a top ranked university, and one of its many attractive features for students, faculty, and staff is that it makes use of the greatest campus in the world: New York City. When I decided to attend NYU in 1994, I had every intention of returning to my hometown of Chicago after graduation. Yet after living in New York for only three years, I found that it was impossible to leave. In my subsequent 11 years as a full-time New Yorker, I explored the City diligently, looking for the things beyond the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park that make New York what it is. The resulting book is Off the Beaten (Subway) Track: New York City's Best Unusual Attractions (Cumberland House Publications).

NYU's Washington Square campus is not only surrounded by cool little museums, like the Ukrainian Museum (check out the pysanka, known in English as Easter eggs), the Forbes Galleries (most impressive toy collection ever), and the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (self-explanatory), but it's central location allows for the easy implementation of what I call the "subway road trip." Subway road trips are city-dwellers a low carbon footprint way to go see some unusual sites, just like one might do on a typical road trip, but not requiring the use of a car. Off the Beaten (Subway) Track offers 101 sites that are easy to get to using the subway and/or bus from around NYU.

For example, one might head over to Union Square and jump on the #4 train to the Bronx. The intrepid explorer can debark at Burnside Avenue and head over to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. On the way to this leafy, bizarre monument to 100 "great Americans," you'll pass by Aqueduct Walk, a portion of the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail, on your way to the Bronx Community College campus. (This was originally the campus of NYU, which is responsible for the Hall of Fame.) Contemplate the various busts that represent each Hall of Famer, then hike up University Avenue (or jump back on the #4 train) to Kingsbridge Rd. Just west of the subway station is the 258th Field Artillery Armory, reputedly the World's Largest Armory. Sadly, the fantasy castle-like building is in horrific disrepair, but hopefully some day it will be restored and usable by the community. Continuing east on Kingsbridge Road, you will arrive at Edgar Allen Poe's cottage. Yes, right in the center of Grand Concourse sits a cottage which contains the bed Poe's wife Virgina died in! This is also where the great poet wrote Annabell Lee, Eureka, and The Bells. Return to NYU by hopping a downtown D train to West 4th Street.

For more subway road trip ideas, pick up a copy of Off the Beaten (Subway) Track online or at the NYU Bookstore.


Thanks so much Suzanne. We have our own office copy of this fabulous book and are looking forward to navigating the unusual attractions uncovered by Suzanne. Why not pick up a copy this weekend and start exploring?

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