Jack Eichenbaum’s Public Walks 2004

Conforming to the Grid
Two Walks: 2-4 PM
Sun. April 11 and Sat. April 24

Two different walks about the geography of Manhattan’s 1811 grid plan, highlighting how 1st - 9th Avenues and 1st - 14th Streets adjusted to colonial era street patterns. Sponsor: Municipal Art Society $12/15 (member-non) each walk.

Walk 1: Sunday April 11
1st Av to 5th Av

>Meets at Peretz Square (1st St and 1st Ave, use F Train to 2nd Ave, exit at 1st Ave.) and explores the East Village, the Bowery, Cooper Square, Astor Place, Stuyvesant Place, Union Square, Broadway and Washington Square.

Walk 2: Saturday April 24
5th Av to 9th Av

>Meets at SW corner Fifth Ave and 14th St. (L,N,R,W,4,5,6 to Union Sq) Explores Central and West Village, particularly Washington, Fr.Demo, Sheridan, Abingdon and Jackson Sqs.

Jamaica: From the Foothills to the Tracks
11AM-1:30PM Saturday, May 8
The narrow band of land between the terminal glacial moraine and the LIRR tracks, settled in colonial times, is the historical funnel for road and rail transport eastward on Long Island. For much of its history, Jamaica was the commercial center of Queens and is now the terminus of the JFK rail link.
>Meets inside the "Food Fest" Market @ 159-19 Jamaica Ave E,J (Jamaica Center). This FREE tour is limited to 25 participants. Reservations may be made with the sponsor, Jamaica B.I.D., (718-526-2422)

Sunnyside to Jackson Hts.
Two Walks: 11-1:30 PM
Sun. May 9 and Sun. May 23

These two walks exhibit completely different aspects of 20th century development in Western Queens. The first walk concentrates on inter-war residential and industrial developments with open space. The second walk follows Roosevelt Ave, the #7 elevated train built on its right-of-way, and late twentieth century immigrant commerce. Both walks meet at the SE corner 46 St/Queens Blvd (46 St, #7) and end at 82 St and Roosevelt Ave (#7). Sponsor: Municipal Art Society $12/15 (member-non) each walk.

Walk 1: Sunday, May 9 More Space, New Plans
During the first third of the 20th century, Western Queens nurtured developments where traditional open space/building area relationships were altered to create new urban architecture. Sunnyside Gardens and the Jackson Heights Historic District anchor the route which also includes Phipps Gardens, Matthews Flats, Met Life apts. and early truck-oriented industrial buildings.

Walk 2: Sunday, May 23 The Immigrant Spine
Since its inception, Roosevelt Avenue (built as the right-of-way for the #7 between Sunnyside and Flushing) has reorganized the borough. First, it reorganized other transportation and roads in its path and created commercial districts where farms abounded. Later it became a magnet for Irish, Filipino, South Asian, Korean, and Latin American commerce.

Crossing Newtown Creek: Contrasting industrial Brooklyn & Queens Sat. 5/22/04 10:30-12:30
Meet outside the Greenpoint Ave subway station (G train), meander through Greenpoint and cross the Pulaski bridge connecting Brooklyn to Long Island City. See remnants of the intense and largely unregulated industrial development that thrived along Newtown Creek in the late 1800s before Consolidation and infrastructure improvements rendered it obsolete. In LIC we'll view the rapidly evolving shoreline. Redevelopment of the waterfront area, known as Queens West, produced Gantry Park with splendid skyline views.
>Sponsored by the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment (BCUE 718-788-8500 Fees $11/9/8);The tour ends at subway connection (#7,G)

The Geography of NYC

NYC Transit Museum Tours: Each consist of 6 Walks from a Subway line (10-6PM)
> These tours are offered first to Transit Museum members. If space remains (typical), they are opened to the public after May 1. Fees $30/35 (mem/non-mem). You must register for the tours in advance. Call Luz Montana at 718-694-1867.

Sunday, May 30 "Brighton Line Memoirs" the Q(B) train to Brighton Beach
Originally built as an excursion railroad to Coney Island, the Brighton line quickly became a conduit to early suburbia before being converted to a subway line. The route is rich in
history, ethnic contrasts (black, Jewish, Chinese, South Asian and Russian) as well as leafy garden suburb developments. We’ll also visit the Flatbush town center and the boardwalk in Brighton Beach.
Prospect Pk-Church St-Brighton Beach-Av U-Av J-Av H.

Saturday, June 5 "World of the 7 Train"
A daylong tour in the transportation corridor between Long Island City and Flushing, learning what the IRT #7 did to and for the communities in its path. This route was designated as a National Historic Trail for its role in transporting immigrants. Station platforms are used for overviews of the surroundings. Commentary encompasses colonial settlement patterns, demographic history, revolutions in transportation and industry, major public works projects, "Garden City" experiments, contemporary ethnicity and food.
LIC-Sunnyside-Flushing-Corona-Woodside-Elmhurst-Jackson Heights

Sunday, July 18 "Six Walks from the #6"
The extension of NYC’s first subway line under Lexington Ave and into the Bronx served the wealthy "Gold Coast" as well as the poor of Yorkville and East Harlem. As an elevated train east of the Bronx River, it propelled the transformation of the rural East Bronx into an urban landscape. Commentary includes physical geography (the Harlem valley and the Harlem and Bronx Rivers), colonial Bronx settlement (Westchester Square) and planning (Hunts Pt, Parkchester.) 96 St-103 St-Mott Haven-Westchester Sq-Parkchester-Bronx R-Hunts Pt-Harlem R

Sunday, August 15 "A Day on the J"
The J train enabled the crowded masses of the Lower East Side to move to Brooklyn and Queens. Elevated from the Williamsburg Bridge crossing until Jamaica, the ride provides diverse views of industrial and bucolic landscapes, mansions and slums. Commentary includes commercial change (from breweries to artists), cemeteries and parks, ethnicity (Chassidic Jews, Latinos, Asians) and major public works that include Brooklyn’s Water Supply, Jackie Robinson Parkway and the Long Island Rail Road.
Highland Park-Richmond Hill-Jamaica-Bushwick-Williamsburg-Lower East Side

On the Horizon:
Saturday, July 24 Water and Eternity on the Bklyn-Qns
Sponsored by BCUE
Sunday, July 25: Staten Island Ferry to St George.
Walking tour of St George as a transportation center. Sponsored by Municipal Arts Society
August, Newton Creek by Boat, Sponsored by BCUE
Fall, 2004: Six walks from the original IRT NYC subway line (#6/Shuttle/#1) sponsored by the NY Transit Museum stressing early 20th century changes. (Details TBA)

To receive email updates of this schedule, contact Jack Eichenbaum. <jaconet@aol.com> I also do custom tours for class or family reunions. If you, (or someone you honor) grew up or hung out in a NYC neighborhood, I can design a walk around it!