Book Review: Frommer's 24 Great Walks in New York


Frommer's 24 Great Walks in New York, 1st Edition

After 15 years as a travel writer for cruise lines, I’ve read more guidebooks than any mega bookstore can carry. It has been over a decade since my cruise line era, yet I recall preferring Frommer’s guidebooks over all others. After reading 24 Great Walks in New York, I remember why. Frommer’s books are concise, easy to use and beautiful to look at, with all the alluring photos. There’s just something fresh and crisp about a Frommer’s book that really makes you want to dig right in.

I’ve been to New York many times, and I never really thought about this great city in terms of “themed” manageable walks before reading this guide. Each of the 24 feasible, self-guided routes take between 45 minutes and one hour and 45 minutes. Writers James and Michelle Nevius start each short chapter with a starting and finishing point and include a glorious map even I can read with ease - without asking my teenage daughter to help me out. (Are maps getting harder to read or am I just getting older? Please don’t answer that!) They also include a box in each chapter containing a few suggestions about where to eat during your walk. I love that feature, having been overwhelmed by the sheer volume of dining choices myself many times.

Chapter 2, “In the Shadow of the Towers” takes you through the World Trade Center neighborhood, City Hall Park and the North entrance of the Brooklyn Bridge, offering tidbits of historical facts even New York buffs may not already know.  In Chapter 9 you can go “Off the Grid in the West Village,” past magnificent homes, gardens and speakeasies of the Roaring 20’s. If skyscrapers are your pleasure, follow the path of Chapter 13, “From Flatiron to Empire State.” And who can resist Chapter 16 and the “Silk Stocking District?” It is the best of the Upper East Side, neighborhood of the most prestigious addresses in the city. Mansions, museums, the most exclusive shops and sophisticated architecture all await you there.

These are only 4 brief sketches of the 24 walks in this guidebook. A few others include “Little Italy and Nolita,” “Landscape versus Playground” (Central Park), and the “Secrets of Gramercy Park.”

At the end of the book is a simple index, just in case you’re searching for a walk past a particular site. And of course, there’s a small, handy NYC subway map in the back inside cover.

I’ll be in New York this summer for a wedding, and you can be sure this book will be the first thing I pack. I’ll leave room for at least one of the 24 Great Walks in New York, and It will be nice to take the time to look around and get the inside scoop about what it is I am looking at, rather than racing through the streets ignoring the extraordinary treasures I have taken for granted in the past.


Debbie Glade/smartpoodle is the Geography Awareness Editor for Wandering Educators.


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