Perimeter: brief chapter descriptions
Introductory words; The author introduced; Motivation given; Concept laid out, Place met; A bow to John Finley, silent mentor.
1 Preparations / Starting
Planning; A counter-clockwise walk begins; Morning; Sights, West 21st Street to East 23rd Street; No water yet.
2 East 23rd Street to 60th Street, along the East River
A fancy boat; Musings on a sharp edge; The East River and rising sun; A park unpacked; Traveling the F.D.R. without a vehicle; The birth of an island; Edenic Manhattan; Rockefeller delivers the U.N.; A different view of the same stretch years later; North on Sutton Place; A mysterious building.
3 East 61st Street to Carl Schurz Park, along the East River
Down York Avenue; Back to the river; The island as pawn between the British and Dutch, and the rise and fall of John Manning; Welfare Island becomes Roosevelt Island; East Side Esplanade; John Jones—a great park, Politics and the birth of recreation; Transport of coal, then oil; Thoughts on urban design for pedestrians and their internal maps; The last ferry to Welfare Island; Hell Gate; Meet John Finley.
4 Gracie Mansion to the Washburn Wire Products Factory
Archibald Gracie and his mansion; Carl Schurz and his park; Public art controversies then and now; The point at East 90th Street; Disappearance of the Rockaway ferry and the rise of the Triborough Bridge; Understanding the coast’s line; The General Slocum disaster; Crossing 99th Street; Fishers and crabbers; The first stripped car; 107th Street recreation pier; Washburn Wire factory; A muse on walking and more on Finley.
5 Triborough Bridge to the Polo Grounds site, along the Harlem River
Salt piles; Under the Willis Avenue Bridge; A plumber’s aside; Third Avenue Bridge history; Certified Concrete yard and a concrete mountain; Harlem River Drive; The tire encampment; The shoreline served by boat and then by wheeled vehicles; In clover; Back on a highway; History of the 155th Street Bridge; Minimalist stone throne; Thoughts on mapping the edge; Author’s arrival in NY; A history of the Polo Grounds.
6 The Ralph Rangel Houses to Dyckman Street
Out of the projects, into the woods and up the face of a bluff; Edgecombe Avenue along Highbridge Park; History of the High Bridge and the public water supply; How the shoreline has evolved; History of the ice trade; Alexander Hamilton Bridge meets the Trans Manhattan Expressway; The Washington Bridge’s History; Right on Laurel Terrace; Yeshiva University; Blocked by a fence; A rest at Dyckman Street.
7 Sherman Creek to the Northern Tip along the Harlem River
Southeast along Dyckman; Sherman Creek; Decayed marina; The utility building; Car washing; The Northeastern Waterfront; A 1930’s houseboat community; Crabs, groceries and beer; University Heights Bridge; King of the Bridge; 221st St.; Thoughts on circumnavigation; The North End in myth and legend; The first bridge; Harlem Ship Canal.
8 The northern tip to the Hudson River
Columbia Presbyterian Hospital; Broadway’s history; West on 218th; A dead body in Baker Bay; Rowing in N.Y.; Henry Hudson Bridge; Inwood Hill Park; $24 for the island; Inwood Hill itself; Native springs; The death of Cold Spring; A perfect beach; West through the fence; Onto railroad land, then south; Quarrying the palisades; “The River that Flows Two Ways.”
9 Exploring the northern shore along the Ship Canal
Clockwise travel; American Museum of Urban Fencing; Sonic art at the R.R. Bridge; Under the Henry Hudson Bridge; Columbia University’s property; Natural self-taught construction genius; Wein Stadium and grandmother in an orange van; Dyckman’s ice pond; Behind the Allen Pavilion; A wall of tires under the Broadway Bridge; The Ship Canal’s effect on the ecology; The fisherman; Same route, again, later. Read Full Chapter
10 Spuyten Duyvil to Washington Point along the Hudson River
Walking south; Rip rap; Chubby Point Canoe and Kayak launch; Old Dyckman Street; Wewona Yacht Club and a country walk; Stone to stone with the George Washington Bridge ahead; Finley and archival box #61; The original coast; Shad rows.
11 The George Washington Bridge to 125th Street along the Hudson River
Treacherous Jeffrey’s hook; Jet skis; A green pup tent; Walking on car hoods; Snowshoe tracks; A soccer-like game; More springs; The gridding of N.Y.; Car repair area; James Audubon and the changing landscape; Riverside Church, the world’s largest instrument; Noordt River; Water treatment in N.Y.; Street cleaning dump; An abandoned motel; A junk heap house; Worden and the squatters’ shacks; The Bonus Army; A history of ferries; A supermarket and its parking lot; A diner; A diner disappears.
12 Grant’s Tomb to the 79th Street Boat Basin along the Hudson River
Grant’s Tomb as tourist attraction; Naval anchorages; Rip rap and maintaining the edge; More on Smith and springs (and snakes); A basement spring and pool; Oysters and the ecosystem; The Jersey shore; Moses and cars; Starlings and rats; Sports stadiums never built on the Hudson; Smoking and walking; Expanding island, shrinking river; Thoreau’s camel; The narrow spot near the widest point; The Columbia Yacht Club and its demise; Unseaworthy vessels; 79th Street Rotunda.
13 79th Street Rotunda to 23rd Street along the Hudson River
Through slot at the end of the fence; The Tunnel; Flora, detrius and the former Penn Yard; N.Y.’s greatest sculpture; The demise of railroads; Urban pheasants; Red-lit Sanitation building; Favorite smoke stack; Re-entering the built environment; Thoughts on coasting; Cruise port; A view corridor; The Circle Line’s source; A new ferry line to N. J.; Busted for indecency; Yale truck; The Trump Heliport; The Maxwell House sign; Breaking slate; An upside-down forest; A favorite pier.
14 Chelsea Piers to Pier 40 along the Hudson River
15 Holland Tunnel to Pier A along the Hudson River
16 Battery Park to the Southern Tip along New York Harbor
17 South Ferry to Corlears Hook
18 Williamsburg Bridge to East 23rd Street