A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 19, 2005
The Great Saunter (32-mile walk around Manhattan)
"The Great Saunter" is the Shorewalkers name for its 32-mile walk around Manhattan's rim. The New York City Marathon, by comparison, is a mere 26.2 miles long.

The Shorewalkers maintain that it is a walk and not a race. Thank goodness for that.

May 6, 2006
See Manhattan at 3mph! The Great Saunter
Shorewalkers, Inc.
Box 20748, Cathedral Station, NY, NY 10025 | 212-663-2167 Join the "Great Saunter of 2006," Shorewalkers' spectacular 32-mile circuit of Manhattan. Walk all or part of the route through 20 parks. Experience many cultures, celebrate the Waterfront Greenway. See Lady Liberty, Palisades and outer boroughs. Non-members sign up on the web for $10; $15 on day of walk.

On Saturday, May 7, 2005, the Shorewalkers will hold their 20th annual Great Saunter's 32-mile walk around Manhattan's rim. The pace is steady, but not fast. Most of the route is fairly flat. We keep to the waterside as much as possible. There is no rain date; we will go rain or shine.

Join the Shorewalkers on this spectacular 32-mile walk around the rim of Manhattan Island, starting early at South Street Seaport and ending there that evening for celebration. Walk through 20 parks, experience many cultures, and celebrate the new Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. See the Statue Of Liberty, New Jersey, the Palisades, all four outer Boroughs, people fishing in the rivers, cherry trees in bloom, spring flowers, a press conference in front of the Circle Line Terminal at 42nd Street at 9:30 am, and enjoy lunch in Inwood Park. Walk part or all of the route. Meet people from all over.

4 June 1987, New York Times, "Outdoors" by Nelson Bryant, pg. B12:
Manhattan's Shorewalkers and guests will celebrate the summer solstice June 13 with a 32-mile hike around the island that begins at 7 A.M. near the South Street Seaport and is scheduled to end 13 hours later at the same location ''as the moon rises over Brooklyn Bridge.'' Those who think that the entire hike -called the Great Saunter - might be a bit much, may join or leave it at any one of several suggested locations. The route goes north from South Ferry along the Hudson to Inwood Park, where there will be a luncheon - then south along the Harlem and East rivers. In addition to splendid exercise, camaraderie and an opportunity for intimate encounters with Manhattan's shores, the walk is also intended to promote the proposed Hudson River Shore Trail, which would extend 330 miles from the Battery to the Hudson's source in the Adirondacks. For information, call Cy Adler (212) 663-2167, or Nancy Coddon (201) 567-6638.

22 June 1987, Newsday, "What's Afoot In The City" by Jonathan Mandell, part II, pg. 4:
BEFORE HE took "The Great Saunter," a 32-mile walk around the entire shore of Manhattan, David Hill figures his longest and most dangerous walk was the 10-day trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in the Himalayas; the most exhausting was around the Buddhist holy island of Putou Shan, where his companion was hospitalized for heat exhaustion; the most fascinating was on the Great Wall of China.

But on none of these did he wind up standing on top of a cement mixer, chased by three German shepherd guard dogs.

"It's very different walking in New York," says David Hill, in that under- stated way of the British. "It's constantly changing."

Two Saturdays ago, Hill was one of 100 walkers who started at 7:30 in the morning from South Street Seaport, and one of about 60 who finished there more than 13 hours later, sunburned, rain-drenched, bruised or bitten - or looking forward to the following day's 15-mile walk in Central Park. Nothing was televised, nobody was cheering. There were no winners and no prize money. This was not the New York City Marathon.

But the walk may become just as much a New York tradition. After all, the Marathon started in 1970 with just 127 people (and finished with 55) running 26.2 miles inside Central Park. It capitalized on the jogging craze, much as Cyrus Adler hopes to build on what he and the other members of his Shorewalkers club consider the latest fad, which is walking.

6 May 2005, New York Sun, "They'll Take Manhattan, One Step at a Time" by Ruth Graham:
Dubbed "The Great Saunter," the 32-mile journey is the year's big event for the nonprofit walking group Shorewalkers. Organizers expect about 500 people to participate in this year's 20th-annual event. As Shorewalkers' founder, Cy Adler, pointed out, "the best way to see New York island is at 3 miles per hour."

The ramble is not a race. The quickest finishers take just under eight hours, with most strolling it between 11 and 13 hours. Last year, a group straggled in at 1:30 a.m.
Mr. Adler, the author of "Walking Manhattan's Rim: The Great Saunter" (Green Eagle Press), said that the first Saunter was considerably more difficult than it is today. "At that time, the shoreline was a mess," he said. It was an obstacle course of fences, crumbling piers, and unsafe areas. "There was really no good way of doing it, but we did."

Mr. Wright agreed that Manhattan's perimeter parks are in much better shape than they were 20 years ago. "The coastline is changing," he said, "really for the better."

Even the most enthusiastic strollers may be exhausted by end of their journey. Although there are no steep hills to scale, Mr. Wright said some participants have complained that "it's harder than a marathon." At 26.2 miles, marathons cover less distance. And since they're not typically run at a leisurely pace, they require far less time on one's feet.

Posted by Barry Popik
Sports/Games • Sunday, June 19, 2005 • Permalink

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