By Stephen Millar
New York Offbeat Walks is a pocket-size guide containing 12 walks covering Manhattan. It is not a guide to the mainstream, but the quirkier side of Manhattan, for jaded residents who want to rediscover their city and explore areas they often overlook.
Each walk will cover lesser-known architectural, historical, and cultural highlights and everything in between: from movie locations to hidden rivers; where Warhol and the Beats hung out to where Billie Holliday lived, and Mafia hits carried out. It explores the relics of Dutch and British rule, where Sid killed Nancy and Bowie made his home. You will be led to community gardens, learn why parks got their name, and the curious stories behind obscure statues.
Accompanied by full-color photographs and maps, the walks will take readers in the footsteps of celebrities, pioneering women, poets, rock stars, murders, anarchists, and the people who helped shape this great city.
The Forgotten Muse: America’s First Supermodel Behind New York’s Architectural Marvel
Follow the map (north), looking to your right (1) for the imposing David N. Dinkins Municipal Building. One of the biggest public buildings in the world, it has been home to many New York City public offices since 1913
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The Lost Legacy of Étienne de Lancy: From French Aristocracy to Revolutionary Loss on Delancey Street
Ahead, cross over (4) Delancey Street and Kenmare Streets. Delancey Street was once known as a major shopping district for the Jewish community on the Lower East Side . . . read more
Lost in Art: John Lennon’s Misadventure at Westbeth Artists Housing
Continue along Bank Street to reach the junction with Washington Street. On the northwest corner is (34) the Westbeth Artists Housing complex. This incredible site originally comprised of 13 buildings was constructed for Western Electric in 1868, . . . read more
Titanic’s Ill-Fated Destination: Unveiling the Secrets of Chelsea Piers
Continue on to Eleventh Avenue and the Hudson River to the west. Ahead is Pier 57, built in the early 1950s for shipping by the chemical business W.R. Grace and Company and later used as a bus station . . . read more
Gangs and Legends: Unraveling the Dark Secrets of Battle Row in Hell’s Kitchen
On the right, you pass West 39th Street, which—between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues—was once as a notorious slum known as “Battle Row.” Long before the Westies, the 500-strong Irish American Gophers gang controlled the area . . . read more
Behind the Lights of Birdland: Jazz Legends, Racial Tensions, and the Night Miles Davis Fought Back
Walk on, stopping outside (26) 1678 Broadway—approximately where the parking sign is today. This venue has an equally important place in modern music culture as its basement was home to The Birdland Jazz Club . . . read more
The Rise and Fall of Charles M. Schwab: From Steel Magnate to Riverside Drive’s Lost Mansion
Now start to walk along Riverside Drive. In the last few years of the 19th century, the Drive failed to attract many very wealthy residents, yet remained out of reach of middle class residents . . . read more
About the Author
Stephen Millar was born in Glasgow and later lived in London for 20 years before moving back to Edinburgh, Scotland. He is the author of the best-selling series London’s Hidden Walks (volumes 1-3), Edinburgh’s Hidden Walks, London’s City Churches and Tribes of Glasgow. He is the main photographer for the book London Architecture and has written and provided photographs for a number of magazines and newspapers, including the UK publications The Sunday Herald, The Scotsman and iNews.
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