What does it take to know NYC? What does it take to own NYC? Two men think they have found the answer, but their answer is unique to them and they both do it differently. It is however absolutely fascinating to see this short video record of their individual walks.
One of the walkers is William Helmreich, a sociologist who developed the habit of walking the streets of NYC when he was young and has just kept doing it. He has walked every street and every block in the city and written a book about it. For him his pleasure comes from meeting so many New Yorkers and since his personality is naturally outgoing and friendly he meets lots of them.
The other man doing the same things is Matt Green who, with nothing better to do, decided to just walk the streets, all the streeets, and just experience NYC. As he walks he develops a sense of ownership of his city as he has one different experience after another. And it is true of course that most New Yorkers stick to their corner of it and it’s a very different thing to committ to exploring all its corners and less public places.
Just watching the video and hearing them talk, we expand our own sesne of NYC. And later in the video, there is one spectacular view looking back towards Manhattan that must have been a revelation cfor them both. It certainly is for us, a hidden view of NYC that takes the breath away. Below is Helmreich’s book on his travels. Published 2 years ago it has been very well received.