From May 5th through 7th, thousands of New Yorkers are invited to explore their city in honor of urban activist Jane Jacobs. Jane’s Walk NYC, hosted by the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS), is an annual weekend-long celebration featuring 200+ free “walking conversations” throughout the five boroughs, led by urban enthusiasts and local experts who care deeply about their neighborhoods. It's one fine reason to get outside for some vitamin D and fresh air.
This year, Jane’s Walks will introduce you to a 1906 movie studio that made Brooklyn the brief capital of silent film, a seedy Manhattan hotel where Woody Guthrie wrote This Land Is Your Land, a vast glacial forest hiding in Queens, a Bronx street modeled on the Champs-Élysées, a Himalayan architectural enclave in Staten Island, and more.
All of the MAS-sponsored walks combine the simple act of exploring neighborhoods with personal observations, local history, and civic engagement. A typical walk is 90 minutes and is free and open to the public.
The full list of tours is available online—and we've highlighted a few notable selections below:
- Canvas beneath our feet—Learn about the overlooked art of manhole covers
- When downtown was still hip: Retrace jazz history on the Lower East Side
- To Hellgate and Back Again: Walk the East River’s Northern Bridges and raise a pilsner in Astoria
- Don your 19th century garb and step back in time with an 1870 walking tour through Brooklyn
- From garbage heap to bucolic meadow: A two-mile behind-the-scenes walk through the future Fresh Kills Park
This post is brought to you by Jane's Walk.