Discovering New York City's Hidden Gems: The SUBWAY GAME
The SUBWAY GAME is a unique and exciting way to explore New York City, inspired by the urban walking guide writer William B. Helmreich. Helmreich, who passed away in 2019, was a sociologist, professor and author who spent decades walking and exploring the streets of New York City. He wrote several books about his experiences, including "The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City," which documented his journey of walking every block in all five boroughs of New York City.
One of Helmreich's most interesting habits was visiting the end of different subway lines with his father every week. He would start at the last stop and then work his way back to the first stop, eventually covering all of the lines. This habit was a great way for Helmreich to learn about the different neighborhoods and cultures of Queens, where he grew up, and to gain a deeper understanding of the city's geography.
My version of the game takes inspiration from Helmreich's habit and encourages people to explore the diverse neighborhoods of New York City via subway lines. The focus of the game is to visit the last stops of the subway lines since they may have cheaper housing since they're further from the center of Manhattan. However, it's worth noting that the last stop on most lines is rarely more than an hour from the center of the city so may offer viable housing opportunities.
To play the game, start by choosing a subway line and selecting three neighborhoods along that line. Begin your tour visiting a random neighborhood in the middle, and finally, exploring the end of the line. As you ride the subway and visit each neighborhood, pay attention to the stops along the way, and take note of the different neighborhoods and cultures you encounter.
One of the key aspects of the SUBWAY GAME is to use it as an opportunity to learn about the geography of NYC. Before your tour, do some research on the neighborhoods you will be visiting, and note what part of the city they are in. This will help you understand how the different neighborhoods are connected and where they are located in relation to one another. Also, be sure to pay attention to all the stops on the line, and jot down the ones that capture your attention for purposes of further research.
Overall, the SUBWAY GAME is a fun and educational way to explore the city and learn about its different neighborhoods and cultures. It's a great way to get to know the city on a deeper level and to appreciate the rich cultural diversity that makes New York City such a unique and vibrant place. So, grab your subway map, pick a line, and start exploring!