William Helmreich is a sociology professor at CUNY and City College who grew up walking the streets of New York as a game with his dad.
Well, it happened in a sense that when I was a kid—and that’s where its origins lie—growing up in Manhattan on the Upper West Side, my father devised a game to keep me interested called “Last Stop.” Every weekend when he had time from about the ages of 7 to 12, we would take the subway to the last stop and walk around the neighborhood—and New York then had 212 miles of subway lines. When we ran out of the last stops, we went to the second to last stop, then the third to last stop. I would go to neighborhoods in Brooklyn, neighborhoods in Queens, and in that way my love for the city was kindled.
He continued to walk even as an adult, and 6,000 miles later, Helmreich saw so much of the City through walking its streets that he wrote a book about it: The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City
In a recent interview with 6sqft, Helmreich answer a ton of questions about the book, about his walks and about the New York City nobody knows.
The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City is available for purchase on Amazon.