top of page

Running in New York: the Big Apple

Running around New York City, made up of 5 boroughs, is an opportunity to discover the achievements of a resolutely modern and frenetic urbanism. From the skyscrapers of Manhattan to the brownstones of Brooklyn, JOOKS takes you through the Big Apple!

En marchant ou en courant dans les rues de New York, vous entrapercevrez peut-être la Statue de la Liberté !
From Manhattan, you can see the Statue of Liberty

"I go to Paris, I go to London, I go to Rome, and I always say, 'There's no other place like New York'. It's the most exciting city in the world today. That's just the way it is. That's it," said Robert De Niro, a famous American actor, about the Big Apple.

New York's history dates back to 1524, when navigator Giovanni da Verrazzano, on a mission from the King of France, landed in the bay, then inhabited by the Lenape people. He named it Sainte-Marguerite, after the sister of François I, and called the land in the bay and along the river "La Nouvelle-Angoulême". Today, the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, linking the boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, commemorates this first European explorer to cross the Narrows, the strait that separates Lower New York Bay from Upper New York Bay. Preoccupied by other imperatives, François I took no further interest in the region, which was rediscovered in 1609 by English explorer Henry Hudson. Hired by the Dutch East India Company, he bequeathed his name to the river that flows through New York.

It wasn't until 1664 that the English conquered New Amsterdam, which was renamed "New York" in honor of James, Duke of York. Today, having undergone phenomenal expansion between the 18th and 20th centuries, it comprises five boroughs known as Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. Major international financial center, third most populous city on the American continent, headquarters of the United Nations... New York collects titles and its celebrity is indisputable. It attracts 50 million visitors every year. As a result, running around the city can be both culturally and emotionally enriching!

Manhattan, city of glass and steel

Manhattan is the vibrant heart of New York. Located on the peninsula of the same name, it's the setting for a staggering number of films. When you visit New York, you'll feel like you're in a Hollywood production at every turn!

Times Square
Times Square

As you run or walk through the streets of Manhattan, you're sure to catch a glimpse of Ground Zero, the scene of the tragedy of September 11, 2001. From there, The Battery Park is nearby, offering a breathtaking view of Upper Bay and Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stands. Then, after passing the Empire State building and heading northeast, you can admire Times Square, a district named after the former headquarters of The New York Times. Located between 42nd Street and Broadway, it's nicknamed "Crossroads of the world". But you don't have to be agoraphobic to enjoy the view: some 365,000 people pass through here every day!

Not far away, on the edge of Central Park, stands the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nicknamed the "MET". It's Manhattan's most famous museum, along with the nearby Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). With its two million works, 130,000 square meters and 4.5 million annual visitors, the MET is one of the world's largest museums. And don't forget to look out for the famous grey squirrels (especially on Mondays) on your run through Central Park!

Une visite incontournable à New York : marcher dans Central Park et voir les écureuils gris
Grey squirrel in Central Park

Brooklyn, Dumbo and Williamsburg

Brooklyn occupies the western end of Long Island and borders Queens. Since 1883, it has been linked to Manhattan by the Brooklyn Bridge, the oldest suspension bridge in the United States. Once a working-class neighborhood, Brooklyn has been enjoying a new dynamism since the beginning of the 21st century. This is reflected both in the growth of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg business districts, reputed to be a haven for hipsters, and in the Dumbo craze.

Dumbo isn't just the name of a big-eared elephant in New York. It stands for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass", one of the city's most expensive districts. Popular with artists, it's filled with former warehouses converted into luxury lofts, giving it a very special atmosphere!

Courir dans les rues animées de Brooklyn
Brooklyn Bridge

Further south, you'll discover the Brooklyn Museum, one of New York's largest, and the immense Prospect Park adjacent to it. Finally, don't hesitate to take your Brooklyn run all the way down to Coney Island! This peninsula, located at the southernmost tip of the district, boasts a number of attractions, including a magnificent sandy beach bordered by a renowned amusement park.

Queens, "The World's Borough"

Queens is the largest borough in New York City, and the second most populous after Brooklyn. It's nicknamed "The World's Borough", due to its cosmopolitan population. As a result, running in Queens also means getting to know its diverse multicultural neighborhoods.

Unisphere dans Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Flushing is now the largest Chinatown in the U.S., while Jackson Heights and Elmhurst are home to Indian, Tibetan and Hispanic communities. Astoria, very close to Manhattan, is the Greek quarter, birthplace of Maria Callas. Corona, historically home to a sizeable Italian population, is today the heart of the Latin American settlement in Queens, while Jamaica is home to a large African-American and Caribbean community. Finally, from Rego Park to Kew Gardens lies the historic Jewish Quarter.

On your stroll through Queens, you can also visit Long Island City, and admire the MoMA PS1 museum, or enjoy the greenery of Gantry Plaza State Park. Along the East River, you'll discover the wonders of street art, before heading to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Here you'll find the Unisphere, a 43-metre-high steel representation of the Earth, set above the Perisphere, a structure featuring a pool and water jets. It gives the illusion of floating in space!

Staten Island Ferry
Staten Island Ferry

It's impossible in so few lines to express what is the very essence of New York: its diversity. The Bronx, long considered violent, is the cradle of hip-hop culture and a neighborhood in the process of gentrification. Staten Island, the most outlying district, boasts five uninhabited islands, and long threatened to secede from New York City, before a regular ferry service was established in 1993! Today, the hills in the center of the island are home to a series of public parks, well-connected by hiking trails, a trail nicknamed the Greenbelt, making it a runner's paradise.

Contrary to popular belief, New York's parks, the Hudson River and the Bay's various wetlands are home to significant biodiversity. The megalopolis is home to hundreds of bird species, as well as dozens of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. And 3,000 species of plants! On your run, you might even come across a snow goose or an ibis. And as you'll have gathered, despite its reputation as an "urban jungle", New York abounds in parks and natural spaces, and you're sure to come across its famous squirrels or discreet raccoons! In fact, 27% of the city's total surface area is taken up by green spaces.

Run, walk or ride with JOOKS, from Staten Island to Manhattan!

Find all of New York City's routes and over 1,300 others in the JOOKS app.

18 views0 comments


bottom of page