Walk and tour your historic borough

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Center for the Urban Environment, headquartered at 168 Seventh Street in Brooklyn, announces its line-up of walks and tours for September.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are $13; $8 for seniors and students. For information, call 718-788-8500 extension 217 or visit

· September 7, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., discover Astoria, Queens. In this demographically changing neighborhood opposite Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Central Europeans, Italians and Greeks are being replaced by Arabs, Brazilians and the new generation. You’ll explore Astoria from its major transportation arteries: Steinway Street (a former trolley route), 31st Street (under the elevated train) and the Grand Central Parkway, which bisected the neighborhood 70 years ago.

Meet at the southeast corner of Broadway and Steinway Street (R train).

· September 13, 3-6 p.m., take a Jamaica Bay Fringe Bike Tour. Jamaica Bay is a vast ecosystem that straddles two boroughs and encompasses a dozen neighborhoods. From wampum to weapons, from waste disposal to wilderness areas, it’s been an integral part of NYC’s development. On this historical and ecologically minded tour, you’ll be rounding the bay on two wheels.

Stops include: Rockaway Boardwalk, Jacob Riis Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Tilden, Barren Island, Floyd Bennett Field, and Canarsie Pier. You’ll learn more about the mixed legacy of Robert Moses, who had the single largest impact on this delicate ecosystem. The tour covers 10 miles, with some gentle off road riding involved. You will ride at a casual pace. There will be help to change flats, but bring an extra tube for your bike.

Meet at Beach 67th Street stop on the A Train. Carry your bike down the stairs and meet on the corner outside the station.

· September 20, 2-4 p.m., discover Skyscrapers, a Brooklyn History. For a brief period, Brooklyn’s skyline soared. Examine the neo-classical and Art Deco skyscrapers that concentrated in the borough’s civic center at the beginning of the twentieth century and discuss plans for a high-rise renaissance, including works by George Morse, Ralph Walker, Morris Lapidus, and perhaps, Frank Gehry.

Meet outside the Chase Bank, at the northeast corner of Montague and Clinton streets.

· September 21, 2:30-4:30 p.m., take a Salt Marsh Trek. Join for a one-mile family nature walk along the salt marsh of Marine Park/Gerritsen Creek. This flat trail will take us through one of nature’s most dynamic ecosystems — a nesting and feeding area for a variety of shorebirds and long-legged waders as well as a breeding ground for many invertebrates and fish species. The path is gravel and can accommodate a sturdy stroller or jogger. There is little shade, so bring drinking water and sunscreen.

Meet outside the Salt Marsh Nature Center, Avenue U, just off East 33rd Street.

· September 27, 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., enjoy Water, Eternity and Time Warps on the Brooklyn-Queens Boundary. Discover the mysteries of Brooklyn’s water supply and Queens burial sites for the deceased of NYC. This walk traces the path of Brooklyn water from its Queens parallel to NYC’s vast cemetery belt and includes the Ridgewood Reservoir.

Meet outside the Crescent Street Station (J train); the tour ends at the Myrtle Avenue (L train)/Wyckoff Avenue (M train) station with bus and subway connections to other parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

· September 28, 1-3 p.m., look at Picturesque Marble Hill and Kingsbridge. Marble Hill is a little-known neighborhood that’s on the Bronx mainland but it is still part of Manhattan, due to the building of the Harlem Ship Canal in 1895 and the filling-in of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek in 1916.

You’ll see quaint Victorian houses and narrow, winding tree-lined streets, as well as an ultra-modern shopping mall. You’ll hear a little about the history of the area during the Revolutionary War and about the long-gone sports arena that hosted boxing matches and bicycle races. In addition, you’ll see some of the neighboring Kingsbridge area, including a Buddhist temple and a street where the houses’ front yards are below street level.

Meet at the southeast corner of 225th Street and Broadway, #1 train to 225thStreet.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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