54 Blocks Of Broadway! Pt. 2- From New York’s Times Square To Shake Shack!

Welcome To 54 Blocks Of Broadway!

What did I do when I had a day to myself in New York? Walked 54 blocks of Broadway of course…

New York’s Broadway is one of the world’s most iconic thoroughfares, a street that adapts to the world around it: high end, low end and every end in between!

Walking 54 Blocks Of Broadway!

With a day in Manhattan to myself, I decided to walk – and document – 54 blocks of Broadway, just to see how uniquely different each part of the street was!

I started my walk at 72nd street and Broadway, where the iconic Gray’s Papaya serves up hot dogs and fruit drinks all day and night, and wound up on 18th, in Union Square. I wrote about the “northern blocks” already, beginning with a mouthful of Gray’s and ending in the heart of Times Square:

I posted this half of my journey already – Here is part one of my walk down 54 blocks of Broadway – with great hot dogs, naked cowboys and “needle park” too:


Now, time to head south…

Times Square is certainly the heartbeat of the city – tons of neon and even more people! You see so many unique things here, like a late night chess game with people who ere working late:

There are, of course, great Broadway Theaters all around as well, including one where the original “Hamilton” is still going strong – and almost impossible to get a ticket:

As much fun as Times Square is, you can also quickly get a bit claustrophobic due to the insane crowds. However, once you head south on Broadway from 42nd street, it clears up rather quickly:

As you head south on Broadway you quickly end up in the fabric district, well known for wholesale merchandizing of various kinds of fabric and fashion – and lots of hair stores like this:

Yes, 100% Human Hair!

Walking down Broadway is a totally different experience when you are south of Times Square, because each block has a distinct personality – like walking right into the city’s great past, almost on a block-by-block basis.

New apartment buildings with futuristic looks are plopped down next to stores that can sell you a hundred different types of batteries and phone cards. And always, the Empire State building looms…

Miracle Macy’s On 34th Street!

As you come upon 34th street, you run into the Macy’s store that was such a big part of the holiday classic “Miracle On 34th Street.”

Continue south and as you cross 30th and Broadway, you arrive at Madison Park – and of course the original Shake “Shack”…

This is where it all started, in this “shack” that offers takeout burgers with benches nearby to chow down on…

Shake Shack has become a nationwide phenomenon – I’ve eaten them in New York, LA, Chicago and Washington DC, and they are always terrific – check out my review here:


Literally across the street is Eleven Madison Park restaurant, which was named the best in the world for 2017!

eleven madison exterior

Alex and I ate here and it was a delicious and fascinating experience – you can see my review here:


While I’m on a food path, close by on Broadway is another great place to grab a bite of seafood:

A pop in at The John Dory for oysters is always in order, since it’s right there and the sun was setting…then you head south past the Flatiron Building, also known as “the triangle”, another iconic piece of Manhattan’s past.

Here is some history, thanks to wikipedia:

“The Flatiron Building is a triangular 22-story steel-framed landmarked building, considered to be a groundbreaking skyscraper. Upon completion in 1902, it was one of the tallest buildings in the city at 20 floors high and sits on a triangular block formed by Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and East 22nd Street. As with numerous other wedge-shaped buildings, the name “Flatiron” derives from its resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.”

Heading further south, the blocks begin to get more of a “more of the same” vibe – especially when they’re populated by Starbucks, Chase bank branches and CVS pharmacies. I have no issue with any of these businesses, but it’s the purging of anything unique and distinct that bothers me, and in this regard New York is no different than any other city in the US.

My trip down Broadway ends at Union Square, where every week a terrific farmer’s market takes over…even at night…

There are also permanent spots for daily chess games, with young and old-timers going into intellectual battle…and of course, the ubiquitous food vendors open all day and night…

New Yorkers will tell you that the food on most of these carts is great – and convenient as well!

I love walking the streets of New York, in this case 54 blocks of one of the most streets in the world – with distinctive personality and charm, great food, street vendors and so much more!

You can walk more than just 54 blocks of Broadway of course, and someday I will! If you keep heading south of Union Square, Broadway will ultimately take you close to the legendary Katz’s Deli:

Yes, this is where Meg Ryan faked an orgasm in “When Harry Met Sally” – you can see my meal at this iconic restaurant here:


Let me know your favorite spot on Broadway!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Food Review, Hamburgers, Memoirs, New York, Recipes, Restaurants, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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8 replies

  1. What a great walk through NYC! My only trip to the Big Apple was years ago but I still remember riding the subway, the top of the Empire State Building, and taking the Staten Island Ferry passed the World Trade Towers and Lady Liberty! Bob has never been so we are due for a trip!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great series, John, and especially for someone like me who has never visited the city. (Or the USA)
    The photos really tell the story too, and bring the place to life. This should be in a guide book!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pete, thanks for taking the tour! My longest walk recorded in NYC was 174 blocks…from the iconic Penn Station up through Central Park, “Across 100th Street”, and then back down to the legendary Grand Central Station – and that’s just the tip of the “Big Apple” iceberg!

      Liked by 1 person


  1. 54 Blocks Of Broadway! Pt.1 & 2 – Great Hot Dogs! From Needle Park To Naked Cowboys! – johnrieber

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