Interview with Nick DiNapoli

                                                     by Christine Yost

Nick, a native New Yorker, first heard of Shorewalkers through a friend, some 20 years ago.  His first walk was one led by Shorewalkers founder Cy Adler on a cold winter day; a hike to see the fountains of New York City.  It was a first, no doubt intriguing impression and Nick joined Shorewalkers on subsequent walks.  Eventually through Cy's encouragement, Nick became more involved with Shorewalkers and began to create and lead walks for the club, working on and becoming the Editor of the Shorewalker newsletter.  He described that working on the newsletter put him in a position to learn word processing and become familiar with the operations of the club and the various walks the club featured.  Nick was asked to consider, and accepted joining the Shorewalkers Board about ten years ago and shortly afterwards was elected as Vice President of the club.   

As with most organizations, until recently, Shorewalkers was a primarily paper-based operation.   Looking to innovate and take the next steps to upgrade the club's operations, as well as reduce the club's costs, Nick, as Vice President took steps to set up volunteer committees to foster change.  With the move to online operations, Shorewalkers is able to reach a wider audience of younger walkers who are more attuned to online/digital social media than paper-based.  Through Nicks leadership, Shorewalkers has taken an important and needed step--it has transformed into a club that has gone digital with its operations now mostly online.  In addition, the club is no longer on individual computers, it has moved from individual computers to a centralized system.  

As one of Shorewalkers very active volunteers, Nick has seen many of his visions for the club realized.  His ability to work well with others, to support and encourage other Shorewalker volunteers to spearhead new efforts, has been successful:  from the enhancement of the Shorewalker website to the success of the ever growing signature walk, the Great Saunter.   Nick worked with Cy Adler, then President of Shorewalkers, to gain the support of the board to bring a contractor on board to handle the logistics of the Great Saunter.  With this step, the Great Saunter, which now had greater numbers of people, permits, detailed maps and information involved,, is now handled with the attention of a professional.  

Nick works with other walking clubs to dovetail efforts and list joint walks with the Shorewalkers club.  At the same time, Nick has developed walks which are unique to say the least.   He enjoys learning about new things and his walks reflect NIck's study and interest in special areas and topics.  Nick has developed and led interesting walks through New York City's historic cemeteries; he has led night walks where one sees, for example, the glow of the moon on the magnificent Palisades along the Hudson river; "international express" walks through Queens, featuring the area's fascinating restaurants, markets and communities along the #7 subway line.  Nick has also most recently led walks to see art murals of Bushwick, Brooklyn, and murals in Queens and Manhattan as well.  Coming up soon are a series of walks to the "underbelly" of NYC, to toxic, trash, and waste sites, a fascinating but rarely heralded aspect of a great city. 

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