From a 1941 NY Times article:
Dr. Finley was New York's most peripatetic philosopher. Indeed, he had covered half the world afoot, watching the human scene with kindly eyes. . . . But it was over this peaceful and marvelous Island of Manhattan that he liked most of all to wander, counting that day lost when he had not checked off at least 10 miles. Once each year he walked entirely around the island, covering part of that promenade that now bears his name. Today, because it does bear his name and because it perpetuates his walking image wrought in iron by an artist who knew him in his forward-tilted stride, it will help others see with his understanding eyes the shimmering waters that girdle us, the towered silhouette of the city and all the friendly passers-by who give life and meaning to the Manhattan panorama.