Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manhattan (partial) Circumnav'

One upside of a job with frequent travel is that every now and then, fate conspires to offer unique opportunities for very fun running. This morning, the last-minute cancellation of an appointment meant that I had the time to do a slightly longer run than I had planned, so I opted for a partial circumnavigation of the island of Manhattan. Though I didn't have time for the full 50k route (around the entire island) I managed to get in about 2/3 of it. It was a lot of fun...not to mention a great way to orient oneself in New York and see some parts of the city I hadn't visited before.

The weather yesterday was gray and drizzly: not great for running. But as I awoke this morning, it was cold but clear, with just a few puffy white clouds in the sky. The pavement was a bit slick as I left the West Village B&B where I stay whenever I'm in Manhattan, and I was grateful to have brought some gloves and a winter hat, but I was comfortable in just a long-sleeve shirt and some capris. I moved west, across 8th Avenue, down Horatio Street, and made my way to the High Line.
Sage advice, viewed from the High Line.

The High Line lasts 1.45 miles; after that I made my way west to run along the Hudson.

I would happily have continued north, and rounded the top of Manhattan, past the Henry Hudson Bridge and along the Harlem River, but alas, I was under some time constraints. That being the case, I opted to turn east at the 79th Street Boat Basin, and make my way across Manhattan there.
One more glance across the Hudson before running up the hill toward the Upper West Side from the 79th Street Boat Basin

Crocuses and daffodils sprouting up through the snow in Central Park on the first day of spring

It was a perfect day for a run: cool, but dry and sunny, and the first day of spring. I passed through Central Park along the 79th Street Transverse Road, past Belvedere Castle and the Turtle Pond. As I emerged on the Upper East Side, I had one personal errand to attend to: paying a quick visit to Christi's former residence at 236 East 78th Street. I returned to one of my Paris apartments years later to discover my name still on the buzzer, and I wondered whether Christi's name might still be on the buzzer at her old address. Alas, that was not to be: a resident exiting the building while I was taking photographs said that renovations had happened just the week before, and a whole new buzzer system installed. It does seem that the building is being well cared for, and for that Christi can be happy.
Fresh paint and some newly-stenciled numbers

I soon emerged on the east side of the island, and began to make my way south along the East River. Here, the route was a bit less straightforward than on the west side, as some construction and the presence of the United Nations both prompted a few detours away from the water.
Looking south along the East River, below a blue sky with fluffy white clouds

Looking north along the East River

I love these seals, installed here in the East River Park by sculptor Gerry Augustine Lynas

I took fewer photos as I rounded the southern tip of Manhattan and back up through Battery Park, the Esplanade and the Hudson River Greenway, as this is an area I know somewhat well and have frequently run before. I did, however snap this one photo of a ghost bike, in memory of cyclist Eric Ng:

"Love and rage" pretty much sums it up

In what seemed like no time at all, I was crossing West Street and the Lincoln Highway, back along Horatio Street...and a hot shower to celebrate! It was a very fun run, about 17.5 miles at an easy but steady pace. More important, the run gave me a much better perspective on the scale of this city and the bodies of water that surround it. Should you visit Manhattan, I heartily recommend this route as a good way to get oriented and explore.

With all best wishes for happy running from the Big Apple, I will see you on the trail!
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Blogger Slush said...

so cool!

12:34 PM  

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