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. The High Line lasts 1.45 miles (though it is being expanded); 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.
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.
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.
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:
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 (and my fondest wishes to you for "happy times,") I will see you on the trail!