Running in a big city brings some unique challenges, like traffic-related interruptions, dodging pedestrians on congested sidewalks, etc. Another issue is catching a good signal for the GPS receiver of a fitness watch. Our hotel (The Muse, very nice, like other hotels of the Kimpton group I have visited) is just half a block from Times Square. While you can't really call Times Square an open area, it shows a little more sky than other intersections, so that's where I went at the start of every run for my FR305 to grab a signal.
March 13: Central Park
Always nice to return for a jog in Central Park, which I have visited for jogs on many previous occasions. Due to work-related constraints I was never able to get beyond the southern half of this beautiful park. No such concerns during this trip, I set rounding the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir as my goal.
From Times Square I ran up Broadway and followed the Central Park Loop clock-wise to the reservoir. I did notice a few things:
(1) There was quite a bit of running going on
(2) Peletons of cyclists going in the same direction
(3) 95% of runners were on the Loop, not on any of the many other trails crisscrossing the park
(4) Almost all of them were going counter-clockwise
I was definitely bucking the trend. I did a loop around JKO Reservoir, counter-clockwise, like a good boy, and then moved to the much less traveled and in my opinion much more interesting trails meandering through the park. Yesterday I noticed daffodils on the way in from LGA, today it was more daffodils, forsythias and some pink-flowering tree (cherries? crab apples?). I am definitely not in Minnesota though I recall when I spent my first two weeks in the US here 20-some years ago in mid-April and from my vague recollections nature seemed to be at the same stage I see it now in mid-March.
I concluded my park loop running along the Metropolitan Art Museum and through the zoo, returning to the hotel via the Avenue of the Americas.
March 14: Hudson River and Central Park
After running in unseasonably mild weather yesterday, it was downright warm this morning. After my obligatory five minute GPS lock-on period at Times Square I headed down 46th Street towards the Hudson River, where, when I reached I turned right, going north along the bike path. First the path went right along West Side Highway which soon started to climb to elevated level. The stretch between city and river widened into Riverside Park, a pleasant, apparently freshly redone green space. The bike trail users weren't as fortunate as the trail kept following under the elevated road.
|69th Street Transfer Bridge|
|Trump Place condos behind the West Side Highway|
|Daffodils and forsythia in Central Park|
|Broadway Bike Trail between Columbus Circle and|
After the last two days' temperatures this morning felt much more seasonable at 9 C, which is still about 5 C warmer than average. Queensboro Bridge is the nearest bridge I could reach and cross on foot from our hotel. Today's jog had the most amount of city travel of all I would do.
I left Times Square going zigzag diagonally through town, always picking the pedestrian "go" light, which evened out over the course of my run to more or less two city blocks north and two east. The GPS track is somewhat random due to running in those deep canyons between the skyscrapers. Just as I reached the bridge, I was hailed by a NYPD copper who asked me if I had a suggestion for a running route for a woman jogger she was helping. I suggested to do like me and run across the bridge but she was adamant on wanting to run downtown. Unfortunately, I could not help her.
|East River with Roosevelt Island on left and Queens with Con Edison East |
River Electrical Power Plant on right.
|Riding, running or walking just a couple meters away from|
noisy and stinking traffic. But a good transit route for
bike and foot commuters
March 16: Hudson River to Chelsea Piers
On this rain-wet and cool morning, I returned to the Hudson River and ran south this time. about half of the distance was right along West Side Highway: not so fun, especially when I passed a NY Transit depot where a dozen or so buses were warming up their engines and belching out their diesel fumes. Still, I do appreciate that it seems quite easy to get around by bike in this huge city.
But then there were pedestrian and bike friendly areas with a little more distance to traffic. I took advantage of the many piers and boardwalks jutting into the river and ran to the end of a few of them. When I approached the northern edge of Chelsea Piers, a large entertainment and shopping complex spanning several piers. I heard a wood thrush call from the bushes, almost within arm's reach.
On the way back, I saw a big cruise ship come up the river, fully lit in the dark and readying to moor at one of the piers. I noticed a big sign on top of the ship spelling out "Queen Victoria." I was not sure if this was the Queen Victoria or a cruise ship line of that name but when I checked later, it was indeed the ship, readying for a trans-Atlantic voyage with destination port of Southampton. Quite a bit of smaller boat traffic on the river, too, some looked like ferries, others like fast police launches. On the way back to Times Square, I passed a construction site where dozens of workers were arriving for their shift.