21 August 2006

Seven Miles, Seven Neighborhoods, Two Advils

Monday 8/21: Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant

7.18 miles
Time: 0:55
Pace: 7:40
Temp: 72
Dewpoint: 56
Weather: sunny & breezy

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 7.05
Total Unique Miles:
Percent of Brooklyn Run:

Route: This one began at the Bergen Street stop on the G. I ran south on Smith to Lorraine, west to Columbia, north to Hamilton (by the entrance to the Battery Tunnel), west to Van Brunt, north Degraw, east to Columbia, and north to Congress. I then took Congress east (after running the little dead end part to the west) to Court, headed north to Pacific, went east to Classon, north to Fulton, west to Washington, north to Lafayette, and then east to Nostrand.

Notes: Though I'm not at 100%, the two days off did my body well, and the improving weather conditions further helped to push me back out onto the streets today. In a weak attempt at appeasing my guilty conscience (and my sore heels) I opted for a more modest run (under an hour, in other words) and stayed pretty close to home. In fact, I figured it was time to finally venture into some of the neighborhoods I've been "saving" for the colder months -- the stretch from Clinton Hill down to Red Hook and Gowanus that's easily accesible from the G train.

Though I'd visited this part of the borough before, this was my first "official" run there and I enjoyed it very much. I'm quite fond of Red Hook in particular, though the entire area is dense with a diverse array of historic architecture, local color, beautiful churches, and odd signage, as well as ample evidence of both lingering urban decay and rampant gentrification. One of the stranger aspects of running here, though, is that it is home to a vast number of bloggers and photographers (including many of the ones I follow regularly and whose work I enjoy), so there was this weird feeling that just about anything that I saw -- no matter how seemingly insignificant or unusual -- had probably been documented earlier and more effectively than I would ever be capable of by taking quick snapshots with a cheapo digital camera.

Another hallmark of this area is the relatively small size of the neighborhoods, and the suddeness in which you can move from one into another. I've been spending a lot of time in the southern reaches of the borough over the last few weeks, where running two or three miles from part of Sheepshead Bay, for instance, will take you into, well, another part of Sheepshead Bay. In today's modest run of just over seven miles, by contrast, I ran through parts of at least seven distinct neighborhoods, and saw everything from scrap metal yards and cement factories to the sprawling Red Hook public housing to tranquil, tree-lined residential streets to the cranes along the Buttermilk Channel waterfront to the lower Manhattan skyline to the railyards between Atlantic and Pacific (a site which is, to say the least, the source of much controversy of late). It was almost too much, but it made the 55 minutes seem to fly by, and kept my mind off any aches and pains.

Right now, I'm planning to do maybe an hour tomorrow, and then take Wednesday off. As always, this is subject to change based on, well, almost anything. Meanwhile, my photographic output from this morning:

Church on Lorraine Street in Red Hook

Smith Street

Scooter place off of Columbia

Washington Avenue


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