17 October 2006

Are You Sure I'm Still in Brooklyn?

Tuesday 10/17, Run #67: East New York, Canarsie

Distance: 9.88 miles
Time: 1:15
Pace: 7:35
Temp: 58
Dewpoint: 46
Weather: overcast

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 8.44
Total Unique Miles: 532.85
Percent of Brooklyn Run: 30.58

Route: I started at E. 105th and Farragut Road, went west a block to E 104th, south to Glenwood Road, east to Schenck Avenue, south across Flatlands and onto Vandalia Avenue, around Vandalia to Gateway Drive, continuing around to Erskine Street, south to the Belt Parkway overpass and doubling back, continuing east on Seaview Avenue to Fountain Avenue, south to the Belt Parkway overpass there then doubling back and continuing north to Vandalia, west to Erskine, south down to Gateway Drive then doubling back to the service road behind the mall, west on the service road back to Gateway Drive, back north to Vandalia, west around to Flatlands Avenue, east to Barbey, north to Cozine, east to Logan, south to Flatlands, east to Fountain, north to Cozine, east to Crescent, south back to Flatlands Ave (with a little out-and-back on Old Mill Road), west to Fountain Ave, south to Vandalia then doubling back to Flatlands Ave, west to E. 107th, south to Avenue J, east to E. 108th, south to Flatlands 1st, west to E. 105th, south to Flatlands 2nd, east to E. 08th, north to Avenue J, west to E. 104th then doubling back to E. 106th, north to Flatlands Ave, west to E. 104th, south back to Avenue J, and then west to Rockaway Parkway.

Notes: Today's route was the product of considerable time spent studying the "big map," during which I realized that Flatlands Avenue -- one of the self-imposed borders that I'm trying to finish up everything south of -- indeed extends well into East New York and almost to the border with Queens. I furthermore realized I hadn't run in East New York for over a month, or Canarsie for at least a couple of weeks. So naturally, I decided to head out that way to remedy that situation. And this area seemed (for a good part of the run, anyway) distinctly un-Brooklyn-like -- there was a very new shopping mall (Gateway Center, complete with Super Target and an Olive Garden out in the parking lot), bike trails, a landfill, and places to observe the wildlife of the local "wetlands." Of course, away from the mall some of the more recognizable aspects of East New York emerged, especially substantial public housing projects and block-sized warehouses. But there was also a lot of new housing construction in the area, and I found another of Brooklyn's dirt roads -- the rutted and bepuddled Old Mill Road, which is basically a block-long alley between Crescent Street and Fountain Avenue. Curiously, there were some discrepancies between the Hagstrom paper map (my "big map"), Google maps, and the satellite images of this area, so the little map I made and carried was more of a guide than a hard-and-fast plan for my route, and I had to adjust a bit on the fly. In fact, I found that a good stretch of Vandalia Avenue was completely blocked off (with fencing and "no trespassing" signs and little guard shacks) for construction, so I couldn't run it (I substituted the service road behind the mall -- I hope no one minds).

It was an oddly solitary run, too. While major roads like Flatlands and Pennsylvania Avenues had their share of automobile traffic, for long stretches I was often the only pedestrian (though this was no doubt due to both the early hour of the run -- I was near the mall around 8:30 -- and the car-friendly, suburban-style layout of the shopping center).

Anyway, it was an interesting diversion from the sameness of many of the residential areas I've been running of late down in the borough's southern reaches. The change of pace was fine with me, and it was an enjoyable run, if for no other reason than the novelty of the surroundings.

Some pictures:

Roadside memorial on the southern end of Fountain Avenue

Where old trucks go to die (Flatlands Avenue)

"Wetland Vegetation" didactic panel, with Belt Parkway beyond


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