The Bay Ridge Minotaur?
Friday 10/13, Run #65: Bay Ridge
Distance: 8.73 miles
click on image for interactive map
Unique Miles Today: 7.09
Total Unique Miles: 515.95
Percent of Brooklyn Run: 29.61
Route: I began this morning at 82nd Street and 3rd Avenue. I then went east to 4th Ave, north to 81st, west to Narrows, south to 82nd, west to Harbor View Terrace, north up to Colonial Court (including the little dead-end Harbor Lane), then west on Colonial (which bends around a little), then doubling back to 80th, then east to Narrows Ave, south just a bit to 80th (they don't match up there), east on 80th to 4th Avenue, north to 79th, west to Shore Road, north to 77th, east to Narrows, south to 78th, east to 4th Ave, north to 77th, west to Narrows Ave, north to 76th, east back to 4th Ave, north to Bay Ridge Parkway, west to Shore Road, north to 74th, east back to 4th Ave, north to 73rd, west to Narrows Ave, north to 72nd, west to Shore Road (inlcuding the dead-end 72nd Court), north to 71st, east to Colonial Ave,south to 72nd, west to Narrows Ave but doubling back and continuing east to 6th Ave, then south to 73rd and west back to 5th Ave.
Notes: Today's run was designed to be a relatively "easy" one, with a straightforward back-and-forth route in a neighbohood that I've found very conducive to running. The temperature this morning was the lowest since I started this thing back in late June (it was only 42 when I got up, and 44 when I hit the road), and while this might be a bit chilly for runners who prefer the warmer weather, I find the 40s to be pretty much the optimal temperature for me (as long as it's not too windy, of course). I headed back to Bay Ridge, which has been one of my favorite neighborhoods for running, and it didn't let me down -- if anything, the tree-lined streets of tidy townhouses and apartment buildings and small businesses were as pleasant as ever, with the hills down toward the water providing some additional variation and a little extra challenge at times.
One of the more interesting things I encountered today was a shrine (for lack of a better word) on 79th Street dedicated to the island of Crete (opera-related coincidence: I just saw Mozart's Idomeneo -- the title character was one of ancient Crete's kings -- a little over a week ago). A little googling reveals that the owner of the adjacent house, George Korstolakas, has spent his retirement years building a detailed diorama of his homeland inside the structure, and decorated the exterior with postcards, photos, maps, and other images. I couldn't really see inside the diorama, but the structure was impressive from the outside, though I do have to confess to at least momentary disappointment at the lack of a big concrete Minotaur (given how much roadside "wildlife" I've encountered lately, from elephants to gorillas to squids, I was almost expecting something like that). It was still really cool, so if you want to see more, including photos of the inside, check out this story from the Channel 7 News website. And speaking of shrines and other such things, in a courtyard at Our Lady of Angels church on 4th Avenue there was a Semptember 11 memorial which included a large, twisted piece of rusting I-beam (from one of the WTC buildings?) along with flowers and tributes and notes. Rounding things out, I also got to climb the two sets of stairs I saw in August (when I was running the nearby perpendicular avenues). While on the subject of urban stairs, I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention the terrific blog Walking Berkeley, in which an intrepid pedestrian (and fine writer) explores her own stair-laced city. Altogether, another great run in Bay Ridge.
The continued pain in my feet and heels has me worried, however, and I'm taking tomorrow off. But I'm still tentatively planning to run again on Sunday (this weather's too good to pass up), though if the pain continues I'm seriously considering taking a longer hiatus to see if it would help at all. We'll see, I guess. And go Mets! Anyway, pictures:
The outside of George Korstolakas' Crete tribute
Stairway connecting the upper and lower portions of 76th Street
Side of Our Lady of Angels Church on 4th Avenue