18 October 2006

Neither Thief nor Victim (nor Leprechaun)

Wednesday October 18, Run #68: Bensonhurst, Gravesend

Distance: 9.35 miles
Time: 1:10
Pace: 7:29
Temp: 64
Dewpoint: 62
Weather: cloudy & muggy

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 7.23
Total Unique Miles: 540.08
Percent of Brooklyn Run: 31.00

Route: I began at 14th Avenue and 65th Street, then went east to 15th Avenue, south to 67th, west to 13th Avenue, south to Bay Ridge Avenue, east to 16th Avenue, south to 70th, west to 14th Avenue, south to 71st, east to 15th Avenue, south to 72nd, west to 14th Avenue, south to 73rd, east to 15th Avenue, north back to 71st, east to 16th Avenue, south to 72nd then doubling back and continuing north to 65th, west to 15th Avenue, north to 64th, east to 16th Avenue, south back to 65th, east to 18th Avenue, north to 64th, east to 19th Avenue, south back to 65th, west to 18th Avenue, south to 68th, east to Bay Parkway, north just a bit to W. 8th, south to Avenue P, west to W. 9th, north back to Bay Parkway, down a little to Bay Ridge Avenue, west to 16th Avenue, south to 70th, east back to Bay Parkway, and then across onto W. 10th, south to Avenue P, east to W. 3rd, north to Avenue O, east to W. 2nd, south to Kings Highway, east to W. 1st, north to 65th, east to McDonald Avenue, and south to Avenue S (with a short out and back on Woodside).

Notes: I finished up not one but two neighborhoods today -- all the streets in both Gravesend and Bensonhurst are now all filled in with orange highlighter on the "big map." And this is particularly gratifying since these are sizeable neighborhoods, geographically speaking. (I realize neighborhood boundaries are often imprecise or even disputed, but because I need to draw them somewhere, for my purposes Bensonhurst is bounded by 14th Avenue, 86th Street, Stillwell Avenue, Avenue P, and 65th Street, while the borders of Gravesend are Avenue P, Ocean Parkway, Bay Parkway, and the Belt Parkway to the south.) While it's satisfying to cross these neighborhoods off the list (and have some visual "proof" of my progress), I leave them behind with a sense of sadness, oddly enough, since I truly enjoyed getting to know their streets and buildings and people. I suppose I shouldn't get too sentimental, though -- I still have over 1000 miles to go by anyone's reckoning, with plenty of other neighborhoods to explore.

As for the run itself, it was pretty average. But this is as good a place as any to mention that one perpetually amusing aspect of all this running is the assortment of strange looks I get from folks when I'm making my way up the sidewalk. As I've noted before, one of the most common questions I get from acquaintances and readers is about my safety, and whether I'm concerned enough about street crime. So far, of course, this hasn't been a problem, and I might speculate that may be at least partially due to the fact that people are usually too busy making faces which seem to register somewhere between surprise and vexation, as if I was, say, a leprechaun or something. It doesn't bother me, but it really is true. A possible explanation is found in the following quote by famed Chicagoan and columnist Mike Royko, which I found on the running blog Ready, Set, Gu:

"It's unnatural for people to run around the city streets unless they are thieves or victims. It makes people nervous to see someone running. I know that when I see someone running on my street, my instincts tell me to let the dog go after him."

So there you have it.

And I'd be a very bad brother, indeed, if I didn't at least mention that my little sister turns 34 today. Happy birthday, Grel -- hope it's a great one!

As always, I took some pictures this morning:

Now I know where to go if I get a sudden hankering for spinach (18th Ave)

70th Street

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on 15th Avenue

Bank at the corner of 65th Street and 18th Avenue

McDonald Avenue, near Kings Highway


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