04 January 2007

Looking to the East

Thursday 1/4, Run #104: Canarsie, Flatlands, East Flatbush

Distance: 9.30 miles
Time: 1:10
Pace: 7:32
Temp: 44
Wind Chill: 38
Weather: mostly sunny

click on image for interactive map

Unique Miles Today: 7.05
Total Unique Miles: 807.95
Percent of Brooklyn Run: 46.37

For the complete route, click here

Notes: Nothing against the nice people of Sunset Park or Midwood or Borough Park, but I've been concentrating on the eastern and east-central parts of the borough lately. I don't know if it counts as an actual strategy, but instead of bouncing around from neighborhood to neighborhood (based largely on my own whims) I've decided to focus my energies on a smaller region. This has the advantage of being somewhat more motivational, in that I'm able to see more immediate results on the "big map" since the streets I'm filling in are confined to a relatively small space and thus seem more impressive than they might otherwise be. Whatever the specifics, I'm going to try and spend a good amount of time in East New York, Cypress Hills, East Flatbush, and maybe Brownsville over the next weeks. I feel like I've been making some progress out that way, and I want to maintain the momentum. An object in motion, and all that.

But oh, those non-unique miles are vexing me. About a quarter of my route today was repeats, mostly because the area I covered was a long way from the nearest subways (the last stop on the L is over a mile away to the east; the Brooklyn College stop on the 2 train is about a mile to the west) and the only way in and out was over a number of streets I'd already ran. Still, I probably shouldn't complain too much, since it was sunny and fifty-something degrees out by the time I got back home. Not bad for January, but if things keep up like this I'm really dreading June and July...

As for the run, it had a bit of everything: various shops and laundromats and groceries and other businesses along Flatlands Avenue, a more industrial area around the railroad tracks near Foster and Glenwood Avenues, plenty of residential streets (with tidy brick rowhouses), and a sizeable public housing project (the Glenwood Houses) in the middle of things. Just your average jaunt through Brooklyn. BTW, the word "skelly" in the second picture from the bottom refers to the local street game by that name (or skully or skelsie, depending on who you ask). I grew up in Jersey, so I'm certainly no expert -- everything I know about it probably came from reading Jonathan Lethem -- but here's the obligatory wikipedia link for the curious.

Today's pictures:

wall, flatlands
E. 56th Street

bicentennial hydrant, east flatbush
A relic from the Bicentennial on Albany Avenue

flags, east flatbush
Restaurant, also on Albany Avenue

skelly, flatlands
In a schoolyard off E. 54th Street

school, flatlands
E. 56th Street


At 5:22 PM, Anonymous jen said...

Interesting, I had never seen what skelly looked liked -- thanks for taking that photo.

It will be interesting to read Lethem's upcoming novel -- though looks like it is set in LA, so probably no new Brooklyn tidbits.


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