Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Windy Triboro Run

If the harder the wind blows, the more it sucks, then today it sucked pretty hard. This morning when I woke up I could hear  the windows rattling. Because there was a race today, the Dashing Whippets folks didn't have a gropu run scheduled--that meant any run would be a solo effort. I spent a good couple hours wasting time on the interwebs trying to find the courage (or stupidity) to get out there. Finally, I managed to get my but out the door.

Since the winds were out of the west, I figured I would head east as much as possible. That meant I could either run in the Bronx or Queens (run east in Manhattan and you get wet pretty quickly). I don't like to play favorites, so I chose both. I headed north into the Bronx over the Madison Avenue Bridge and made my way to the Bronx span of the Triboro.

Those who have been reading my blog for any length of time (or those who know me in real life) know that I have a thing for bridges. Well, I think the Queens' span of the Triboro (the East River suspension bridge span) is pretty hard to beat: it offers an amazing view of Upper Manhattan all the way to Midtown; it offers a great view of the Hellgate Bridge (one of my favorite bridges to look at); and the bridge's Modernist style is just plain beautiful.

One of my favorite anamolies is the outdated sign at the Queens' end of the bridge. It shows Wards' Island and Randall's Island still partially separated by Little Hell Gate (today the two are fully connected by landfill and most people just think the whole thing is Randall's Island).

Now firmly planted on Long Island soil, I headed to Astoria Park. In spite of the weather there were plenty of other runners in the park. Looking at the giant pool--the oldest and largest in the city--made we wish for summer!

The Hell Gate Bridge
After running under the Hell Gate Bridge, I headed east along 20th Ave heading towards LaGuardia. This takes you past a giant ConEd plant as well as the Steinway & Sons Factory where they still make pianos (one of these days I'll take the tour). I took a little detour so I could pass the entrance to Rikers--not a place I ever want to end up, but I've watched too much Law & Order not to be curious.

This is where my photos stop. My hands were getting cold and taking my iPhone out was adding too much time to the run. Long story short, I toook a circuitous route past Citi Field, through Flushing, College Point, Whitestone and other parts of Queens I've never even heard of (Malba, anyone?).

After stopping for a bagel I caught the LIRR at Murray Hill and headed back into the city. Here's a quick plug for something I just discovered: City Ticket. On weekends you can ride MetroNorth or the LIRR for $3.75 anywhere within the city! If that's not a good excuse for some urban exploring, I don't know what is.

Today's rambling runs was a lot of fun but boy did it take a lot out of me! I think I'm ready for a nap.

See my route after the jump.

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