This morning I woke up, took one look at the sun shining through my window and thought, 'Hell, I want aaaallllll of that, every last bit'. Because, you know what? The sun doesn't shine often enough in November for you to sleep through it. I decided to run.
I've been meaning to go for a run since I arrived in the city, mainly because I like fresh air and I like to explore, and walking is too slow. My excuses for having only run once during my time here (and that was the taxi's fault) are that I've either been shooting, travelling or a bit intimidated about running around a place I don't know. What if I get lost. What if I trip. What if people just don't run that much here and assume I'm being chased. No but seriously, I didn’t want to end up running through places where all people want to do is walk leisurely and window-shop.
I wanted to look up a route before setting off, so I tried to Google some but got bored and confused reading about road names I didn't know. I’d been told the bridges were a good place to run, so decided the only way to proceed swiftly without putting it off any longer was to find a bridge and start running. I chose the Williamsburg as it’s near to my apartment. I had no idea where I was going and expected to spend about half an hour trying to find pedestrian access, so when it only took me 8, I was already feeling good about myself.
I read on Google for the brief moments I'd spent there that the incline is intense and that the level of the Williamsburg Bridge in terms of difficulty is ‘ difficult’. Don’t listen to them, listen to me. I am not an experienced runner - I don’t even know if I run correctly - but other than a gentle incline, the route was pretty much flat, and I didn’t want to jump off the bridge half way through if that's any encouragement. Don’t let anyone on a running forum put you off. For anyone visiting NY, I'd recommend the following route if you want to see some nice views, if you like parks and bodies of water and if you don't want anything too time consuming or intense.
I used the Nike running app to keep track of my time and distance, and ended up running over 5 miles, totally distracted by the sun, cars, subways, rivers, tennis players and a couple taking fitness photographs of each other half naked. I ran from the beginning of the bridge on the Williamsburg Side on S 5th St, over the bridge into the Lower East Side, under the bridge along Delancy towards the river, across another little bridge over the highway and into East River Park, heading left. You could run the opposite way toward the Manhattan Bridge or the Brooklyn Bridge back into Brooklyn, but I had stuff to do and things to get back for so I took a quick jog through the park along the river, and headed back over the Williamsburg Bridge to get home.
S O N G S T O R U N A C R O S S A B R I D G E T O
Beirut - East Harlem - for the beginning
Beirut - Gulag Orchetrar - for the struggle
The Talking Heads - This Must Be The Place - for the peak
Paul Simon - Obvious Child - to keep you peaking
Zero 7 - In The Waiting Line - for the home straight