Manhattan: Downtown to the Upper East Side via Lafayette/Park Ave

Today’s post is sponsored by the letters “E” and “Z”. That is, today’s route prevents you from running any faster than an E-Z run pace. This is the most scenic north-south route in Manhattan in my opinion. Sure views of the river are great, but I think you see all kinds of Manhattan on this run. Including the people. Oh, the people. Originally, I wanted to run this route because I was feeling kinda tired and I knew there would be some traffic and ample opportunities for rest stops, but as they say, be careful what you wish for…

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 10.30.07 PM

Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 4/17/15) This route starts again at the World Trade PATH station and heads east to City Hall, then north (left) on Lafayette.

Lafayette heads north and merges into Park Ave around 9th St.

You’ll need to make a hitch around Grand Central Terminal, but you can rejoin Park Ave on 45th St via the pedestrian tunnel.

Continue up Park Ave to 86th for a 6 mile run or you can adjust to a 5 mile run by stopping at around 64th; stop around Grand Central Terminal (not “Station”) for a 4 miler.

The route is almost verbatim the same route used during the annual Summer Streets event held every August. Basically, the city closes down Park Ave/Lafayette to automobile traffic for three Saturday mornings every August so everyone can enjoy walking, running, biking, or skating up and down Park Ave. Street fairs are also added for good measure.

Mileage:

6.1 miles.

Elevation: 

The GPS elevation map indicates that there were 6 significant hills during this run, however, the run felt like one long pull uphill.

Hill Ratio:

6 hills for a ratio of 0.97.

Cigarette Smokers Per Mile Run: 

2.43.

Here’s the New York I know and love. However, this is probably not the healthiest of routes for the runner.

I’ve been thinking of a way to make this a more understandable stat. Think of it this way – if your high school coach asked you to run 6 miles and to inhale secondhand smoke 2.43 times per mile, would you question his training techniques? Right.

Safe after dark?

This route should be safe until late at night. I’d say 11pm to 12am is reasonable for most runners.

Crowd Scene?

Yes. You’ll head through three of the busiest areas in the City.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk for the most part.

Changing Station?

If you need to freshen up for an evening out with friends, you can always stop by JackRabbits on Lexington between 85th and 84th Sts.

Points of Interest:

This is my favorite part of this run. You see a pretty diverse swath of Manhattan via this route.

Starting at the World Trade Center PATH station, you’ll see roughly in this order:

  • The Freedom Tower
  • City Hall (and a quick peek of The Brooklyn Bridge)
  • One Police Plaza (or 1PP for you Law and Order fans)
  • The Federal Courthouse (also for you LAO fans)
  • The chaos that is Chinatown around Canal
  • Joe’s Public (the ones who run Shakespeare in the Park)
  • Union Square (with the 24-hour Best Buy and the digital hourglass clock just above)
  • The iconic insurance building they used in The Adjustment Bureau (around 24th St)
  • The section of Park Ave near Grand Central Terminal where Will Smith’s character in I Am Legend gets attacked by the smart monster
  • Grand Central Terminal itself
  • The Chrysler Building (the top of which is where Will Smith’s character in Men In Black 3 jumps from to travel back in time – I guess I watch a lot of Will Smith movies)
  • A section of Park Ave I am calling “Corporate Bank Headquarters Alley” which banks like Chase, Capital One, Bank of America and more call home (and they host interesting art shows on Park Ave from time to time also)
  • And finally the Upper East Side which, along Park Ave, is sort of like the suburbs for the 1%. Here you’ll see very wealthy people walking very pampered dogs and interacting with the doormen of their buildings.

Good for Groups:

Workable for 2-3 at the most. I had a few near misses as a single runner and moving at a pokey 10:30/mile pace.

Safe from Cars:

Not at all. Don’t fall asleep on this run and for goodness sake, don’t use headphones. Keep all those senses sharp.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Like I said, lots of people and lots of intersections including major cross roads at Canal, Houston, Houston, 14th, 23rd, 34th, 42nd, 57th, 59th, 72nd, and 79th.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

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Manhattan: Downtown Post Office to UES via Broadway/Park Ave/3rd Ave

Feeling tired after yesterday’s interval training, I just wanted to log a few easy miles. However, I also wanted to stay engaged during my run and not zone out.  Running through the streets of Manhattan usually is good for keeping you on your toes and offering new and interesting ways to get decked during your run.

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Route Description:

(Run 4/3/15) I started from Church and Barclay in downtown Manhattan then headed east to Boardway.  Then, I ran north on Broadway to 14th, east to Park Ave, north to 37th, then east to 3rd Ave, and north to 86th.

Mileage:

5.91 miles

Elevation: 

Minimal

Hill Ratio:

10ish hills for a ratio of 1.69.

CPMR: 

2.87 – almost 3 per mile. Not sure what the impact to my health is but probably a minimal difference considering all the other carcinogens floating around Manhattan anyway.

Safe after dark?

Safe to midnight since there are so many people around.

Crowd Scene?

Yes, goodness, yes! Don’t expect to hit a PR on this route.

Running Surface:

Cement and asphalt.

Changing Station?

None.  Maybe at Jack Rabbits on Lex between 84 and 85?

Points of Interest:

Views of the Freedom Tower, City Hall, Chinatown, Union Square, Grand Central, and Bloomingdales can be enjoyed on this run.

Good for Groups:

Not a good run for groups due to the crowds.

Safe from Cars:

Not really. But crossing over 100 intersections keeps you on your toes and engaged during the run.

Friends Run Into During Run:

1 (CO’L!)

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.

Manhattan: Murray Hill to the East River to the UES

Today, I had to get a short 5 miler in on the way home after a meeting in Murray Hill. Home is the Bronx, so I was trying to get into the Upper East Side to catch my Express Bus. So, here is where I went.

150401_UES

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Route Description:

(Run 4/1/15) That’s a start at 34th and Lex over to 1st Ave, north to the Queensboro Bridge where I jump on the East River path up to 96 with a 1 mile scramble around the UES to get to 5 miles. Started around 8pm.

Here are the objective-ish measures –

Mileage:

About 5.4 miles, if you can get your GPS watch to connect at the start of the run.

Elevation:

Minimal

Hill Ratio:

I counted 12 hills for a hill to mile ratio of 2.22

CPMR:

That’s Cigarette-smokers Per Mile Run.  I counted 6 over this 5.4 mile run for a CPMR of 1.11.  Actually kinda noticeable considering many other routes I run in Manhattan are well under 1.

Safe after dark?

Mostly run in Manhattan so safe until about 10pm imho.

Crowd Scene?

Not too much to deal with except for Murray Hill and the UES below 90th.

Running Surface:

Sidewalks in the City and cinderblock on the East River.

Changing Station?

Not really. There is a little park on 87th east of 3rd Ave for a quick shirt change.  Jack Rabbits is also on Lexington between 84th and 85th. You can use their dressing rooms before closing time around 8pm.

Points of Interest:

In Manhattan, it is hard not to run by points of interest but here is a quick list –

The United Nations – The Queensboro Bridge – The East River – Roosevelt Island – Carl Schurz Park

Good for Groups:

Actually, yes once you get out of Murray Hill and onto 1st Ave/East River Path.

Safe from Cars:

Yes, the East River and UES above 88th offer fairly stress-free running.

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.