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…

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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: East River from Downtown to the Upper East Side (Bridges Run)

Here is another in a series of after work runs for downtown to uptown commuters (or vice versa). This route is great because it is scenic, runner-friendly, and has a minimum of major intersections to break your momentum. For out-of-towners, the lower part of the route is definitely worth the hour to 90 minutes of your limited vacation time.

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Click on map to enlarge.

Route Description:

(Run 4/15/15) This route starts at the World Trade PATH station and heads east to the South Street Seaport via Vesey/Broadway/Fulton. Once at the South Street Seaport head north (left) along the East River promenade.  Follow the promenade north until 34th St and head west to 1st Ave and turn right (north). Turn right at 60th St. and head to the end and re-enter the East River promenade to continue north until Carl Shurtz Park.  Head west out of the park on 87th St. and proceed west to 86th and Lexington to take the 4/5/6 train downtown to get back to where you started.

Mileage:

8.2 miles.

Elevation: 

Only three real hills to work. The first is the segment along 1st Ave from 34th St to 59th St (about 100 feet over about a mile), the second is short, but sweet as you enter the promenade at 60th St (about 40 feet over 100 yards), and finally near the end from Carl Shurtz Park to 87th St. and Lexington Ave (about 50 feet over a 1/4 mile).

Hill Ratio:

3 hills for a ratio of 0.36.

CPMR: 

0. This is a pretty healthy stretch of land. Somewhat surprising.

Safe after dark?

On a nice day, the majority of this running path is full of people until at least 10pm.

Crowd Scene?

Lots of people on a nice day, but you can still get a great run in due to the wide promenades. Watch for the dog walkers around 60th St though. Lots of leashes to avoid.

Running Surface:

Sidewalk and cinder block.

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:

Starting at the World Trade Center PATH station, you’ll see the Freedom Tower, South Street Seaport, the underside of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, the UN, the Queensboro Bridge, views across the river of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, and the Triboro Bridge (that hits all the major bridges on the East River!).

Good for Groups:

Great for group runs. A few narrow points due to construction but overall great for groups.

Safe from Cars:

Safe from cars for the most part except the beginning before you get to the South Street Seaport and at the end in the Upper East Side.

Prospects for a Break-Free Run: 

Not bad! Maybe 6 intersections where you may need to stop (Broadway/Fulton, Water/Fulton, 34th St/East River Promenade, 60th/East End, York/87th St, 1st Ave/87th St, and 2nd Ave/87th St.

Friends Run Into During Run:

0 😦

© 2015 Danilo Torres. All rights reserved.