Brooklyn Water Tour

I switched my long run from Sunday to today since I am leaving for a ski trip tomorrow morning and won’t have a chance to run long. I think this is just as well as today was beautiful and the forecast for tomorrow is not as good. I decided to run along the Brooklyn water front, which is a run that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

I headed out from my house near Prospect Park and headed into Sunset Park. I ran along 2nd Avenue, which is still paved with Cobblestones and has trolly/train tracks running through it. I am fascinated by this area. I can imagine it 50 years ago and around the time of WWII. I could just feel all the activity happening in all these waterfront warehouses and all the train activity. This area used to be so vibrant with commerce and you can feel the ghosts of the past with every step through the neighborhood. Here is a picture of me looking into an alleyway of a warehouse that used to accept freight cars for the loading and unloading of cargo. There are many buildings like this along the way.

From Sunset Park, I continued up 2nd Avenue and ran into Bay Ridge. I went past Owls Head Park and ran onto the 69th Street Pier. The pier offers fantastic views of downtown Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. For me this view will be forever scarred. I can’t get used to seeing it without the Twin Towers. But life moves on and so did I. From there it was along the bike/running path that runs right along the water and underneath the Verrazano Bridge. I stopped at the bridge to admire the view and take a couple of pictures. The biggest shame about the VZ is that they built it without a pedestrian lane. Running over that bridge is great and something I only get to do when I am in the NYC Marathon.

Once past the VZ Bridge you can see the landmarks of Coney Island coming into view. My route was also taking me past the neighborhood where I grew up. I was able to see the building where I grew up across of the Belt Parkway. Many years ago the area I was running past was an illegal dump. I’ll never forget exploring in this dump one day when I came across a pair of sawed off horse legs surrounded by a bunch of losing Off Track Betting tickets. The apparent meaning was very clear to me, but that was almost 30 years ago and there was no sign of that now. I just kept going and made my way into Coney Island.

My first stop into Coney Island was on the bridge that crosses the Coney Island Creek. Years ago this bridge was a drawbridge and unfortunately, I never got to see it being used in my lifetime. When I was a kid you could still see fish swimming in the water, but I don’t think anything has lives in it for 3 decades.

From there is was into the heart of Coney Island and onto the boardwalk. I ran out over the pier and took a picture of the soon to be obliterated Astroland Amusement Park. I also got a picture of me underneath Brooklyn’s Eiffel Tower, the famous Coney Island Parachute Jump. I never got to ride on this, but I understand my parents did before I was born. I then ran the rest of the boardwalk into Brighton Beach and then took to the roads to run into Manhattan Beach. It had been years since I was in Manhattan Beach, having not gone there since and old friend moved out in his own. I ran to the end of Manhattan Beach, which is essentially the end of Coney Island and then headed back towards Sheepshead Bay. I ran over the small footbridge that crosses from Manhattan Beach into Sheepshead Bay, took a left and made my way back towards Ocean Parkway.

On my way to Ocean Parkway, I encountered what I believe to be the largest NYC rat I’ve ever seen. Fortunately it was quite dead, having been struck down by a car. At least I think this thing is a rat. You can judge for yourself with this picture.

Once I got back to ocean parkway I had run about 15 miles. I knew the trip back to Prospect Park would be another 5, plus one additional loop of the park would get me to my goal of 24 miles. It was getting late in the day, so I just put my camera away and ran a nice tempo pace all the way back to the park. I covered an uneventful lap in Prospect Park and exited it just as my wife was calling to inquire as to my whereabouts. Fortunately, I was able to tell her I was just a block away and would be home within a minute or two.

It was a very successful run and capped off a 7 day period that saw me running over 61 miles.

Here are some other pics from the day:

Running from Manhattan Beach into Sheepshead Bay

Shoot the Freak on the Coney Island Boardwalk

3 comments

1 Devyl Gyrl { 02.21.08 at 10:14 pm }

Great pics – it really was a beautiful day! One good thing about the cold – blues always look bluer, and greens look greener. The sharpness of colors is mighty intense. I still prefer my FL sun though :)

2 scarinzic { 02.22.08 at 7:00 am }

nice post, beast. Sounds like a great tour of the city! Oh, and I think that thing is a possum. Not sure though.

3 Chicka { 02.26.08 at 11:10 am }

Yep. That’s a possum.