Saturday, August 7, 2010

Summer Streets

In case it’s not blatantly evident, I have a small, schoolgirl-type crush on Central Park. I love running there. After all, I choose my un-air-conditioned, six-floor walk-up apartment simply because of it’s proximity to the park. Even so, I still need a change of scenery once in a while.

That’s why I’m so happy that NYC Summer Streets are here again. For the next three Saturdays one street in Manhattan is shut-down to cars spanning a 6.9 mile stretch of avenues ending at the Brooklyn Bridge. I’m going to take advantage of this to squeeze in a 15 mile run – my furthest run ever.

If you are not in the mood to pound the pavement, I still recommend checking out the event because there will be free rollerblade and bike rentals, dumpster pools (yep, exactly what it sounds like), dance classes, yoga classes, double dutch, and free water stations along the route. You can even go shopping along the way - picking up everything from designer duds in Soho to organic vegetables in Union Square.

If dumpster pools are not enticing enough, the summer streets will offer a tour of NY neighborhoods and sights. It starts on the Upper East Side and snakes through Midtown East, Murray Hill, Union Square, Soho, China Town and the Financial District. It’s the perfect excuse to play tourist in the city. I did it last year, and the best part was that the route goes around Grand Central in that elevated round-a-bout. Runner-up was the Brooklyn Bridge's stunning views, but the downside is that it’s pretty much one mile long hill.

So if you aren't fleeing the city for cooler, greener seaside destinations, come check out Summer Streets with me. Or at least stop by for a dip in the dumpster.

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