Friday, January 29, 2016

Great Lawn and the Met #EveryPath

I had planned to knock out the entire section from 86th down to 79th, but after the sun set and the wind picked up, I bailed on the west side. I'll get those paths later.

Running every path in an area takes a lot of retracing steps. If you click on that strava map, you can drag your mouse along my pace on the bottom and see my little dot run around and around in circles. I try to make big circles so it's not as obvious, but I think the kids playing basketball figured I was up to something when I ran straight through mid-court.

The first photo-op I ran into today was the Obelisk. Did you know this thing is legit 3465 years old? I read up on it this evening.

I love the part about how they just spent two years cleaning and preserving it and when they removed years of dirt and pollution they found new hieroglyphs they didn't know about before.

Next stop was the Turtle Pond.

Which, you gotta wonder, where do the turtles go when the pond freezes over?

Turning out to the East, you go through this arch...

...and then out to the Met, where you'll see these three bears.

I took a mildly wrong turn and ended up running down the Bridle Path (remember that's "bridle" as in bridle your horse, not "bridal," unless you're referring to your fiancée as a ball and chain). The Bridle Path has to be the only path in the Park that was never plowed.

It was slippery and wet.

Sunset started up and it was iffy whether or not we'd see any colors tonight.

After a cold 30 minutes of waiting, it didn't disappoint.

It was hard for the camera to capture the scope of it, so I tried my phone's panorama.

The lower dark clouds came rolling in, but the upper clouds were still shining bright.

And in one fleeting attempt at a little more color, the lower dark clouds got a touch of pink.

And then I started to freeze so I ran home.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

I took an afternoon break to run a quick loop around the loch.

The temperature rose to the mid-40's today and the snow is melting fast. I figured if anywhere still had snow, it'd be the North Woods. Hardly anybody goes up there.

On my way in, this scene caught my eye.

It appears that the person driving the plow thought the path was on the other side of the light posts.

As I suspected, the ice on the ponds and lakes was starting to thaw.

I dropped down through the Glen Span Arch which is basically the start of the Loch. Then I ran alongside the Loch to the end.

The Loch is pretty, with bridges, waterfalls, and small streams coming off it and meandering through the woods.

When I got to the Huddlestone Arch, which marks the end of the Loch next to Lasker Rink (remember Lasker from yesterday?), I turned to take a picture of the waterfall and sunset.

But I felt like it was missing something. Some personality. So I built a mini snowman.

It's my first snowman in years. I think he turned out rather well. :)

I backed up and surveyed the scene again.

Much better. :)

I started to run off, but before I could even get around the corner, another photographer came down to capture Mr. Snowman.

Yay! He likes my work. :)

I ran back up along the other side of the Loch back up to the Pool (it's a pond, but it's called the Pool). Still mostly frozen.

Hope you're having a great day! I sure did. Snowmen put you in a good mood. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Harlem Meer in Winter #EveryPath

I felt like the northern part of the Park wasn't getting as much love from me, so I ran up there tonight. I had to work late so I didn't get out until after dark. But it warmed up to the mid-30's so I could take the nice camera.

A lot of the snow has melted already, but most of the paths are still covered with snow - now melting, slippery, wet snow.

Running on it was slow and tough again, and my shoes are soaked, but it was a good run.

The Discovery Center sits on the north side of the Meer. In the summer, kids can borrow fishing gear for free and learn about wildlife through lots of free events. In the winter, I think it's just a visitor center.

You may not know, but there's another rink up here (pool in the summer) called Lasker Rink. Unlike Wollman rink down on the south end, Lasker Rink is mainly used by locals for hockey.

The path around the Meer is always scenic. By the way, did you know Meer is the Dutch word for Lake? Yeah, so Harlem Meer makes a little more sense now, huh? Especially when you remember that New York used to be a Dutch settlement, Nieuw Amsterdam.

By the way, I kept running east out of the Park over to Lexington and up to 125th because I had to buy some groceries at Pathmark, but when I got there it was empty. Not like, shelves cleared because of the Snowpocalypse, but empty like gutted store with no more shelves, sign ripped off the building, closed for business forever. When did that happen?!

#Everypath After the Blizzard

I got a few hours of work done this morning and then ran through the park on my lunch break to see how it was recovering from the blizzard. The clean up was in full effect.

With the exception of the loop (east/west drive), most of the paths were still completely covered in snow. Packed and trodden down, but still snow.

Even popular paths like the Mall.

It made for a VERY slow run. It was like running on the beach. I took a lot of steps, but didn't get much forward movement out of each step. My sneakers didn't get a ton of grip on the snowy surface.

To give you an idea of how much I was slipping, I took 7500 steps and ran 3.1 miles. When I'm running on dry ground, 7500 steps is about 4.5 miles. So I basically ran in place for 1.4 miles.

Giant mounds had been pushed and piled up near the entrances.

I ran up to one of my favorite places, which was pretty slippery and I almost slid off it a few times. The snow is so deep that it probably wouldn't have hurt to fall down the cliff though.

Balto was looking stately as ever, which makes sense because blizzards are kinda his thing.

I ran through the Mall and past Bethesda Terrace on the way to the sledding hills.

There were a TON of people out on Saturday and Sunday sledding on Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill, but this morning it was pretty empty. Makes sense for a Monday morning.

The evidence of a sledding massacre over the weekend was still visible.

This is why you use garbage can lids, storage bin lids, and baking sheets to go sledding. Sleds in New York apparently are one-time-use only. Probably because New Yorkers are pretty dang tough on sleds. Here's a family jumping off the steps down into the Trefoil Arch.

On my way home I passed across the top of the Great Lawn with views of midtown.

This is 15 blocks farther away from midtown than the white-out picture I took Saturday in the middle of the blizzard from the Sheep Meadow. You can see the buildings clearly here. Nothing then.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Blizzard 2016 in New York

We. Love. Snow.

But let's start from the beginning.

So Friday night, about 4 hours pre-blizzard, I ran over to the Sheep Meadow to the location of Winter Jam. It turns out they cancelled it because of the blizzard that was heading our way.

Just a small hill remained from the snow they had already made before they cancelled it. Winter Jam is amazing - snowboarding, skiing, halfpipes, jumps, cross country skiing, sledding, and even quidditch this year. All cancelled. Because of snow. :/

I had to run fast (I got three personal records on this run) because I had dinner plans with Isa. We went to Delmonico's down in the Financial District because it's restaurant week so we can afford it - it was AMAZING. We both had the Filet Mignon. Plus appetizers plus dessert. For under $100. And we sat in the exclusive "Board Room."

We love food. So we loved Delmonicos.

Then we went up to Lincoln Center and watched The Big Short. Interesting and good. We definitely liked it, although we're not completely sure we understood everything. But it was entertaining.

By the time we got out of the movie, it was already snowing. :) I was very excited, so I set my alarm for 7am to go running in Central Park at sunrise before tourists got there and before CP plowed the paths. We finally went to bed around 2am.

I woke up before my alarm. Can you tell how excited I was?

I didn't set my Strava to record because I knew how much not-running I'd be doing. I didn't want the GPS to kill the phone before I got back. Basically I started at the Great Lawn, ran down through the Ramble to the Mall and out past the Sheep Meadow. It was wonderful.

Just look at these completely untouched paths in the Ramble!

Such a winter wonderland!!

At the bottom tip of the Ramble, it opens up to a view across the frozen lake to Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. You almost can't even see that far!

Finding the Mall empty is usually impossible. This shot only took about 10 minutes of waiting.

As I crossed the top of the Sheep Meadow, I looked south toward the Midtown skyline.

You can barely see the trees on the far side of the meadow. The buildings are gone!

I cut across 66th to go check and see if Church needed to be shoveled.

Church was good, so I headed down to Times Square.

Unfortunately, I was here a little too early to see Casey Neistat snowboard through.

We ate a great lunch at Jacob's Pickles, and by the time we were done the City had been effectively shut down. All non-emergency vehicles were ordered to stay off the roads. Subways were still running underground, but no outside or elevated stations. New York slowly came to a peaceful halt, and everyone came outside to play in the snow.

Everywhere we went, people were smiling, laughing, and being friendly. It was the most pleasant atmosphere I've ever experienced in the City. Not only was everyone in a great mood, but they were all relaxed and stress-free. Nobody had anything to do, anywhere to be.

Everyone was loving life.

We took a ton of photos out here - way too many for the blog. I put up an album on Facebook so you can see more.

We finished the day at a friend's apartment with hot chocolate and games. Walking home, Broadway was still closed and serene.

The next morning, the great digging out began.

We headed down to Church. Most of the sidewalks and roads were plowed and dug out, but some places were still buried. Like the seating area for Wafels and Dinges in Lincoln Square.

Such a fun blizzard! We love all this snow!!


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