There’s a little thing New York likes to call Summer Streets. Every year for the first three Saturdays in August, Park Avenue is blocked off from 72nd street all the way to the Brooklyn bridge – simply for pedestrian. It’s backed by practically every NYC organization and lasts only from 7am-1pm. Apparently in 2014 there were over 300,000 people that came out to experience it and of course the earlier you head out, the less crowded it will be!
#iphone6 (photo creds to Marnie)
While it’s common to see runners and bladers all throughout Manhattan, it’s unique to see them taking on the entirety of Park Avenue. There are vendors and rentals and people galore! I was able to entice one of my friends to come in early from Brooklyn and travel down the route with me. I had 8-9 miles on the books (half marathon training), so I figured we would start all the way at the top and work our way downtown.
^^ Necessary photo opp. Because when else will you be right in front of Grand Central without hoards of taxis zooming by?
^^ Hi my name is Kaitlin and I like free things and silly pictures 🙂
As we made our way towards the Brooklyn Bridge, I ran into at least three of my November Project friends AND we stumbled upon the Vita Coco “beach” in Foley Square. There were chairs and a water slide and of course free samples galore. Marnie and I went for the lemonade flavor as it’s 1) my favorite and 2) lemonade is always something I crave during long runs. I think this stems back to high school when we would run in the summer and would usually finish with ice-cold Simply Lemonade. Vita Coco seems to have a little more recovery power and better nutrition buuuut I don’t discriminate too much against lemonades.
Since down to the bridge was only around 5 miles, we decided to continue onto the Brooklyn Bridge, dash around hoards of runners and tourists and even spot a proposal (and help take post-proposal pictures!!) Also, me clutching my phone on a bridge telling myself “don’t drop the phone, don’t drop the phone”
Of course running just over the Brooklyn Bridge still didn’t have us at the right mileage so into Brooklyn and back over the Manhattan bridge we went. Total mileage for the day ended up around 8.8 (with a short jaunt to Juice Press for the weekly JP Run Club) and an average of 8:30 pace. Not bad considering we had a bit of stop and go, allowing some cars to cross over Park (I guess they can’t block off all of Park Avenue, chaos might ensue) and other shenanigans.
It’s days like this that make me so happy to live in the city – it may not be picturesque like the mountains or west coast beaches, but it’s quite a sight to see hundreds of people going up and down the streets of Manhattan.
Later in the afternoon, I regrouped with Marnie and our other friends Naomi and Hillary to spend the afternoon at Rockaways Beach. While it did take us almost 2.5 hours to get there and 2 hours to get home (not ideal), sitting by the water with a nice breeze totally made the trip worth it.
“Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience.” – Victoria Holt