Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A River Runs Through It

In the interest of easing myself into what will be a 15 mile a day, 6 day a week walking habit come the end of August, I have decided that each week I will bump up my training distance by two miles. Last week I walked for 5.5 miles down the West Side of NYC and into the Village. This week I pointed north and decided to walk across the Harlem River and into the Bronx. The first thing I noticed is that it is a whole new world on the other side of the river. There is trash everywhere along the streets of the Bronx. I know that most people would say that Manhattan streets are trash-strewn, but they are the yellow brick road compared to what you see walking up the Grand Concourse to Fordham Road.

The Bronx doesn't have much from an aesthetic standpoint to recommend it. Yankee Stadium stands out like a cathedral to capitalism surrounded by aging architecture that at hints more at squalor than success. The part of the Bronx I walked through seemed to be largely - almost overwhelmingly - Latino. I wonder if that was the case 10 or 15 years ago. When I finally got back on the subway at the bottom of the Bronx Zoo and then disembarked back in Harlem, the difference was startling. Being back in Manhattan I experienced at a very visceral level that in NYC the Haves and the Have Nots live side by side in many cases without too much awareness of each other. We live in a vivacious, multi-ethnic city and three rivers run through it. Today I witnessed the difference on other other side of one of those rivers. In coming weekends, I'll take a peek at Queens and Brooklyn, on the other side of the East River. But for now, below is the route of my Sunday walk.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Bronx Walk

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