running

Walking Entire Manhattan

Last week I came up with the idea of walking entire Manhattan, and it incubated for some time and I decided to try it on Saturday. I checked internet and I found that the idea wasn’t my brainchild but I had to do it anyway. I started quite late on Saturday morning from my Yorkville, upper east side apartment. I had to take 1 train that goes to 215th street that is the last stop in Manhattan. I started at 10:45 am and took M79 cross town bus to take the train all the way up. There were couple of snags in the service due to weekend services on the tracks. After stopping for a while on 137th street, I finally reached 215th street at 12:00 noon. I decided to take a sneak peek into cloisters as well on my way downtown.

Screenshot_20160611-174856

I took couple of notes while walking and here they are:

12:00 noon – reached 215th street, looks quite green area on broadway. Isham park on my right. The neighborhood is called Inwood and isn’t gentrified as people think it to be.

12:25 PM – Into the cloisters. Interesting artifacts, mostly from Germany. I think one of the oldest relics in USA can be found here. Check out the plants and the cafe. Green region, people were on reading and sleeping on nicely cut grass. One can see George Washington bridge on Hudson from here.

1:00 PM – Out of cloisters and on broadway again.

1:27 PM 174th street and passed the united palace. Read the wonderful sign “Come on in or smile as you pass”

IMG_20160611_132627

1:39 PM 164th street. I want to maintain 1 minute per block from now onwards. The signs are predominantly in Spanish. I think it is Spanish Harlem.

1:54 PM 148th street, it feels as if I am in New Delhi of 1990. People selling home based products on roads, group of men on roads chatting and laughing, small hand operated swings for children and they cost only $0.50.

2:14 PM 125th street, end of Harlem, Columbia Univ. begins. I stopped at a local place for a quick bite and some water.

3:03 PM 109th street, a gothic castle on my right. Massive and beautiful – Cathedral of St. John the divine

3:22 PM 81st street, I am thinking that I can anytime hop on the crosstown bus and go to east side and have an easier, less testing weekend but I moved on.

3:37 PM 73rd street – The area isn’t new to me, I have passed these streets many times. Same upper west side, columbus circle. Bustling with tourists. A mother and a father taking  a clever photograph at Columbus circle by holding the placards saying “Dear Casey, You mean the” then globe of columbus circle comes in picture and then “to us, Love Mom and Dad” 🙂

3:51 PM 61st street – Signs of leg pain; shall I stop. No, let’s see till where I can go. I have put on my earphones to distract myself.

4:29 PM 32nd street and I am off broadway, I avoid times square area like everyone does. The sun is shining right in my eyes and at times it became unbearable. I need AC. Manhattan needs trees.

4:55 PM Washington sq. park. I see a lot of Indians and many people in Indian attires. Someone tried to hand a book to me but I refused politely. It was Hare Krishna people doing their thing. I felt irritated to make my way through the milling crowd.

5:05 PM Entered SoHo. Ah! shadow of buildings. I have moved further away from Broadway.

5:22 PM – In Tribeca, upscale bars all around me. I can see One world trade center. I am near. Leg is quite stiff.

5:45 PM – I texted a friend that what is the probability that of all these people at battery park today there are more than one who have walked entire Manhattan? She called me.

IMG_20160611_174346

Lady Liberty in the view

Advertisements

Marathon

It’s already been three months since I ran the NY marathon but still feel the pain around glutus medius if I walk a lot. These three months have put on some mass on my body that I want to shed as soon as possible. It’s not conspicuous to other people but to me; So, waiting for the time when I can resume running.

Untitled

It is interesting to know that Marathon is a town in Greece that was 26.2 miles(ancient route) away from Athens. It’s the place where the battle of Marathon was fought in 490 BC in which the heavily outnumbered Athenian army defeated the Persians. The job of sending the news to Athens was given to Pheidippides who ran all the way from Marathon to Athens without stopping. He reached Athens, delivered the news, collapsed and died.

Phidippides

Winterstorm Jonas

So, yesterday NYC and most of the east coast was battered and blasted by the winterstorm named Jonas. The weather channel which is famous for making mountain out of molehill had been posting videos about it a week in advance. I sometimes think why they try to sensationalize everything. The storm was about to last for a day and a half only not for weeks. Why do people need to prepare for the emergency kits and supplies for such a short time? Its beyond my understanding. Most of the businesses were closed down which is understandable as there was a travel advisory by the NYPD and federal agencies. You could get arrested if you are seen driving on roads post 2:30 PM. Well, I did see one or two cars breaking this rule but people are people.

Talking of snow and the blizzard. Yes, the snow was more than expected. Earlier 8 to 12 inches was the forecast which changed to 20 inch and then to 28 inches. It was fun to watch kids playing on the streets. Almost everyone was having a snowball fight and kids were sledding on the slopes. Too many snowmen were being built and it was a great sight. I did go out as usual, as the bad weather and blizzards are my cup of tea. It wasn’t that bad as the once I faced few years ago in Chicago when I wasn’t even able to open my eyes and keep my face up as the snow was hitting everything like small needles.

I went out for a short visit to Carl Shurz park near east river to see how bad the scene is at around 10:30 and got few shots of the persistent and ardent snowstorm.

IMG_20160123_104413

Carl Shurz- entrance on 84th street

IMG_20160123_104545

The benches

I came home as I was quite tired from that short walk and went out again to the west during evening. The central park didn’t look like central park. It was a snow-appocalypse there. As I am appreciate intense weather conditions deeply, I was astounded by the snow battering. People were looking at me as I removed my cap to feel the snow. My beard already was frozen as the snow had turned to ice. Sharing few shots from the CP

 

IMG_20160123_163948

A place that was once known as the great lawn

IMG_20160123_170031

A lovely shot

 

The above shot which I captioned lovely wasn’t that lovely when I actually lost my way around central park – Thanks to poor visibility. Instead of coming out of the east side I came out of west 84th street and I was horrified. Thanks to google maps and my nexus 6p that I feared might shut down as it already had absorbed so much moisture, that I reached home safely.

IMG_20160123_172936

The lovely east side of the park

The storm has left the city paralyzed and the cleaning process is arduous but it is what it is.

 

The Easy life

Given the right ingredients, spaghetti pasta would be my go to food. I don’t like precooked or canned food because of the preservatives and cooking your own food gives me a sense of satisfaction and self sufficiency(there is a psychological aspect of this but let’s not get into tit right now). Its nice to see the final product(if everything comes out to be fine) created from the mere ingredients. Many of my friends eat and cook pasta as its easy to cook but they use grocery store tomato purees which I don’t like. Creating your own gravy/sauce is easy and so is creating your own homemade pasta.

  1.  I use the usual rice noodles that I get from whole foods or any other grocery store.IMG_20160118_141834.jpg
  2.  Boil them in water, I add some oil and salt to make the boiling process smooth. Boil them enough so they are not raw and not that much so it turns out to be a mesh.IMG_20160118_141842.jpg
  3. Chop onions , garlic and some ginger. I use a manual cutter for the same which is very handy.IMG_20160118_141903.jpgIMG_20160118_141916.jpg
  4. Same is done for tomatoes. I use 2-3 tomatoes for the same and I have used the same cutter as above for getting this paste.IMG_20160118_141849.jpg
  5. Heat some oil in skillet.IMG_20160118_142153.jpg
  6. Fry the ginger once the oil is hot.IMG_20160118_142240.jpg
  7. Add onions and garlic and fry them until they are golden brown and have less moisture.IMG_20160118_142410.jpg
  8. Add spices you want to add. I have added red pepper, chilli flakes, dry basil leaves, black pepper and oregano.IMG_20160118_142656.jpg
  9. Let the spices cook for a while (approx 2-3 min, don’t let them burn)
  10. Add the spaghetti.IMG_20160118_142850.jpg
  11. Mix everything carefully. Mixing is important and should be done carefully as the spaghetti would be soft and can turn into gooey mesh. Turn things over from the bottom of skillet slowly and steadily.IMG_20160118_143112.jpg

 

And your lunch is ready in less than 20 minute. No preservatives at all except the one in the noodle that I got from whole foods.

 

Best running songs

I am stuck in a time warp for many things in my life; I want them to be the way they are- no alterations ! But one aspect which is always evolving is music. I scour the internet, shazam , watch documentaries for the music and keep adding to my collection. I hope that might be the case with most of the people.

I need to focus while running and need a little adrenaline rush too. These needs are catered differently for different people. For me I have a playlist to which I keep adding and subtracting the tracks and here are few (not necessarily in the order of preference)

Baba O’ Riley  by The Who

Don’t stop believin’ by Journey

Beautiful day by U2

Eye of the tiger by Survivor

Lose yourself by Eminem

All these things that I’ve done by The killers    ** I ran my last half mile in the marathon while listening to this song.

Nature Morte by Andrea Lindsay ** Sweet French song

Home by Gab Velazquez

Just one last time by David Guetta

Ello by Waybeyond

Turn by Travis

99 Luftballons by Nena ** German hitfrom 90s

Auf Uns ** German

I am gonna be 500 miles by The proclaimers

An Irish party in third class from Titanic movie

I bet my life (Alex Adair remix) by Imagine Dragons

Bricks or coconuts by Jacuzzi boys

It’s time by Imagine dragons

Flint hill special by Earl Scruggs

Cacada by Chico Buarque ** Brazilian classic that I heard in a cafe ; I liked the music and good for slow running

This modern love by bloc party

Levels by Avicci

Let me take a selfie by The chainsmokers ** Admit that the music is pumping

Burn – Tiesto Club life remix by Ellie Goulding

Tubthumping -Radio edit by Chumbabawa

When we were young  by Dillon Francis

Good life remix by One republic

Eventually the desired result is a great run because we are born to run (a nice read if you want more on running )

Enjoy !