Monday, January 16, 2012

Circumnavigating Central Park

Walking her dog by TheTurducken
Walking her dog, a photo by TheTurducken on Flickr.
I've signed up to do a circumnavigation of Manhattan with a local hiking meetup in April. That's 32 miles, paved and mostly flat. While I'm in reasonable shape from doing other things, I've really only done two hikes since July, so I need to get back into hiking form.

Also, I figured I better practice circumnavigating things, just to be safe.

So on Sunday I decided to walk around the perimeter of Central Park. That's 6 miles, plus .5 each way to the park.

It's an interesting walk. Of course, you can see the park on one side, starting from the North Woods in my neighborhood, down past the reservoir, around past the zoo, back up to the Meer, and home. On the other side is mostly residences and a few nonprofits. There are very few businesses - nearly all on the north edge, which doesn't have the prestige of the other parkside properties, plus hot dog carts. The rest are expensive condos, museums, the Dwight School, and a few churches.

The advantage of urban "hiking" is that you don't really need a pack. Thirsty? Buy hot chocolate from a vendor. Tired? Use your metrocard to get home. But it's nearly impossible to find a bathroom on that route, especially in the winter. You can't exactly go behind a tree, even though there are plenty of those, unless you want to be arrested for indecent exposure.

Even in my weakened, debilitated state, 7 miles wasn't a challenge, although the 20-something temperatures were. It was too cold for my Five Fingers - not because of the thin soles, but I honestly think because of the toe separation. Only my toes got chilled; I assume it's the same reason gloves aren't as warm as mittens. But I don't own any tennis shoes or hiking boots at the moment.

So, next week, closer to 10 miles.


Night Garden Design said...

Good for you, braving the cold! I've always wondered, though, about Central Park, if it's all Law & Order in there all the time.

turducken said...

I saw an article in the NYT the other day saying how much safer it was than in ye olde days (remember the Central Park jogger?), so safe people even jog there alone at night now. Well, I wouldn't go that far - that would involve jogging - but I've never seen any crime go down, nor felt threatened. People even obey the "keep out of this area while the grass is restored" signs.

Night Garden Design said...

That's amazing. I never would have guessed!

turducken said...

I'd still advocate using common sense, mind you. Don't walk around the park nekkid with $100 bills taped to you.