Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inaugural Run: Ward's Island - Astoria - UES

INAUGURAL RUN:  Manhattan - Ward's Island - Astoria Park - Manhattan
DATE: April 24, 2010
WEATHER:  Bright Sunshine, Temperature 55F - 65F, Breezy 10 MPH
DISTANCE:  8.72 miles

I finally went over the Ward's Island Bridge, into Ward's Island and over the RFK bridge and into Astoria.   It wasn't a perfect route, as we were more in a discovery mode than anything else.

I did take my camera with me, and took a lot of photos along the way.  I also gave the camera to Karen to take a few shots of me, because, well, because I am so humble, you see.

First, let's start out with the sunrise...

Karen, get your lazy butt out of bed!!!!

Okay we're up, and we're out.....
Going up the 102nd Street Walkway to get onto Ward's Island Bridge and cross over to Ward's Island.

Karen & I start our ascent into uncharted territory....

As we crossed over into Randall's Island, we see some interesting points of view.  Take this shot for example, of both the RFK bridge (closeup) and Hell's Gate bridge (far away).

The next bridge for us to tackle, the RFK.  Interestingly, Karen and I were thinking the same thing at the same time....Why not just swim across?  Heck, it actually couldn't be more than 400 yards across at this point, less than what we did at last year's Triathlon.

Running now along the east side of Ward's Island.  Discovering as we go along.  This is fun!

Competitive Photo of Karen!

Ballfield (which looks really lonely) smack dab in between the two bridges (RFK, Hellsgate) on Ward's Island.  One thing for sure, as I kept running I know I will NEVER run around here at night.  It's fun yes, but creepy too.

The Ward's Island end of the Hell's Gate bridge.  I don't think I could call this a caisson, since it does not go under the water, but who knows....

The Hell's Gate bridge support arches as it crosses westwardly through Ward's Island and eventually into the Bronx.  Yuk.   It was at this point where we realized....there was no where else to run.  So we had to turn around.

However, as we turned back we decided to take another route, completely different from where we initially came in from.

Running past a lot of rugby, soccer and baseball fields.  I never knew Ward's Island had so much recreational area.

Approaching the pedestrian skyway to the RFK bridge as we now had enough of Ward's Island and decided to head into Queens.  Footnote:  Had we looked at our maps, we would have stayed on one of the roads which would have led us up to Randall's island (which I find funny since it's connected to Ward's - like...WTF???)

No. I'm not trying to egg on the NYPD, nor the MTA on this.  This is really a sad reality of the current lifestyle thanks to the idiots that come to this country to try and do harm to it.  We have to curtail our freedoms to ensure that wackos don't try anything stupid.  I did take pics of the bridge, but not to worry...Nothing sensitive. 

Karen and I make our approach up the skyway.  I thought this was really a cool place to run, though we saw two people hanging out looking rather unscrupulous.

We come to the end of the Skyway, and onto a set of steps (next photo) leading us to a normal walkway across the bridge.

Hey. Lemme Outta Here!!! LOL.   Imprisoned view of the NY skyline. 

Very intereting on the steps was this metal rail.  Either it's for wheelchair access or for cyclists or both.  Very considerate of NY to think to do this.  I approve.

A look backwards towards Ward's Island side of the RFK at what has been covered thus far.

We had great weather today.  It was breezy and about 55 degrees outside.  Great for today's daily run, and inaugural one at that.

This was a treacherous angle to navigate on the walk path.  It was a blind curve, and I can see by its narrowness, why so many complain when they have to negotiate their bikes over the RFK during the 5 boro bike tour too (or at least that's what I've been told).

A better, less fenced view of Manhattan from the RFK.

Getting to Queens....Almost there!

Keep Running Karen. Don't stop!!!

Woohoo! We finally made it to Queens.  Astoria, to be exact.  Next destination, my Dad's 3rd house after the "Hansel & Gretel" home in '61 and the flat he shared while doing sanitary duties for Jorge Armengol (both also in Astoria), and first with his brothers back in 1963.  Some 47 years ago.  Wow.

Well, here it is 21-11 24th Street. It's the door on the left side of the green awning.  Many photos were taken here in the good old days....Here, take a look:

This photo was taken when my Uncles emigrated here in 1963.  From left;  Antonio, his grandma, Perla, his Aunt Lucy, cousin Joey Lugassy, and my other Uncle, Alejandro.

Across the street from the famed house is Peter Chappetto Square park. Go Karen, Go.

Now  we're headed for our next destination:  Astoria Park.  He're we've just crossed Hoyt Avenue, and are now running under the RFK bridge to get to Hoyt Avenue South, or better known as Astoria Park South.

Alas.  We have arrived!!!

I like the oval track here.  However, the track at Forest Park is better.  Also, what's up with the water fountains?  There was only one in sight, and it didn't even work.  It's late April, people.  Let's get that water flowing for our thirsy runners!!!
Another view of the track.

Oh No.  She didn't.  But she did.  Here is Karen, after unsuccessfully attempting to recruit me to do a long jump, doing it herself.  I've got nothing against it, just that I have a race tomorrow (just like her, but she didn't give a flying leap)!!!!

But she did give a flying leap.  Not bad for your first attempt, Karen.

Karen asked if I would hustle around the track.  So humble as I am, I agreed provided that she took photos of me.  Hey!  I was the only one taking photos here.  Her turn now.

Tongue is hanging out, but not from exhaustion.  Just needed to give Karen a much needed raspberry...

Map of Astoria park.  Does any of this look familiar, father?

Entrance to the Oval Track at Astoria Park.

"Oooh Look, Honey...Tennis".   Yes, and unlike Central Park.  This is FREE.

Karen laughed at this.  I guess this is something you don't see in Manhattan.  As for me, I'm all for my common Queens man/woman.  So, here.  Free plug.  Person lives in Astoria on Hoyt Avenue (north side and betw. 27th and 28th Street).  If you're interested, call the number above, and tell them that Alex sent ya!

A view of my Dad's 3rd home in the US, from the RFK (formerly known as Triboro Bridge).

Finally, someone to look at MY ass.

Okay, I think Karen is liking my butt, a bit much now.


My turn for some booty call shots.

Karen honey, please.  Whatever you do. DON'T GO TO THE BRONX!!!!!
Back in Wards Island.  Looking south at Manhattan while on the southern loop of Ward's Island heading West to the Ward's Island Bridge.

There's the bridge.....
One last bridge to scale!!!

I love the surface of this bridge.  It looks like gravel, cement, something odd right?

A view of Hell's Gate section of the East River looking north towards Yankee Stadium.

And now south towards the New York City skyline....
Hola Karen! :-)

Running along side her and deciding at the last minute to go to the gym to work out upper body and abs.

Heading down the walkpath and onto the East River Esplenade near 102nd.

A view of the FDR near the 96th street exit.

The surface of the espleande is kinda soft with it's honeycombed pavement.

We looked at an apartment here once.  Oh My God, was the smell awful.  The hallways smelled like farts.  And the apartments looked like they were taken care of by a slum landlord.  I'm sorry for the people who live here and stumble across this website, but really, some of your neighbors have no consideration for the rest of you.  For exmple, when we left the building (or should I say, 'fled'), we saw a tenant (and I say that because he later walked into your building and entered in with a key) walk their dog on your grounds.  The dog took a steaming, heaping pile of shit (pardon my french) and the guy never even bothered to pick it up and just kept walking afterwards.  Like I said.  No consideration!

Girl on a hanmock between two trees right alongisde the FDR Parkway.  Only in New York.

Some people are obviously thinking they can catch fish along the east river.  Has the river been cleaned up that much?  I mean, really,  I don't doubt they will catch something, but I was thinking it might be more like cholera, typhoid, diptheria, you know, the East River kind of fishes.   Bacalao, perhaps?  No, that would be in Hunts Point, in the Bronx.   Ewwwwwww!!!!!

Run Karen Run.  Or.....Are YOU now fishing as well????

Lasst photo.  From here on out I put the camera away because it was almost dead, and we were nearly at the NYSC club on 91st and 3rd.

Hpope you all enjoyed my photologue!


  1. I am moving to Astoria in Sept. and was curious about running this route and it is so great to see all the pictures and to get your comments! Thanks!

  2. Your pics are great, and I very much enjoyed your commentary and walk down memory lane. Wow! You’ve got some real New York City history. It’s beautiful. Thanks for sharing all of that and the pics, too.

    I recently made it over the Triborough Bridge pedestrian walkway (scary) from Astoria for the very first time, then biked around a bit, and have to concur with your sense of Randall’s Island as sort of eerie. IMHO, offering neither scenic settings nor picturesque vistas of the city (and various surrounding waterways), from a cyclists’ point of view its best feature is the lack of traffic – which can be a very big plus, as I’m sure you know. Even on a gorgeously sunny day, however, overshadowing the bright and beautiful kids having fun on many well-maintained sports fields is the monolithic hospital for criminally insane, also located there, and while the police force may amount to two patrol cars max, they certainly make their presence felt. I imagine the new exit ramp from the bridge will increase recreational use of whatever the island has to offer but I won’t be back anytime soon. Overall rating: not good.

    Although I don’t know you guys, you appear very healthy and your fitness program is quite impressive. All the very best of luck at your next race!! Stay well – we need you!!

    Thanks very much for a very lovely blog!
    P.S. I’m all for memorializing Senator Kennedy, but does anybody refer to it as the Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) Bridge?

  3. I still call it the Triboro bridge and agree with you about Randall's Island. First time I was there was the Nike Earth Run day, which was perhaps the worst race ever organized!

    Thanks all for liking my blog. It's harder to write than it is to run, but I keep plugging away!

  4. Yes you can catch fish in the east river... Stop being ignorant..