Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January totals

Overall, I walked 15.1 miles on Sunday, making the January totals  98.9 miles. Had I known I was so close to making a 100 miles in the month, I would have soldiered on.  But my ankle and my back, as a result of tripping up on the 21st and then walking on all that snow, were really killing me.

And I fell into all the landmarks in Lexington and 65th-67th and had just to photograph them. The Lexington Avenue side of the Seventh Regiment Armory finally has its scaffold off, so that was a treat. Unfortunately the scaffolds went up on St. Jean the Baptist church.

February has four weekends, so my goal is to cover 80 miles in the month. If it keeps snowing, I'm going to have to limit myself to Manhattan (south of 96th Street, apparently). If not, I'll take a stab at the Bronx.

I really want to go to Staten Island (the landmark status for four structures in Rossville is being considered today), but until we get 12 hours of daylight (i.e., after March 18th), it's not worth the trek.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Getting the two letters ready

Today's walk went fine, considering I was trying to avoid the snowy sidewalks, up until I made it to the Bronx. Bruckner Boulevard was pretty much passable on its Western side, but on the Port Morris portion it was very messy. The southern sidewalk disappeared under a pile of snow near the Hess gas station.

And then I made my first mistake. Since the Willis Avenue Bridge is being replaced, its pedestrian walkway has been closed (or rather, removed.) So I decided to cross over the RFK-Triboro Bridge. The stairway on the Bronx approach was a complete mess, and then the walkway on the bridge itself was completely covered in snow.

A smarter, sensible person would have turned around right then and there, but since I'm pretty stubborn and an optimist, I kept on through, without snow boots. Somehow I made it to the other side with just a very wet pair of walking sneakers.

I don't like walking in Randalls Island for many reasons, mainly because its an environment unfriendly to pedestrians, and the complete prohibition of photography doesn't help.

The Manhattan approach was a little bit better, having its walkway shoveled. But I almost stepped on a banana peel, no less.

From Second Avenue I decided to take the East River Promenade at 114th, which was a second mistake. The pedestrian bridge and the promenade had not been shoveled up until...wait for it...96th Street. This is not only bad, but what kind of message does it send? The same amount of people live north of 96th than south, as it relates to this promenade. Disgraceful.

So I'm getting the two letters ready.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

So Manhattan it is

I had grand walking plans for this Sunday, combining Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. But then I realized that if many sidewalks in Forest Hills were still difficult to walk, it couldn't be much better in other parts of the borough.

I twisted my ankle (in the softer, more general way of the verb twist) again on Thursday, but it seems to be behaving better. But I'm not going to chance it by doing cross-country snow walks.

So I'll just walk in Manhattan on Sunday, maybe around the edges. By the way, if it snows again on Tuesday, where is all of it going to go? We don't have any place for it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shooting photos at the HH Bridge

One of my pet peeves as a walker and photographer is places that forbid photography in the outdoors. The biggest culprit by far is the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, a part of the MTA. Last June they reopened the Henry Hudson pedestrian walkway, and when I crossed it, I noticed that photography was strictly forbidden.

After an exchange with one of their representatives, I was a little surprised to see this video:

After all, according to what spokesperson Joyce Mulvaney told me, "activity by a photographer on the Henry Hudson Bridge walkway carries the risk of distracting drivers crossing the bridge in the immediately adjacent traffic lane."

So I guess their video operation did not distract any drivers. Good for them.

Monday, January 24, 2011


I'm not too sold on Geocommons, a mapping application which is free to use. I am still going to use Google Earth for most things, but I do like how it mashes up data and how it combines KMLs with Shapefiles.

Below is a map of my walks along with a map of the NYCLPC designated landmarks (and some pending ones, too). If you poke around it's obvious how I tailor most of my walks around landmarks.

View full map

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Out of commission

On Friday, I took some time off from work and went to Central Park to shoot the snow. Very nice photos, but I tripped twice. First time around, mildly twisted my ankle after making a full stop as to not invade a photographer's field of vision. The second time was in the Bramble Bush, going downhill. Ouch. I walked 6 miles but had to call it quits.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Some stats for this year

After Sunday's walk, here are some stats. I walked 22.1 miles on Sunday (that includes the distance from the subway station to my place as I got back from the UWS). That makes it 76.1 miles so far this year (in kilometers it looks even more impressive: 122.4).

At this time last year, I had only covered 27.6 miles, so that's great. Hopefully I can keep it up in the spring.

The updated map with all the walks is here, and hopefully I'll embed my table with all the walks pretty soon.