When I headed out today for an afternoon run, I was in New York. The snow was slushy and gross, especially the treacherous sections at street corners, with lake-sized accumulations of melted mush. People (with a few nice exceptions) looked at me as if I was both insane, and another annoying obstacle on an already difficult to maneuver side-walk (fair enough). I left at 5pm and the streets were filled with commuters heading home from work, the very people who hate the snow the most.
I ran to 5th ave. and looked across the street for Central Park, but it was gone. In its place was a land so magical, so separate from the rest of the city, it could not have been in the same town- a Wonderland. Wonderland was filled with people thrilled with the snow, enjoying it, smiling about it, playing in it, photographing it. Wonderland did not have a Bridle path, as CP does, but a Nordic ski track. It did not have ovals and dales, grey and wintry, waiting patiently for sun-tanners to return, but miniature mountains dotted with sledders and youngsters brushing up on snow-boarding skills. A blurred shape behind a tree on the path would have had me concerned, as it approached dusk in CP, but in Wonderland it was a snickering middle aged man holding a giant snowball, waiting for his friend to appear (I did cast him a searching look, in case any runner would have sufficed.) A runner blew by me down the downhill stretch of the Harlem Hills, as he would have in CP, but since this was Wonderland I caught up to him, on the stretch by the Harlem Meer, stopping to photograph an elderly Asian couple who wanted their picture taken by the giant icicles. I ran through the full loop of Wonderland (6 miles, just like CP), but here I had company: every corner I turned, a snowy man, with a smile permanently etched on his face, was waving me on with twiggy arms.
As soon as I reached 5th ave. and 72nd st, after my loop, I exited Wonderland, quite decisively, when I misjudged a puddle and soaked my foot for the first time. The run home was painful (9miles was definitely pushing for my knee) and the snow was even more difficult to maneuver around street corners than it was on the way out. I could see again, what a pain and annoyance the snow clearly was- at least here, in NYC.
My photo for the day emphasizes this glass half full, vs glass half empty approach to the snow. As I came in to work, two women, two children, and a dog were constructing a giant fort in the middle of the courtyard. They were having a wonderful time. The dog especially cast me a look of complete joy as I photographed them (see below). Then, as I turned to enter the building, a man said to the woman next to him, “This day is just so disgusting and gross.” Likely true in his world, but not to the family and the dog, and definitely not in Wonderland.
(Run was 9 miles total, definitely too much for the knee but so nice to do a legit longer distance, my first time over 6miles since the half)
Note- Please ignore the fact that I was talking about the weather, and focus on how this is a perfect description of a Reminder Run. Thank you.
More pictures below, because I can’t resist a photogenic day: