Running the 5 Boroughs - Brooklyn

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When I go running in Brooklyn and don't have to pay attention to my watch I sometimes let myself get lost in my surroundings. We don't have trails like the Pacific Northwest and it's hard to find new corners in Prospect Park but we have streets, that change every day, every season, every moment. Did you know... ... that when you run through the Hasidic Jewish parts of Brooklyn along Bedford Avenue they sell live chickens on Hewes street on Monday nights (to be slaughtered?), that a block down they have a community sukkah for eating in during the holiday and the whole block smells of hay? That you can buy the fur adorned winter men's hats in a construction camper 3 blocks down from Hewes Street? That some of the stores have separate entrances for men and women with big signs indicating such?

That the Jewish children are afraid of cute vizsla pups and vizsla pups are deadly afraid of their tricycles, and that on Willoughby Street, everything suddenly ends...  Ringlets turn to durags, no dogs turn into pitbulls, the thick flesh coloured stockings disappear in favour of bare legs and mini skirts and the hushed shuffles home make room for girls' pearl adorned hairstyles rhythmically clicking with their skipping on the sidewalk; as loud hip hop music blares from cars with their doors open wide, outside of the projects...

Did you know...

... that when you run out to Redhook and briefly close your eyes, it feels like you are really by the sea. The Navy Yard fence casts a symmetrical shadow on the cycling path which can put you in the zone as it flickers before your eyes. On hot and humid summer days, the cool salty air lends some respite but on cooler fall days, the winds are unrelenting blowing as headwinds any direction you go.

Did you know...

... that dodging strollers in Fort Greene is a perfect preparation to dodging runners going up Verazzano bridge in the marathon, that my neighbors put on the most spectacular marathon party at mile 8.5, that the Prospect Park loop lacks a 3 mile marker, and that Mount Prospect Park is the second highest point above sea level - in Brooklyn - at 200 ft behind Greenwood Cemetery the second largest cemetery in the United States (220ft).

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Did you know...

... that almost half of the NYC marathon route runs through Brooklyn, that it was the largest city in the United States at one point, that almost half of the population speak a different language than English at home with the most popular being: Spanish or Spanish Creole, Russian, Chinese, Yiddish, French Creole, Italian, Hebrew, Polish, French (including Patois, Cajun), and Arabic and that it hast the coolest Half Marathon of all five boroughs (because it's in May, super fast, ends in Coney Island and not too close to any other major race events... ). And to see all that all it takes, is a few miles of easy Brooklyn running... You gotta love NYC!