Running NYC By the Water

Brooklyn Bridge Park


One late afternoon during the summer of 2008, I decided that I’ve had enough of working at my first full time job as a clerk for the San Diego Superior Court. Right then, I gave a month resignation notice and told my boss I would be moving to New York in the fall. I bought a one-way ticket that night. I had finished college a couple years back and figured, what the heck, I’m young, why not? The only problem, besides not having any kind of plan or prospects, was that the day I arrived in New York was when all the banks started failing, resulting in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. I remember thinking how beautiful the weather was in New York during the fall, and also… oops, what did I just do?

Fast forward a few months, its almost spring, still no job, dwindling bank account, and layoffs every time I turn on the news. I was beginning to panic. What the heck was I going to do? I couldn’t even go have a night out, as that would involve spending money, which was really not an option at the time. I was restless. Then one day the winter weather finally broke and the temperature uncharacteristically shot up to the 60’s. I felt compelled to go outside and… just… start… running. It was a weekday. I went to Central Park. I hadn’t ran in a long time, but I quickly realized that everyone in New York felt the same way I did. It was packed with an almost feverish energy, a bounce their steps, strangers smiling at each other. The happiness was contagious. I ran and ran and ran. I thought about Forrest Gump. I finally understood what made him get up and just… keep… runnin’ (I miss yew Jen-nay). I was hooked. Since then, I briefly moved back to San Diego, then moved back to New York for grad school, lived in Beijing, and now back in New York–but always running.

By far the best runs for me have always been near the water. I’ve always been drawn to bodies of water, whether it’s the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, streams, ponds, and waterfalls. Naturally, my runs have gravitated towards these areas, and in New York, these runs are especially spectacular because of their views. The following are my favorite routes to take along with some pictures from my instagram.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Route:

Screen shot 2016-04-14 at 11.17.32 PM

The View:


What You’ll See:

The East River, the Manhattan skyline, water taxis, ferries. People on the piers playing volley ball, basketball, soccer games, and roller skates. The Brooklyn Bridge, the large man-made park built on a massive dock, ice cream shop, DUMBO, cobble stone streets, long lines for pizza and Shake Shack, the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, and the Brooklyn Promenade.


Central Park

The Route:

Screen shot 2016-04-14 at 10.59.52 PM.png

The View:


What You’ll See:

Lots of trees, big trees, little trees, lots of green, sunlight filtered through leaves, little bridges, picnics, people playing, bikes, carriages, horses, ponds, rowboats, hiking trails, fountains, castles, street performers, people selling art, people sleeping, people reading, birds chirping, hills, Museums, and the Jackie O. Reservoir.


Battery Park / Hudson River

The Route:

Screen shot 2016-04-14 at 10.39.07 PM.png

The View:


What You’ll See:

The Hudson River, Jersey City and Hoboken skylines, yachts, ferries, sailboats, bikes, the West Side highway, cars, miniature golf, trees, basketball courts, lots of people wearing suits, dogs, Chelsea Piers.

This is my favorite run. In the summer time, the sky will be purple, the water will look milky, and after your run, a Belgian beer with a chocolate mousse cake at Petite Abeille will make you feel like you’re in a dream.


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