19 February 2012

Cross-town in the 20s

For about two years, I worked in an office building around 28th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  From time to time, I would visit Madison Square Park and nearby areas.  It has been years since I visited the area.  I probably drove through the area but driving is the worst way to experience a place, especially in a city like New York, with the many reckless pedestrians, careless cyclists, and other lawless drivers.    Today, I had swimming exercise within walking distance of the area and had a nice walk across town, mostly along 25th Street and 23rd Street.
A noticeable change is the pedestrian mall at the intersection of 23rd Street, Fifth Avenue, and Broadway.  The motorists probably hate them but as someone who prefers walking, I love them.  In this photo, we are looking north along Fifth Avenue at the famous Empire State Building.
Looking south at the Flatiron Building.  Notice again the pedestrian mall.  There used to be just a small traffic island in the middle to separate Broadway and Fifth Avenue.  
I did something potentially dangerous today!  I visited the Garage Antique Flea Market!!!  No pack rat should ever step inside these types of places.  Luckily, I controlled myself and left empty-handed.  I did look around at booths that have books in hope of finding yearbooks for my high school (Newtown High School in Elmhurst, Queens, NY).  At a different flea market nearby, I did see a yearbook for some high school in Stamford, something about the 49ers on the cover.
I love vanity plates, especially those that are not too obvious, like spelling out a word exactly as you would find it in the dictionary.  Give me a chance to figure out the message, will ya?  At first I thought this plate is to be pronounced as "ee-balon", rhymes with "baloney", but the URL says it all.  Probably a dating or match-making service.
My membership with NYC Parks and Recreations grants me access to many recreation centers but so far I only use the Flushing Meadows Aquatic Center and Chelsea Pool.  At the end of my cross-town trek, I discovered the Asser Levy Rec Center.  Seeing its outdoor pool, I thought that was the only pool it has, but it does have one indoor pool.  My plan was to run south along the East River waterfront, cross the Williamsburg Bridge into Brooklyn, then onward to the "new" running trail near Brooklyn Park.  Alas, while stretching for the run, I realized I left my swimming cap and trunk back in Chelsea Pool's locker.  I ran back and was able to find it, whew!

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