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Run 42: Pizza, with a Side of Running in the Bronx

June 7, 2012

Miles: 6

Other Runners: 1

I’m no calorie-counter (and there is definitely a bottle of beer next to my computer as I type this); for posterity, however, I’m including a brief food run-down of my first two days in the Bronx.

– Fish and chips at an Irish pub. And by Irish I do not mean “Irish.” My pale Midwestern accent was no match for the language I heard in this bar, language at once thick and springy, dulcet and satisfyingly obscene. The food was delicious, the Irish coffee likewise legitimate, and I would’ve been equally nonplussed if a roughed-up bunch of no-goods (imagine just about any Mark Wahlberg character) or wonderful Frank McCourt stepped through the door.

– Pizza. Pizza! We grabbed a slice on Arthur Avenue and sat below the fire escapes and bright trees to enjoy the mild, easy night. There were babies and big dogs, firefighters at the cigar shop, a thin old man who bowed gently to me and said, “Ciao, senora.” And lest anyone think I’m getting too romantic, there was also a group of skinny-armed kids squirming and laughing at the corner; while we ate our delicious slices, they stopped shouting at one another long enough to taunt a group of littler ones and two mothers passing by. One of the corner crowd threw a punch at the smallest boy, and the women gathered up their children and hurried passed us, afraid. To add to the complicated mix, the gangly middle schoolers were black, the family was Muslim, and the passers-by all Italian. The children flitted after the family for a time, then turned and fled with alarmed laughter as one of the mothers swiveled toward them, shouting fiercely.

– Yesterday morning I had a big bagel and a cup of coffee. We went to City Island, where I had another cup of coffee but no lobster.

– For lunch? Pizza.

– In the afternoon my friend Amy and I went on a long urban walk, visiting the beautiful cathedral of St. John the Divine and landing somehow at a tiny basement bakery that sold the most indescribable $4 (I know) chocolate-chip cookies you can imagine. You see how this is all adding up, right? Carb heaven. Carrying the heavy, warm paper bag to Central Park, we found a bench below Ginkgo trees and beside a small pond; couples rowed by and kids in bright uniforms flashed across the green, chasing soccer balls. It was loud but somehow in my memory almost entirely still. And there I ate the whole damn cookie, licked my buttery fingers and closed my eyes, sleepily enjoying the strange dream of New York City.

Today is a real-life day, with running. And for all of those Bronx-naysayers, let it be known that this borough is beautiful. I ran 6 miles almost entirely on a wooded, hilly path beside the Hudson River. It was also humid, which made it real.

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One Comment
  1. Love. love love love.

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