Downtown, No Finer Place For Sure

Another morning waking up feeling like I’m on the verge of illness and then an hour later I’m fine. Maybe I’m allergic to sleep. Or a ghost is coming into my room at night and casting a spell on me – both highly likely scenarios.

I almost did a 6 mile route today but decided at the last minute to take the route that goes down Main Street to the harbor and back. I haven’t done this route in awhile and was in the mood for it, so I did it, because I am an adult and can do what I want.

The route is 4.8 miles, and it was foggy and mostly deserted this morning, as it was early on a Saturday. I’m proud to say that this route used to take me 55 minutes and today I did it in 44:51. I guess one of the “problems” with getting faster is now I feel guilty for not running as long. Which maybe doesn’t matter too much – either way, it’s still 4.8 miles, whether it takes me 55 minutes or 45 minutes. I ran for time as opposed to distance for so long, there’s still a twinge of guilt when I don’t run as long as I had planned. It’s weird.

One of the coolest things about living in my hometown again (after 4 years of college, 19 years in NYC, and 1.5 years in L.A.) is that I get to run past all of these places I remember going to as a kid. It’s also INFINITELY better than running in Los Feliz or McCarren Park. There is no comparison. I actually don’t think I want to move back to the city ever again, simply because I don’t want to not be able to run here.


I love running down Main Street in the morning. Nobody is really out yet. This morning I passed a couple people walking their dogs and saw the farmer’s market sellers setting up shop. I ran past my old dentist’s office, where I got fitted for braces in 1987. (He’s still working, but he’s across the street now.)

I ran past the movie theater I worked summers during college when it was a second-run theater that cost 99 cents. I worked behind the candy stand and literally saw Aladdin over 70 times because it was so popular the managers didn’t want to let it leave the theater. It’s now the John W. Engeman Theater which houses touring musicals.

I went past the old record store, the place I bought Madonna’s True Blue LP for only $7 and countless other records and tapes. Now it’s either an Orthopedic office or a Chinese food restaurant, not sure which because I forget the exact location.

Running past the Northport Fire Station always reminds me of traversing the sidewalk in front of it as a kid, hurrying my way across because I was sure that at any second, a fire truck would come racing out of there at full speed. Now it feels small.

I love running past the now-fancy restaurant that used to be Phase II, a full-scale arcade with 20 or so games that served pizza and Snapple when Snapple used to be clear soda. I used to grab change from my mom’s purse (sorry Mom) and head down there after school in 4th grade, playing Ms. Pacman by myself until I got blisters on my fingers. I LOVED this place and cannot find a single picture of it online.

I could go on and on! I feel this way about a lot of places in Northport, but there is something so specific and condensed about going down Main Street. If you are ever able to run through your hometown (assuming you have good memories of it), I highly recommend it.

Also, this morning was so misty and foggy that I literally got dew on my eyelashes.


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