I had a plan for my fourth run of the New York Harriers winter scavenger hunt – the rules of which I wrote about in my first post about it. I spent about 45 minutes the night before on this plan: looking at my list of clues, deciding where I wanted to go, plotting out a route on both a distance map and a subway map (there was no way I could run there and back). I was going to start in Manhattan, run over the Queensboro Bridge, run to a couple of locations in Brooklyn, and then head home on the subway.
At first, my run was going to involve a stop at a cemetery in Brooklyn – not part of the hunt but rather a location I’ve been wanting to visit since this past summer when I discovered that a set of my great great grandparents were buried there.
But since I don’t know the exact location of their grave markers (or if the markers even exist), I decided the cemetery trip would wait, and perhaps not involve running at all. You’ll have to wait, great great grandparents who never knew me!
While my new plan didn’t involve a cemetery, I still altered it along the way – which is fine because there’s no set order of the clues required for this.
WINTER SCAVENGER HUNT RUN #4
- Clues: 3
- Miles: 4.39
- Time: 47:49
- Weather: 45º, sunny
- Location: Midtown Manhattan & Central Park
CLUE #10 of 25: Macy’s Holiday Window Displays
I was going to start at the second clue on today’s route but realized this one was only one mile away. So I began at the Macy’s at Herald Square.
This year’s window displays reflected the current climate, centering on New York City and giving thanks to “first responders, essential workers, marchers for equality, and New Yorkers who showed their grit, good humor and hopeful spirit during a tumultuous year.”
Here are some cool behind-the-scenes photos of the windows being set up a few weeks ago.
The “thank yous” came in many different languages.
Macy’s has been decorating their windows for the holidays since 1874!
CLUE #11 of 25: The United Nations
From Macy’s, I made my way over to the east side and up to the UN. It was Sunday morning, so there weren’t many people out – of course, with so many people (including me) working from home these days, the midtown Manhattan streets might always be this empty, even on weekdays. I’m not sure.
I generally don’t love running through Manhattan because of all of its lights and intersections, but given how little traffic there was today, it was relatively easy.
I took this photo from across the street from UN headquarters which, technically, is four main buildings and built between 1948 and 1952. Better view anyway and good sun timing, if you ask me.
At this point, I’d already made up my mind not to run into Queens and Brooklyn. I’d made the mistake of drinking too much coffee within an hour of leaving and now I had to pee. I considered stopping somewhere like a Starbucks but then, of course, worries of germs and viruses took over. How safe are public bathrooms right now? Do I have to go that bad? Is it worth it? Wouldn’t it be great to be a guy and step into an alleyway? Hmm, could I do that anyway?
Ultimately, I decided to not head any further east (nor pee in an alleyway) which would have involved not only a longer run but three trains home. There was another clue on the hunt I hadn’t gotten to yet, and it wasn’t that far.
CLUE #12 of 25: Finish Line of the NYC Marathon
I zig-zagged my way from the UN to Central Park and made my way to the west side of the loop. Despite having crossed the finish line of the NYC Marathon twice, I couldn’t remember exactly where the finish line was. I knew it was up a short hill somewhere near Tavern on the Green. I also knew I didn’t have to be on the exact line, so I just took a photo in front of Tavern.
Then I took a subway home.
It’s just as well I didn’t do the bridge plan, as I’m not sure I would’ve had the energy. There was a time when 4 miles wasn’t much at all, but these days, it’s a solid workout. I’m still clawing my way back to the fitness I had a year and a half ago and it’s okay if it takes a little time.
Just about halfway done with the hunt!