My fifth run in the New York Harriers winter scavenger hunt (the origins of which you can read about in my first installment) kept me in Manhattan but did require a subway – I’m still not strong enough to run more than probably five or six miles at a time. However, I am feeling much better these days! I think my feet are on the mend?!?!
We have three weeks (until December 14th) to complete as many clues as we can on this hunt, and we can do them in any order we want, whenever we want. It’s purely for fun and has been a great way to find purpose while running when life lately doesn’t seem to hold much purpose but I digress!
This run, completed this past Wednesday, took me to two historical spots in NYC.
WINTER SCAVENGER HUNT RUN #5
- Clues: 2
- Miles: 3.31
- Time: 37:07
- Weather: 39º, overcast
- Location: Flatiron – Midtown – Columbus Circle
CLUE #13 of 25: Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthplace
This clue was one we had to figure out (which I love because I think I have always wanted to be a detective):
Our 26th president was born in this Flatiron brownstone in 1858
Considering I wrote a report on this guy in fifth grade, I probably should have remembered who our 26th president was, but I did not, so I Googled it. Lo and behold…
Theordore Roosevelt! I had completely forgotten that he was born a mere half hour on the subway away from where I currently live, not that there was a subway back then.
A friend of mine commented on my Instagram post that he learned on a tour that the original house had been torn down and a new one constructed after Roosevelt’s death! So while this technically isn’t the exact set of walls in which Roosevelt was born, it’s the same address – which is all that matters.
According to the National Park Service’s website:
After Roosevelt’s death in 1919, some of his friends and followers formed the Women’s Roosevelt Memorial Association to reconstruct the original house.
And now 28 East 20th Street in NYC is a National Historic Site.
My next stop was very close to this one.
CLUE #14 of 25: The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower
This clue was written as another mystery:
This tower, located near Madison Square Park, was the world’s tallest building in 1910
I might have been able to guess what this was but I still Googled “tallest building in 1910” to figure it out.
Sometimes it’s crazy to believe that buildings like this existed over a century ago.
Designed by Pierre LeBrun, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower was modeled after a hundreds-years-old tower in Venice, Italy (which collapsed in 1902 and was rebuilt ten years later). According to portablenycblog.com:
The MetLife Tower took its inspiration from Campanilla De St Marco in Venice. More than just an inspiration, it was very close to its replica but was over twice as tall.
The MetLife Tower is 700 feet tall and held the world record for only four years before being surpassed by the Woolworth Building.
After that, I ran up Broadway to Columbus Circle where I got a subway home. I had considered running further, through Central Park, but I think all the stopping and starting at intersections, not to mention the weaving in and out of pedestrians, tired me out so I called it a day.
More than halfway through the hunt!