I’m almost done with this fun three-week running “project” and, while I’m excited to start running around the Central Park loop again, it’s been so fun traveling all over the city, running through unfamiliar streets, visiting interesting landmarks, and, yes, sometimes getting lost.
My penultimate scavenger hunt run took me to the Bronx.
WINTER SCAVENGER HUNT RUN #9
- Clues: 2
- Miles: 3.24
- Time: 34:16
- Weather: 42º, sunny
- Location: The Bronx, Upper Manhattan
Originally, I had considered tackling this first clue the same day I ran to the High Bridge and Hamilton Grange, but I wasn’t confident enough that I could handle the necessary mileage. My legs have been slowly working their way back, finally hitting 7 miles earlier this week, but at the time I wanted to keep the run short.
So run #9 included the farthest north clue on the hunt!
CLUE #21 of 25: Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
This clue was another mystery to unwrap:
In the 1840s the poem ‘Annabel Lee’ was written during the time its author lived in this cottage located in the Bronx
There is something fascinating about old houses sitting in the middle of bustling cities. In a weird way, they’re like time machines. You are in the present while looking into the past. I like them.
This is one such house.
Edgar Allan Poe lived here from 1846 to 1849 in what was then a rural area of NYC. It was in this house he wrote “Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “The Cask of Amontillado.” Poe lived here with his wife, Virginia, and his mother-in-law. Virginia died from tuberculosis in a first floor bedroom in 1847.
Unfortunately, like many places right now, it was closed.
I learned a few interesting things while reading about this house. For example, it wasn’t always in this exact location – it used to be across the street. From nylandmarks.org:
After Poe died in 1849 the house was slated for demolition, but a public outcry led to its preservation in 1902. In 1913 this shrine was moved across the street to its present location.
When this pandemic is over, I am going to take a tour of every goddamn place on this scavenger hunt.
After taking my requisite selfie, I began my run.
I didn’t really have a solid plan. The Harriers don’t require any minimum distance for these fun scavenger hunt runs. So it was up to me how far to go.
Earlier that morning, my calves had still felt sore from my 7 miles two days earlier. I thought if I didn’t feel great, I could just run down to the next subway stop on the line I rode in on and go home from there.
By the time I got to the Bronx, though, my calves felt okay. And I felt up for a little adventure. So I went with my next plan: running over University Heights Bridge and into upper Manhattan. From there, I could find a subway to take home.
The route to get to the bridge was easy enough and the weather was great (cold but not too cold), so I enjoyed running through streets I’d never run through before and running across this bridge for the first time. It was very short and very cute.
The Manhattan streets on the other side of the bridge are somewhat deceptive in that they are still in a grid formation, but the grid is diagonal so there is no “up” or “down,” only “kind of sideways.” Plus, I made the mistake of thinking the 1 train was on Broadway in this area – the second time in the past year I’ve done this (the first was when I came up here last winter for a flu shot). This miscalculation forced me to walk up a side street’s hill that was, I believe, steeper than any other hill in the entire world.
I stopped running at 181st Street to get on a subway but realized the entrance was closed for construction, so I had to walk down to 168th for the train. Which was fine.
In total, I ran just a little over 3 miles – honestly, a nice relief for my calves at this point.
CLUE #22 of 25: Fries
As the Harriers love to eat as much as run, it’s no surprise that this scavenger hunt includes “Donut,” “Holiday cookies,” “Dumplings,” “Hot Chocolate,” and, the clue I decided to check off today: “Fries.”
I had to hit the supermarket on my way back, so I figured, why not do what I love to do and make my own food?
So I made fries.
I have to admit, they came out pretty good.
Just one more run to do on this scavenger hunt – and yes, that one will also involve food.