Newtown Creek - old industrial building

Newtown Creek – old industrial building

Under the Kosciuszko Bridge

They’ll never write lilting songs of summer heartbreak under the Kosciuszko Bridge. Mainly because it’s damn near impossible to spell, and even more difficult to pronounce, what with the 50 consonants jammed chaotically in there (and you know pronouncing half of them is optional). Most New Yorkers may take a half-hearted stab at pronouncing it, as one attempts to jokingly mimic Klingon. I typically pronounce it as a mash of  ”kazoo” & “cocoa” but then shrug apologetically as if to indicate “who knows.”

It’s also a bridge that seems to cause perpetual congestion – stop and go and many drivers are familiar with the “traffic backed up until Kosciuszko Bridge” sign, even when traffic is light. It’s as if NYC just mysteriously shuttles in a bunch of cars from a secret tunnel just to piss people off. Perhaps the worn down rusty truss bridge slows traffic, as patches of concrete are missing. And with all those bottle-necks, one can take in the view of the oily murk of the Newtown creek as you lurch slowly from Brooklyn to Queens. It’s a shabby-looking mess, but they are going to tear it down soon.

Under the bridge is not very attractive area either, with trucks roaring down potholed streets, trash everywhere, and the smell of acrid exhaust descending irritatingly from highway 278 like Transformer farts. Every street seems to be either empty or packed with trucks and industrial equipment, making me unsure about what is a road or a company parking lot. It’s the kind of area where you expect to find something dark disturbing, like where all the baby pigeons are hatched. And from certain angles you can spot the Calvary Cemetery… just to really deliver the point about how my run truly feels.

But, if I’m going to run every street in Brooklyn, I have to run in the desolate, industrial wasteland as well as the majestic Brownstone lined streets.

Route

Started from the Queensboro Plaza subway in Queens — one of those elevated stations that allows me to set my Garmin watch high above the streets, without building interference. Started jogging from 27th & Queens blvd which curves at a manageable angle over an array of tracks, hit the knotted traffic on Thomas and continued down Van Dam St., which turned quickly into the rusty, rotting warehouses that dot the Newtown Creek area. Crossed over the Greenpoint Avenue bridge (John Jay Byrne Bridge…JJBB?) and I was in Brooklyn. Turned left on Monitor St then Norman and headed to the bridge.

Distance: 6.94 miles (1.45 in Queens)

Unique Miles: 4.53 (in Brooklyn)

Highlights:

  • Seeing the view of Manhattan running over the Greenpoint Ave bridge.
  • Taking the G train for the first time ever — and catching it almost as soon as I walked down to the platform… a rare feat.
Lowlights:
  • Trash: seriously could double as a set for a Zombie apocalypse.
  • Terrain: Every kind of knee-buckling surface to taunt my aching legs: cobble stones, pot holes, beat up gravel, trash obstacles, gurgling noxious puddles, vehicles in the way.

Roads not taken:

  • Didn’t run down Thomas between Scott Ave & Newtown Creek. It was basically a parking lot, and not a real road.
  • Under the bridge, couldn’t run down Scott Ave & Townsend St., as it was blocked off by a guard & barrier.
  • Stewart Ave, between Cherry St. and Anthony St.: blocked off by cranes and a pile of industrial castoffs.

Proof (besides pics):

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/309467058