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New York City

By Frank da Cruz - Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, near Bay Ridge and 3rd Avenues. Go west a few blocks on Bay Ridge Avenue and you come to the beginning of a 5-mile long Greenway paved bike and running path that runs along the water (the part of New York Bay that separates Brooklyn from Staten Island) toward Coney Island. The views are great, especially after you pass the Verazzano Narrows Bridge heading south, where the whole Atlantic Ocean seems to open up before you. There are distance markers painted on the surface every quarter mile (distance from Bay Ridge Avenue). Some areas have sinkholes or cracks, but these are well marked and there is always a detour on the adjoining bike path.

Runners who live in the Columbia University area of Manhattan, New York City (Morningside Heights and West Harlem) are fortunate to have Riverside Park, Central Park, and Morningside Park nearby. The parks and the Hudson riverfront are in better condition now than at any time in the last one hundred years, especially since 2000 with the inauguration of the Greenway. The site Upper Manhattan Running describes some obvious and not-so-obvious runs that start in the Columbia area, but it is also useful for anybody who lives on the west side anywhere between midtown and Washington Heights or Inwood.

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