McCarren Park Track Reopens Following Improvements

McCarren Park Track (via @northbrooklynrunners)

Time to celebrate with a few laps! The quarter-mile McCarren Park track has reopened after almost a year of improvements by the parks department for a cost of $3,188,000.


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Track‘s back. Wheels up BK! #runbrooklyn #mccarrenpark

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The soccer field was also closed last March and a new artificial-turf was installed. Other improvements include a misting station and adding trees to the surrounding green area.

McCarren Park Synthetic Turf Soccer Field Reconstruction (via NYC Parks)
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Get Your Kicks While You Can! McCarren Park Track and Field To Close for Year-Long Repairs

McCarren Park Track and Field

Run, Greenpoint!

On March 19th, the city will close the Track and Field at McCarren Park for a year. The field and quarter-mile running track on Lorimer Street between Driggs and Bayard will be getting a facelift thanks to a 4 million dollar overhaul funded by the mayor’s office. During the year-long closure, the parks department will lay new turf, and a new rubber track, at the complex. Additionally, the department will install new bleachers, planters and fitness equipment around the track. The rest of the park will remain open while the track and field overhaul is in progress.  Continue reading

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Where you can watch the NYC Marathon this Sunday (11/5)

Marathon on Manhattan Avenue!
Marathon on Manhattan Avenue! Via TCS NYC Marathon

On Sunday, 50,ooo people will take to the streets for the New York City Marathon. The race will start in Staten Island, make its way through Brooklyn and into Queens, then across to Manhattan, and into the Bronx. Finally, runners will return to Manhattan, striving for the finish line in Central Park.

We’ll have lots of opportunities to cheer on the runners, and watch our fellow New Yorkers sweat it out, since miles 10-13 will wind through Williamsburg and Greenpoint. The race kicks off at 8:30am, and the Department of Transportation will close roads along the route 9am-6pm on race day.

The Marathon’s official spectator guide calls Greenpoint one of the best places to watch the race, and encourages spectators to line the streets and cheer. The following streets in our neighborhood are along the route and will be closed on Sunday:  Continue reading

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5th Annual Brooklyn Greenway Half Marathon and 5K is Sunday 10/15

On the Run in Brooklyn. Via the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
On the Run in Brooklyn. Via the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative

This fall, there are plenty of opportunities to help make Greenpoint greener and to run a (sorta) marathon, but what if you want to do both at the same time? Well, you’re in luck. The 5th Annual Brooklyn Greenway Initiative’s Half Marathon and 5K will be hitting the Brooklyn Waterfront on Sunday, October 15th. The Half Marathon route follows the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway from Redhook to Greenpoint and back, and the 5K winds its way through Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Route. Via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.
The Route. Via Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

The race is produced by EliteFeates and hosted yearly by the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, “a non profit organization committed to the development, establishment and long term stewardship of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.” Six miles of the Greenway are currently open to the public, and when the project is complete, the “14-mile landscaped route for pedestrians, runners and cyclists will connect neighborhood parks and open spaces from Greenpoint to Bay Ridge.”  Continue reading

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Achievable Goals: The New York Sorta Marathon Comes to McCarren Park 11/12

Zach Broussard, Future Marathon Runner. Via Kickstarter
Zach Broussard, Future Marathon Runner. Via Kickstarter

Why run when you could walk? That seems to be question guiding this fall’s newest athletic not-quite-feat: The New York Sorta Marathon. Organized by comedian and former Greenpointer Zach Broussard, the Sorta Marathon is the first short marathon. Instead of 26.2 miles, the length of a traditional marathon, the race clocks in at just .2 miles.

Broussard explores some hard truths about marathons in his YouTube promo video for the event, including this rock-hard reality: 26.2 miles is way too long for most people. Designed to be a race anyone can finish, the event’s Kickstarter page exalts, “finally, a marathon FOR THE PEOPLE.” Broussard knows that not all of us have the time or the ability to train for a traditional race, but that we all face challenges personally or globally. So, how can we feel good? Skip the running and go straight to the runner’s-high! He told me, “lots of our online experience is watching people brag about things that are sometimes out of our own reach. So I thought it would be fun to create an event that allowed literally anyone the chance to brag about some crazy accomplishment.” Continue reading

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Solfire: A Shop to Set Your Soul Ablaze

Solfire interior
via Solfire

I’ve lived in Greenpoint for eight years and have always felt a void in wellness offerings.  Thankfully, that’s begun to change as juice bars, gyms, and yoga studios started blooming on almost every corner. The emergence of establishments like Lucent Yoga, Botica Apothecary, and Help Your Self is exciting. Until recently, the one thing still lacking was somewhere to buy workout gear. Not just sneakers or a jump rope, but truly functional, cutting-edge activewear. As a former apparel buyer turned full-time yoga teacher, I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into a well-made pair of leggings or running shorts. What you wear when you workout can totally change your experience, as anyone who’s suffered from inner thigh chafing or bleeding nipples can attest!

On a recent morning jog, I was intrigued by a sleek silver sign that read: “Solfire.”  The storefront was a beacon of light on the once desolate stretch of Driggs Avenue from the south tip of McCarren Park to the Bedford L Train. I peeked in and saw a plethora of colorful capri pants and made a mental note to pop by during store hours. When I revisited the shop later that week, I was surprised to discover that Solfire (483 Driggs Ave.) was so much more than a clothing shop. Continue reading

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Let’s Go Running: North Brooklyn Edition + Cannolis!

Path Into Newtown Creek Nature Walk

If you live in Brooklyn and run, chances are you spend quite a bit of time exploring the streets. If you’re new to the area, need a new running route or want to compare notes, here are a few of my favorite running routes in North Brooklyn.

Continue reading

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Introducing North Brooklyn Runners & the McCarren Park Track Classic


The passing of the baton from Becky to Sean.
NBR passes the baton.

North Brooklyn Runners has been connecting runners in the Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, and extended communities for over five years now. The group is a great way for runners to meet training partners, improve their speed and distance, attend workshops about running and training (not to mention hanging out at the Nest after workouts and making a whole new set of friends). Continue reading

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Local Screen Printer Creates NYC Marathon Poster

Kayrock Screenprinting, located right here on Manhattan Avenue, is local artist, Karl LaRocca’s haven for hand-printed fine art editions, as well as posters, cards, books, and everything printable.

LaRocca created this incredibly detailed graphic map, outlining the route of the upcoming 2013 NYC Marathon (11/3), the epic 5 borough, 5 bridge race that passes through Greenpoint each year to the cheers of onlookers. The poster was printed with three individual passes of water-based screenprinting ink in the Kayrock studio, which just so happens to overlook the marathon halfway point on the Pulaski Bridge.

The map is unique because of its to-scale depiction of Manhattan. We’re used to seeing the island sitting perfectly North-South on MTA subway maps, with the Avenues running in straight lines like a compass pointed North, but in actuality, the borough lies at an angle.

La Rocca used satellite mapping data that he tiled together in Photoshop, before drawing the route. The map is based on the metric system, with the race clocking out at 42.195 km (who needs miles?) and timing markers at every 5km.

“I love maps and I wanted to make a very minimalist, pretty thing that I would like to have.” LaRocca said, “I think other runners would like it too.”

The poster is available for $30 on the Kayrock online shop and makes a great gift for  runners and marathon enthusiasts alike.  And for those eco-minded folks out there, it’s printed on 100% recycled “Aged Newsprint” paper, milled with hydroelectric power.

La Rocca is a runner himself and completed the marathon in 2010. He’s currently training for 2014.

“I’m going to turn 40 and run the marathon again.” he explained, “And I just had a kid, so that’s motivation.”

(Sponsored post, courtesy of Kayrock Screenprinting)

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The 20th Annual “Get To The Point” 5K Run

Every year, St. Stan’s Athletic League organizes a local 5K run which takes place throughout many of the major streets of Greenpoint to help fund their school program.  Now in its 20th year, the “Get To The Point” 5K has gotten bigger and better with each round. All racers receive chips which will track their race time down to the millisecond, but not everyone participating will be tracking their time so fastidiously.

Organizers of the race along with students participating in the "Get To The Point 5K" race. Photo by Matt Glasson.

Having participated in two of the 5K runs myself, I can tell you what a joy it is to run along the empty streets of Driggs, Franklin and Manhattan Ave.. All traffic gets closed off of the race route (just as it does during the marathon in November) – that alone makes the $20 entry fee worth the price of admission.  Even if you’re not a regular runner and are up for the walk, it’s a great way to experience Greenpoint that is not often possible.

In addition to the race, participants all get their very own “Get to The Point” 5K t-shirt and are welcome to attend the afterparty held at St. Stan’s gym auditorium. Food and drink are served at the afterparty (typically burgers, hot dogs and pizza – y’know – fitness food!) Last year, the Brooklyn Brewery donated a dozen cases of beer, much to the relief of the 21-plus racing crowd.

Race organizer Frank Carbone works the crowd into a frenzy at the 5K afterparty celebration. Photo by Matt Glasson.

The afterparty is a trip in and of itself as the auditorium fills up with a wide array of local flavor and trophies get handed out for the winners of the race. In addition, they hold other contests for prizes donated by various local sponsors. The race manages to attract both young and old and the diehards from the North Brooklyn Runners. Registration can be done online in advance or on race day, though the cost is $5 more and you aren’t guaranteed a t-shirt!

Get To The Point 5K
Sunday, October 14 @ 1 PM

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