Sunday, November 13, 2011

A marathon last week in New York

My New York sojourn ended on a high note with marathon week. Frannie from Albury flew in a few days beforehand to stay with me and take part. She gained entry through the lottery. I gained entry to next year's marathon by running races :-) The unseasonal snowstorm a couple of weeks ago saw my second-to-last race cancelled, but my last one went ahead on a cold but beautiful Saturday a week ago. I was third in my age group in the 5K that went from the United Nations Building to the marathon finish line in Central Park, and Frannie was fourth just behind me!

Marathon day was stunningly beautiful. I went over to Staten Island with Fran to see her on her way to the start, then came back to Manhattan. I watched bits of the race with Joanne on 1st Avenue, where I saw Marie, Steve and Maria. Caught Maria again on 5th Avenue. I didn't see Fran at all, who finished about 15 minutes faster than she'd expected. Both she and Maria had a bad time with cramps, but they still did really well and really earned their medals.

Frannie flew out to see her daughter in the Mid-West on Monday and I packed up my New York life before flying south on Wednesday.

On other notes: During my final week I saw three one-act plays (including one by Woody Allen) on Broadway, and saw a few films as part of the NYC Documentary Film Festival: one about Charlotte Rampling, who did a Q&A afterwards; a fascinating account of the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, which I saw with Maria; and 'Girl With Black Balloons' (about a long-term resident artist of the Chelsea Hotel). I visited the 9/11 Memorial and saw the water features that occupy the footprints of the original South and North Towers. I had four morning runs with the usual suspects, whom I'll miss incredibly over the next six months. And I joined in the NYC Marathon opening ceremony and Parade of Nations with Fran.

On my last morning I had coffee with architect Kate, with whom I have so many things in common it's uncanny. I also spent time the last week getting to know John Boy and Anne from 96th Street a little better. I'll really miss them.

Au revoir, New York!

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