The Upper West Side: When you love running, but also melted cheese.

Winter means the ending of a year (well, not in the case of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, but okay) and the promise of change. This winter I’m facing a lot of change – some really wonderful and special, and some difficult and scary. One change that falls somewhere in between (but much, much, much more on the wonderful and special side) is my move just across the Hudson River.

The last five years I’ve been so lucky to make little corners of the island of Manhattan my home sweet home. I’ve been #blessed to roll out of bed at 7:35AM for an 8:00AM NYRR race, and be home by 9:00AM. For the past 3 years I’ve lived on the Upper West Side, one of my favorite places in the world. I know that I’ll be a stone’s throw from all my local haunts, and have made that crystal clear to my roommates, neighbors, baristas and Trader Joe cashiers. I am not GOING anyway, but before I go, here are some of my favorite things about my favorite ‘hood for the next time you’re in this neck of the grid.

The people at Jack Rabbits

Jack Rabbits on 72nd between Columbus and Broadway are good, good people. I’ve come to this staff to ask about shoes, Gu’s, aches, pains and training plans. The store is conveniently located and always has great running events, as well as training runs leading up to NYC races.

Jacob’s Pickles + E’s combo night

If you’ve heard of the UWS, you’ve heard of Jacob’s Pickles. If you love biscuits, run don’t walk to Jacob’s Pickles. If you love good food in any shape or form, again, run don’t walk to Jacob’s Pickles. And when you get there, screech to a halt because there’s probably an ungodly wait since this establishment doesn’t take reservations. No WORRIES. Put in your name and then walk approximately 4’ uptown to E’s Bar where there’s a selection of draft beers and board games to distract from the cell phone NOT buzzing. Also, JP offers outdoor seating till it’s almost unseasonable, so if you’re not wearing layers, make sure to request your preference. But I will be the first to tell you that Beer Battered Chicken and Pancakes taste JUST as amazing in 40 degree weather as they do by a fireplace.


Queso at Cilantro

So, back to food. After every good run, you need even better grub. Mexican food is a go-to for most of us, but if your tummy can handle it, split the Queso with Chorizo with a pal and gab about whatever. Cilantro is just .2 from the park, so what’s your excuse?


 Everything about Central Park


Here are my favorite Central Park routes for when you need a long, short or medium sized run.

More on this in an upcoming post.

For when you just need to run but you have almost no time, here’s 2-something miler

For when you’re feeling leisurely, here’s a 5 miler

For when you need a long-ish run, here’s a 7 miler

For when you’re training for a badass marathon like NYC and you need that distance and those hills, here is a 14+miler (with Reservoir views, Harlem Hills, and a sneak peak of the last few miles of the Marathon)

Any and all of my favorite foods have been consumed in the presence of my dear UWS best friend, Leah, known on the streets as @polkadotlipsNYC. If melted cheese, bagels, and exotic Oreo’s are your poision, CLICKITY CLICK here.


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