Things are back to normal in some of the city and far from normal in others. This weekend, I tentatively made plans that took me more than walking distance from my apartment. I'd previously gone into Manhattan to take advantage of the free trains and buses, but hadn't actually made plans to meet anyone there. On Saturday, I took the bus down to Brooklyn to meet friends for Polish food. I tend to be pretty down on buses (they're delayed by traffic, they require you to wait outside in all weather for them, and you have to be vigilant about actually looking for your stop), but I will say the journey was fairly smooth. That I was rewarded on the other end by pierogies and blintzes, just added to my positive bus experience.
On Sunday, we had long ago scheduled to take engagement photos in Central Park. After the marathon was canceled, we were worried the park would be closed. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find it both open and well cleaned up. It looked like it took less of a beating than Astoria Park, although it's likely just more that they had a dedicated clean up effort. Most interesting was that there were a bunch of people there still running a marathon (or part of one). I'd heard that a lot of people still made it here because the marathon was canceled so late in the game (according to NPR one guy found this out right after getting off a 17-hour flight from Dubai). A lot of the runners were apparently volunteering their time and energy instead toward the cleanup effort in Staten Island and the Far Rockaways. However, there were a number who were still running. Official marathon or not.
Now Central Park is normally jogger central, so the fact that there were tons of runners was not at first particularly notable when we entered the park. However, there was definitely something different that distinguished them from your average Sunday morning exercise junkies. For starters, large groups of them were wearing matching shirts or jackets. Some were carrying the flags of their countries. And many of them were hollering and cheering. So essentially they were not only trying to recreate the marathon experience by running through the park, they were also trying to populate an imaginary marathon audience with their cheers. It must be a blow to spend so long training and so much money on flights to not be able to run the real event. Although, if I were a marathon runner, I think I would be pretty relieved at the cancelation. I would have felt pretty awkward throwing my half drunk cups of water on the ground while knowing there are people in the city still struggling to get clean drinking water.
I must say though, I admire the persistence of spirit of marathon runners. I hope they're all back here next year, so we can cheer them on properly! Also, unrelated, but I think the engagement shoot went really well. Will definitely share some of the photos here once we get them back from the photographer!