Not everyone thinks running on the sidewalks of New York City is a good idea. Even if you’re young, the incessant pounding on one’s knees is supposed to lead to visits to the orthopedist for this or that.  Nevertheless,  I started running last year, a few times a week in the Morningside Heights area around Columbia.  Over this cool summer here, I was able to do it practically every day.

I only run about 1-1/2 to 2 miles, so it’s not particularly arduous.  Despite my proximity to Riverside Park, my preferred running course is on Riverside Drive, which has flat sidewalks, eliminating the possibility of tripping on a crack.   There’s also a lovely canopy of trees overhead, and the flower planters adjacent to the elegant pre-war Riverside Drive apartment buildings which line the route are always bursting with beautiful flowers.

There isn’t a tremendous amount of pedestrian traffic but there are dog walkers and people heading off to work or school.

I’ve just recently started running with an iPod, although plugging in to music means I can’t hear the birds as well.

I strongly recommend the routine.  When I come back, I feel, either physically or psychologically, the full effect of those mood-enhancing endorphins.   I suppose I’ll have to change my routine when the cold weather comes.  But for now, my morning run is a high point of the day.