If you found me through my On the Run appearance, welcome! See “About” above for the intent of the blog; links to subscribe or to follow me on social media are to the right.
(Skip to 6:38 to see my part)
As I hinted in a previous post, I’m going to give one of my Running Brooklyn tours to a television audience. New York Road Runners’ On the Run filmed me sharing sights and sites from a mash-up of two of my favorite routes.
You can catch me this coming Sunday at 1:00 pm on ABC7 in New York. If you’re not in the metro area, or are at GoogaMooga or something, the show will be available online for eternity, I’m guessing.
When On the Run covers races, the fields are usually stocked with running stars. The Brooklyn Half has 25,000 participants but no pro field; the producers decided instead to feature local runners. They found my blog interesting, and asked me to create a special route for the show.
I proposed a seven-mile run starting at the Brooklyn Half pre-party in DUMBO, working our way around the Navy Yard, through Fort Greene, into Prospect Park, past the Old Stone House, and around Green-Wood Cemetery. We would grab some banh mi at Ba Xuyên and take it to Sunset Park.
We made it only as far as Grand Army Plaza, owing to some tough filming conditions (clouds rolling through) and time constraints. Maybe they’ll have me back next year?
I picked up my bib and schwag then did some shots on the waterfront. Graham, our producer, led a briefing near the vans.
The Tobacco Inspection Warehouse was a perfect spot for the pre-party. Usually an empty shell, it was alive with excited runners, food trucks, and a band covering Frank Sinatra. I plan to go back tonight to experience the atmosphere under the lights.
I love the Navy Yard, and apparently the NYRR production team does, too: their editors were stationed near the Steiner Studios lot. The film crew scheduled “drops” where they uploaded all of their footage to the editors while we were on the route; it’s possible that by the time we had reached Grand Army Plaza, the first 30 seconds of the program were already ready to go. Technology!
We visited Admiral’s Row (it’s very difficult to get a good shot here) before heading up to one of my favorite spots in Brooklyn: the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument in Fort Greene Park, a memorial to the 11,000 persons who died in the prison ships in Wallabout Bay.
Karla Bruning, the host, is super cool. We bonded immediately over our dislike for Williams College (she went to Amherst, I to Middlebury) and had great chats while running between locations. A journalist by trade, she writes a blog (subtitled “Notes from a Running Nerd” – swoon) and sings in an 80s cover band (her pick for the decade’s iconic song: “Don’t Stop Believing”).
We then took it “from 1776 to 1996″ farther south in Fort Greene, at the Brooklyn Love Building. It was neat to highlight the difference in the neighborhood just a few blocks away. I also gave a shoutout to Habana Outpost; in return for the free advertisement, I expect complimentary frozen margaritas for life, thank you very much.
I also spit the opening lyrics to “Juicy” on camera in my best Biggie voice. A trio of teenagers passing by snickered. If this airs, it will be hilarious.
Last stop: Grand Army Plaza, specifically the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. I called this monument Brooklyn’s version of the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building, completely forgetting about the Brooklyn Bridge. But, hey – we share that with Manhattan. The Arch is entirely ours.
I was surprised by all of the moving parts: a few cameras, a boom mic, spotters – around ten bodies in all. Zach, at left above, ran with us, carrying that camera and stand with him. (I imagine his arms were quite tired by the end.) Jeff, my main contact and a newly-minted Sunset Park resident, sometimes held a white screen to add light. If you look really closely at the arch shot above, you can see other crew members filming “B roll”, the images that will show while I explain what they are.
I had so much fun doing this, and I’m hopeful that viewers will enjoy it. Thanks to Graham, Karla, and the rest of the crew for giving me the opportunity to share some of what I’ve learned about Brooklyn.