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The winner of the female race Kenyan Priscah Jeptoo on First Avenue.
All photos © h. nazan ışık
Today is November 17, 2013. This is the date of the 35th Istanbul Marathon. Running from one continent to the other one —from Asia to Europe — it must be a unique experience for the runners.
Two weeks ago, November 3, New York celebrated the 43rd ING New York City Marathon. After the 2012 NYC Marathon’s cancelation in wake of the Superstorm Sandy, and the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, this one was very important for New Yorkers and marathoners. According to the information given by NY Road Runners more than 50,700 runners started this year’s race (last year it was 47,340), and 50,304 of them finished it.
I love the marathon day in New York. That’s the only one that I can talk about, since I haven’t been to any other marathons to compare. I love that day in New York City; such a happy, joyful day it is. The people of New York line the 26.2 miles across the city to encourage runners.
Every year, I like to stay close to the 60th Street on First Avenue which is the entrance into Manhattan after the Queensboro Bridge — also known as the 59th Street Bridge. Manhattan is ready for the runners at that spot. Portable toilets are located under the bridge, an official fluid and food station on First Avenue and the 61st Street is set up there , a band is ready, waiting, and NewYorkers, fans and runners’ relatives are there with flags, signs and bells to cheer them on.
This year I decided to get there earlier than the previously to see the preparations and first comers. It wasn’t very crowded yet. The fluid & food station was getting set up, volunteers at the station were practicing how to hand off the cups and/or clapping and cheering. People were on the side making signs read “GO……GO!”, “RUN……RUN.
First, the wheelchair athletes arrived. Wheelchair athletes were like bullets: boom, boom, boom; so fast.
Well! The female and male athletes who entered Manhattan first, were not different than the athletes on wheelchairs; they were very fast too. And even some of them had smiles on their faces, as if they just started to run.
Then the male racers arrived. Following are the five male runners who finished early in Manhattan:
Tsegaye Kebede, who completed the race in 2nd place, Jackson Kiprop (7th), Peter Cheruiyot Kirui (8th), Stanley Biwott (5th) and Julius Arite (4th).
And the winner of the 2013 New York City Marathon, Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai was not among these five athletes.
The road was getting crowded with runners as well as those on the sidelines. There were relatives who knew their loved ones’ running time and were trying not to miss them. People around me were waving different flags and yelling in different languages.
Spectators were very cheerful and encouraging all the racers no matter what country they were from…
The reactions coming from racers were different: some were smiling, others were thanking people, some were giving high fives and one wheelchair athlete was giving kisses. It was a wonderful day to remember!
The next day on the streets of New York City, I saw some people wearing their commemorative medals — mostly, I guess, visitors. I told them, “Congratulations!” with a big smile. Some came, shook my hand and replied: “Thank you! And thank you for your encouragements.” Even the next day was wonderful!
I hope the Istanbul Marathon will be as happy and joyful as the day of New York City’s marathon.
photos: © h. nazan ışık–
One year ago today, Oct 29, 2012, New Jersey and New York were hit by Hurricane Sandy, also known as Superstorm Sandy. The damage was enormous: so many homes, businesses were destroyed. The storm surge at Battery Park in New York City reached 13.88 feet (4.23062 meter). Downtown Manhattan was flooded, and part of the city was in the dark for so many days. Manhattan wasn’t the only place in New York was affected by Sandy, but Coney Island in Brooklyn, Rockaway and Breezy Point in Queens and Long Island were also badly damaged. Wikipedia says that “at least 286 people were killed along the path of the storm in seven countries”. And according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 53 of them in New York.
I live in the Upper East Side somewhere close to the East River. When authorities gave a warning on November 28th about the severity of the approaching storm, I, like everybody, bought candles, batteries, canned food, water and filled containers with water, in case.
And, then on that November 29, Sandy hit the city the boroughs and New Jersey as well. Upper Manhattan was OK, but not the Lower Manhattan.
Let me take you back to those days and my experience of it through the images I took.
On that Oct 30th, I walked from where I live towards downtown. At that point in time, there was no visible problem — the power was on and stores were open. But when I arrived at, I believe somewhere around 40th Street, the area plunged into darkness. People with flashlights in hand were very careful not to step on something dangerous. It was very eerie.Two days later a photographer friend of mine and I decided to go to the affected areas. Our first stop was Red Hook in Brooklyn.
First thing we saw in Red Hook, Brooklyn, a boat landed on the street.Then we went to Coney Island. I clearly remember Coney Island Beach. The last time I was there it was nice, clean and full of people. This time it was filled with debris.From there we drove to Breezy Point, Queens.
“Chaos vs. serenity.” Badly damaged, the restaurant’s floor was full of debris, yet glasses on the rack were intact, creating a wind chime-like, pleasant sound.The next day I went to Long Island, NY by myself. Sandy had caused severe damage there too. Houses were without roofs, boats were on the street, and there were piles of broken furniture, refrigerators, dishwashers, toys…. etc. everywhere. Signs that read “Looters will be shot” were everywhere.
A car got stuck in two houses in Lindenhurst, Long Island, NY.
And in Manhattan — since NY subways weren’t working after Sandy — buses were the only vehicles to take.As a result of the huge damage and deaths caused by Hurricane Sandy in many countries, the World Meteorological Organization decided never to use name “Sandy” for a North Atlantic hurricane.
Today, a year after the storm, on this October 29, Hurricane Sandy is being remembered. Museum of the City of New York and the International Center of Photography organized an exhibition: RISING WATERS: PHOTOGRAPHS OF SANDY.
The invitation says: “Rising Waters is an exhibition of photographs taken in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan as well as New Jersey: they capture the superstorm, the damage, and the aftermath. Culled from over 10,000 images sent by both professional photographers and New Yorkers…”
There are 200 photographs in the exhibition — and one of them is mine -- which will be on view until March 2, 2014.
© h. nazan ışık
Guys and Dolls Music and lyrics by Frank Loesser Lady Windermere’s Fan Written by Oscar Wilde Our Betters Written by M. Somerset Maugham The Shaw Festival—Behind the Curtain (PBS DVD)
Charleston was a battleground during both the American Revolution and the Civil War. 1779's Battle of Charleston was one of the last British victories over the American colonists. South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union when state officials, unhappy with the election of President Abraham Lincoln, met in Charleston on December 20, 1860 and voted to leave. President Lincoln retaliated by having the Union Navy blockade Charleston. Confederate forces retaliated by shelling Fort Sumter, a key Union outpost in Charleston Harbor, on April 12, 1861 and the Civil War was underway.
What is not as well known about Charleston is that it was a bastion of religious tolerance from its founding in the 17th century. Prior to 1800 there were more Jews living there than either in New York or Philadelphia. Congregation Beth Elohim was founded in 1740, and its current home, a magnificent Greek Revival structure, was completed a century after that. The oldest continuous house of worship in Charleston is St. Michael’s Episcopal Church that opened in 1761. Both George Washington and Robert E. Lee attended services there.
Charleston officials have always been concerned about preserving the city’s rich history and have strict regulations over the construction of new buildings which require them to be in an antebellum style. You can certainly walk all over Charleston’s sizable historic district from its battery where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form Charleston Harbor to its famous City Market where vendors selling food, clothing, and the market’s most famous product, sweetgrass baskets. While exercise is certainly encouraged, I heartily recommend guided tours of the area to get the most out of your visit. If you want to learn Charleston’s history and simultaneously feel as if you are back in the 18th century I highly recommend Palmetto Carriage Tours which use horse and mule-drawn coaches. It is best to take a ride in the early morning before the city’s heat and humidity kicks in.
A great way to beat the heat as well as learn about the city maritime history is to enjoy a 90-minute Charleston Harbor Cruise that goes around Fort Sumter. If you want a more personalized excursion, Janice Kahn, a lifelong Charlestonian, will take you in her car and show you not only the points of interest such as the famous military college, the Citadel, but she’ll also give background stories and anecdotes that very few know about. You will feel like an area insider after spending a couple of hours with her. Kahn Tours can be reached at (843) 556-0664.
The South Carolina Aquarium opened on the Cooper River in May 2000. While there aren’t any big mammals such as whales and dolphins here (you can generally see a dolphin in Charleston Harbor), there are lemurs, various sharks, area fish, and even an albino alligator.
The Charleston RiverDogs are the Yankees South Atlantic League affiliate and they play their home games at Joe Riley Stadium which opened in 1997. The season runs from early April to Labor Day. The RiverDogs got a lot of attention recently when Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez played a few games there.
Aside from history, Charleston is getting known by foodies for its fine restaurants which have attracted James Beard Award-winning chefs. Fleet Landing, located right on the Cooper River, has a large festive outdoor dock, and is renown for its reasonably-priced freshly caught seafood. I recommend the crab cake and the she-crab soup. The Charleston Grill and 82 Queen are fine dining restaurants that offer both seafood and chops.
There is a wide array of lodgings that fit all budgets. The Mills House, located on Meeting Street, is nearby to all of the historical sites and it has spacious rooms, an outdoor pool, and offers a complimentary breakfast to all guests. If you want a five-diamond experience without having to pay through the nose, Charleston Place, located across the street from Congregation Beth Elohim, is highly recommended.
Queens’ own JetBlue started service from JFK to Charleston last February and the flying time is roughly 90 minutes. JetBlue has two daily flights.
For more information, log onto www.explorecharleston.com or call the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at (800) 868-8118.
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