I've been running in Brooklyn and Manhattan for almost 16 years now. I was surprised, when I arrived, to find that it was a great place to run. When I started, I had two runs: over the Brooklyn Bridge to South Street Seaport and back, and over the Brooklyn Bridge, across to the West Side, around Battery Park and back. Later, I added in the Prospect Park Loop, and a long run over the Williamsburg Bridge. That was pretty much the routine for a long time. After a few years work on the Manhattan Bridge was completed, that got added in as a two bridge loop. The Battery Park route was a casualty of 9-11 for a while, but these were the routes for a decade. Then all sorts of things started to happen: (1) Hudson River Park made running up the West Side a pleasure; (2) Brooklyn Bridge Park continues to evolve and change; and (3) even Ikea made a contribution by landscaping a park behind the store with great views and industrial grit.
Today, something even more fundamental happened -- Prospect Park changed. For the last few years the bottom of the Park has been a construction site. Where the skating rink used to be, there were barriers promising a future wonderland to be known as Lakeside. I've gotten a few glimpses, here and there, but this morning, a rerouting of the pedestrian path forced me to face the new world. The lake in Prospect Park has always been a nice natural feature, but access was reserved to walkers on the nature paths. Now there is a network of intersecting walkways, terraces, and fountains (not operating yet) that are really quite impressive and make use of the natural features as well. Even the waterfowl seemed happy.