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All photos depicted in the gallery above were taken by Natalie Rizzo.
A Running Event Worth Daydreaming About
If you ask me about my favorite places to run in New York City, I will respond like most New York runners: “Along one of the rivers or in Central Park.” I can guarantee you that “Bushwick, Brooklyn” would have never made the list…until recently.
Last month, I had the pleasure of participating in the Daydream Art Run Experience, hosted by Runstreet and CLIF Bar. This guided fun run was promoted as an exploration of the incredible murals of Bushwick, held at a relaxed 10-minute mile pace. It featured five waves of runners (one at every hour), each with its own millennial-type category: Glitteratti, Unicorn, Dragon, Shapeshifter and F*$k Labels. Runners were encouraged to adorn their best category garb—and participants did not disappoint. Since I thought it would feature the best costumes, I signed up for the Unicorn wave. My intuition was right—Unicorn participants wore everything from rainbow-colored running gear to full unicorn onesies. The costumes alone were enough to make the run entertaining, but there was plenty more to look at.
The event provided a pre-run festival that featured a variety of products from CLIF (including the brand’s scrumptious nut butter-filled bars), as well as a DJ, face painting and a photo booth. Each running group consisted of about 30 people, which was slightly manic to keep organized, but my Type-A personality told me to stick close to the guide. The pace was more like 11 or 12 minutes per mile, but the run was really more about the overall experience than the workout. To my surprise, we came upon a breathtaking mural almost immediately. With such a large group on the streets in Brooklyn, the guide didn’t take much time to explain the art (browse the gallery above to see some of the featured murals), but I felt that just looking at it was enough. In the span of 3.1 miles, our group saw 10 to 15 more murals, each one more beautiful than the last. I’ve lived in New York City for more than 10 years, and I had no idea that Brooklyn had so much amazing street art hiding in plain sight. (My absolute favorite mural was the depiction of a person turning into their spirit animal.)
Would I recommend this experience to other people? Heck yes. My eyes were truly opened to the beauty that lies on the streets of Bushwick. As a matter of fact, after the run, my boyfriend said to me, “We should come back and run here more often.”