Thursday, February 14, 2008

The importance of breathing

The link is to photos of the New York Road Runner's Bronx Grand Prix Half Marathon sponsored by Continental Airlines. I came in in the top 89 % (top 92 % of men; 10:44 miles), similar to my showing in Manhattan (82 %; 87 %; 10:22)two weeks earlier.

Incidentally, I fell in love with this girl while looking for photos of myself. If you know her, could you ask her to call me?

Now, you might think, "That's fine. Manhattan people are among the most driven and accomplished in the world. You can't expect to outrun them." Well, you've got another think coming. Apparently, we're incredibly average. I'm looking at Zillow's neighborhood data for the boro, and it has a lot of surprises. Almost a quarter of us commute more than an hour. Our median household income is $38,293, 14 % less than the national median of $44,512. Our median age is 35 (A quarter of our people are over 50), one year less than the median age of the country -- I'm older than most people not only in Manhattan, but in the US -- and 28.6 % of New York households have kids, compared with 31.4 % nationally. Wouldn't you have expected our rate to be more than an eleventh less?

So, we're much poorer, but only slightly less fecund. I'm going to consider this data suspect. If you look at the ten year chart of affordability, though, you'll see Manhattan housing prices plummet 80 % approximately to the national average at September 11. However, there are two vertical lines. Sometime in 2003, we have as sharp a rise up, where housing regains about half its cost instantly. What drove that? Did we one day decide the danger was just over, and we were going to start paying through the nose for realty again? Or is this incredibly suspicious?

Anyway, I'm going to blame this cold. I couldn't really breathe for either half. I got all antsy letting people pass me in the Bronx (no one passed me in Manhattan, because I started 19:09 late,) but I was just trying to finish. It does translate to a marathon time noticeably worse than Oprah's, though, so I've got to pick it up.

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