Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

Today was a tough workout.

It wasn’t that I pushed myself real hard, it was just long.

I ran 2.5 miles in the morning, first mile in (6:35), second mile in (6:45) and I slowly jogged after that.

Then I met up with some friends and rode my bike 10+ miles to Coney Island in Brooklyn.

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About half way into the ride, I started to remember all of the bike rides I took to Coney Island in my younger years and I started to realize something.

“My old man stamina is insane”.

I slept about 5 hours because my son woke up early and wouldn’t go back to sleep, ran 2 miles at a 6:40 pace in the hot sun and then I rode my bicycle for 10+ miles to Coney Island and back.

And I also did it on a half day fast diet.  I didn’t eat my first meal until around 5pm.

As a young man, that bike ride to Coney Island and back used to tire me out, now I can do it after a night of  bad sleep and immediately after a run.

Yet, I am still running slower than I did when I was 17 years old.

That is the thing about aging, you really don’t lose any stamina and endurance. If anything, you become a superman.

But what you do lose, is speed.

Speed is an indicator of youthfulness.

You need to sprint, jump, swim and worry less about the long-distance training.

Speed will keep you young.

More to come in my 3rd book coming out next month!

-John Andre

Book 3 coming out this summer!

Lift Heavy/Run Fast

 

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To be fair, I have lived in Brooklyn for  over 34 years and only 2 years in Staten Island. My only break was for 6 months in Albany, NY during college and In my early 30’s I spent 2 years in the Rockaways, Queens.

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(South Beach, Staten Island)

Although I have lived in 4 different area’s, I am officially “FROM” Brooklyn. Not be confused with the tens of thousands of people who moved to Brooklyn in the last 10 years.  I was born in Brooklyn, went to public school in Brooklyn and I got married in Brooklyn.

I am not a transplant, I am FROM Brooklyn.

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Although I’ve never hung out much in Staten Island prior to moving here, I’ve been to the Island hundreds of times growing up, because one side of my family lives on the South shore.  My experience growing up was several weekends a year to visit relatives, many trips to the Staten Island mall and in my mid 20’s I went to graduate school in Staten Island (St John’s)

So let’s get down to the comparison:

People:  Edge Brooklyn.  In my opinion, the people are a lot more humble and approachable in Brooklyn (except the hipsters).  Brooklyn has a much higher density and diverse population, so growing up in Brooklyn you are forced to interact with other people.  Some people in Staten Island are very nice, but overall they seem to be very wary of strangers.  Many people moved to Staten Island to  “get away” from the rest of the city, and it’s no surprise that Staten Island has the highest gun ownership in NYC.

Commute: Staten Island.  The people in Staten Island complain about the commute, but they don’t know how good they have it.  The traffic in Brooklyn is BAD and getting worse.  Driving downtown or anywhere near the Barclays center is a nightmare, Coney Island is getting worse and parking across the borough is becoming nonexistent.  If you work in Staten Island you can park almost anywhere., meanwhile,  Brooklyn is slowly turning into Manhattan.

In Staten Island, the only time it gets bad is if you live out on the South Shore and have to commute to Brooklyn or Manhattan.  But with that being said, the train to the ferry is the best deal in all of NYC.  My wife picks me up and drives me to the ferry for work, so I commute to Manhattan everyday for FREE (Minus gas, insurance and repairs)

Gyms:  Staten Island has a huge gym culture and so does parts of Brooklyn.  I would probably call this a tie.  Staten Island on average has more bodybuilders and power lifters, but Brooklyn has more gyms.  In Bay Ridge, Brooklyn where I grow up, they have 5 or 6 gyms in walking distance from my house, in Staten Island most people have to drive.

Parks: The parks in Staten Island parks are extremely underrated.  Clove lake park, Silver lake park and South Beach are all great areas.  Further out, Great Kills Park and Wolfe’s Pond Park are also great and so are the trails on the green belt and Todt Hill.  Brooklyn has Prospect Park and Coney Island of course, but again, parking can be difficult and they have become super touristy.  To be fair, Prospect Park is my favorite park in NYC, but Staten Island has many more options.  Staten Island Wins.

Bars/Restaurants: Staten island has really good pizza/Italian food, but the borough loses on every other category.  For bars, Staten Island has maybe 10-15 decent places, but they mostly attract a neighborhood crowd.  In Brooklyn you get the neighborhood crowd and also a little bit of a tourist crowd.  Brooklyn has more business turnover, so there are always new places to try.   Brooklyn wins food and bars by a long shot.

Price: Staten Island is generally less expensive, but historically the homes have not appreciated  in value like they have in Brooklyn.  This is a tie. Prices are lower, but if you buy something, it doesn’t go up as much (historically).

Overall winner: It’s hard to say, since they are both very different.  If you are just moving to NYC from out-of-state and you end up in Staten Island, you will probably be disappointed.  Staten Island doesn’t have the culture or diversity as the other boroughs and its generally more of a suburb than an urban city.

But if you are already familiar with NYC and you know the places that you like, Staten Island can work for you.  For myself, my commute to Manhattan is a breeze compared to when I lived in Brooklyn and it’s also a 10-minute bus ride to my parents house in Bay Ridge. I  also found a gym that I like and there are several parks that I use for my cardio.

So overall, if you are between ages 18-28, I would not recommend living in  Staten Island.  Brooklyn has more bars, restaurants, diversity and population.  If you are more established or raising a family, I would consider giving Staten Island a chance.  I’m not leaving.

-John

I realized that I have been blogging for a while and I haven’t really given any background information about myself.

My name is John, but I go by my nick name J.A.  I am originally from Brooklyn, NY and I have lived there for over 30 years before recently moving to Staten Island.

I first started working out with weights in High School and I haven’t stopped ever since.  I also started running in High School, including 2 years of High School track and field and one year in College.

My track and field career ended with me winning the City University Outdoor Long Jump in 1998. (Division 3, no big deal).

After retiring from track and field, I became interested in power lifting and have since competed in over 20 competitions.

So what do I do now?

I consider myself a mix between a power lifter, runner and amateur bodybuilding.  Really it depends on what mood I am in.  But most recently I have been focusing on amateur bodybuilding and I pride myself on being able to build a natural 6-pack every summer.

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Ripped abs

I hope you enjoy my site.  I have a book out on amazon.com, The Automatic 6-pack, and a second book coming out in early 2017.

I am also a big fan of traveling.  In the last several years I have been to the following:

  • Mardi Gras
  • Kentucky Derby
  • Preakness
  • Estonia
  • Sweden
  • Ireland (St Patrick’s Day)
  • Ottawa, Canada
  • Niagara Falls
  • Key West, Florida
  • Vancouver

And much more….

I hope you enjoy my website.  Besides a second book coming out, I would “love” to hold my own race in the near time future.

Thanks!

John

It was pretty warm this weekend, but now this week it is starting to rain again.  I am not a big fan of the extreme heat, and when it gets to July and August I like to run a little bit later at night, but I am glad to see the seasons changing.

My next big race looks to be the Wall St run coming up in the middle of June.  This will be my 5th year in a row running it, so I’d like to put in a decent time.

The other big news is that I recently moved to the Rockaways in Queens from Brooklyn, NY!!!  For the last couple weeks I have been having second thoughts about moving here, but Memorial Day weekend convinced me that it is a great place to live.

Check out this picture from outside my apartment!

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It looks like my two favorite runs of the summer have been just announced!!

The first is the Coney Island Sports Foundation 5K which is on Sunday, June 29.  This race takes place on the Coney Island boardwalk in Brooklyn, and I love jumping in the water afterwards and having a couple beers.

My 2nd favorite is the Fire Island Run for Rose 5k, which will be on Sunday, August 10th.  This race snakes through the tiny streets of Ocean Bay Park and Ocean Bay, Fire Island.   Similar to the Coney Island Run, it usually ends with a huge party : )

 

Here is a picture of me running it last summer and refusing water!

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