Seebo's Run

A running commentary on my training and whatever else emerges from that.

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Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Monday, December 08, 2008

Sociology Lesson

One of the best-known theories in urban sociology is Ernest Burgess' Concentric Zone Model. In it, he lays out a general socio-spatial schema of the city in which the most valuable, highest use land is situated in a downtown core, which is surrounded by a band of land, the zone of transition, which is industrial, dilapidated and of low value. After that, each concentric band around the downtown increases in value as the further away it gets from the downtown core.

Like many theories, this one holds up better in the classroom than in real life. But I can apply it to my running over these last few days, for as soon as you get out of downtown LA the potential running routes take you through parts of the city you don't see on postcards. But those are the parts of the city that fascinate me. So this morning I plotted (plodded?) a route through East LA, which conjures pictures of Cheech Marin doing bad riffs on Springsteen.

Nothing very glamorous about this run. First part was the same as yesterday, up Bunker Hill and through Skid Row. Then I headed east instead of south. Like a sociology textbook, I first ran through the industry laden area around the LA River, with its cement riverbed, and then over the Santa Ana freeway, which provided the boundary past which lay East LA. The parts I ran through seemed drab and the people I passed seemed intent with getting their week started. Neighborhoods are seldom dicey at 6:30 a.m., if anything I felt invisible. Then it was back around to downtown.

I feel I've gotten a much better feel for the city through my runs. Not in the sense that I feel like I know the city but in that have gotten a sense of respect for it. LA to me has always been a city of sprawl and traffic, lacking in soul. While the former is true, I have seen the city's heart on my runs and have developed a fondness for it.

But I'll be glad to be coming back home tomorrow. 10+ miles in 83:42.

2 Comments:

Blogger Reba said...

And I'll be glad to have your nerdy self back in Philly.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Quinto Sol said...

No worries man.

I am curious though. It seems that you do quite a bit of running on sidewalks, yes? Do you stop your watch when you're forced to stop at intersections?

Have a safe trip back home.

12:33 PM  

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