Saturday, August 31, 2013

Run 52: North Avondale

North Avondale was a pleasant surprise on a muggy Saturday morning; it was surprising for its quiet, winding streets lined with immaculate mansions and towering trees. I guess on some level I knew that all of this was there, but I hadn't made a point of checking it out.

We started from North Avondale Montessori. Located on Clinton Springs, this elementary school is housed in a brand new building complete with a greenhouse.  It’s nice to see a new school building that is architecturally interesting.

From the school parking lot Kayla kicked it into high gear up a deceivingly challenging hill. I asked her to slow down as I was running on one cup of black coffee, no breakfast, and 60 miles on my legs over 5
days of running (it’s marathon season!).

Mercifully, Kayla slowed down just in time for the beautiful homes that are present throughout North Avondale. I’ve noticed that in recent posts I’ve fallen into a pattern that goes something like:“Here’s the park, here’s the business district, and here are some houses,” but the residences of North Avondale deserve more than that rudimentary fly over.

For instance, check out this one:

And this one:

And this one:

So what can I say about these homes? Well, I would be happy to call any of them mine. This picture captures the North Avondale neighborhood vibe very well; a classic mailbox, a gaslight, and a a tree-lined sidewalk.

As for this picture, I'm not sure what it captures, but we couldn't leave the neighborhood until I posed in front of this planter (Kayla's idea). The end result was perfectly awkward.

North Avondale is also the shared home (with Evanston) of Xavier University. As we wound around the neighborhood we came to the Xavier soccer stadium and athletic facilities. This was a part of the campus I had never seen before, as most of my time on campus has been at the Cintas Center.

This castle appeared to double as student housing. For an urban campus, Xavier picked a part of the city that has plenty of wide-open greenspace and room for classic architecture.

Now that I've seen what North Avondale has to offer, I'm already plotting routes to bring me back for another run. I discovered that Victory Parkway is the perfect thoroughfare to hop on and connect to the rest of the neighborhood, making for a nice change from my usual downtown and back along the river route. I look forward to my return.

You can see our entire route here:

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