By Sarah Bennett

The city's dog runs, reviewed, one gravel pile at a time. This week: East River Park (downtown).

Obviously, the number one factor in choosing a dog run is how far is it from your home. For the sake of reference, however, we’re going to attempt to compile info on as many NYC dog runs as humanly possible, because you never know when you’re going to move, a jerk is going to move onto your regular run turf, or your dog may wish to move his bowels somewhere else.

East River Park (near the tennis courts, just above Delancey Street)

Not a run. Not even a little. 

Basic Stats/Public Service Announcement: Just cutting to the chase here, this is not a dog run. Despite being listed in a few databases, all this is a depressed circle in the park that has no fencing, let alone bags, water, or any of the other dog run amenities. It would make a fine kiddie sprinkler area in the summer, adhoc altar for cult sacrifices, or place for teens to congregate so they can get high and skateboard in peace (see picture), but not a dog run, not even in off-hours. It’s a not-fenced-off pit with a bike path on one side and a running path/river on the other, which is to say, it’s a recipe for disaster.

The real run in the park is many blocks north, or there’s the run at Corlears Hook, further south on the other side of FDR, which is a proper dog run but, last I checked, is lined with mulch, which makes for some extra muddy and filthy circumstances.

Maybe instead of "dog run," they meant "teen pit"?

Pros: It’s still a lovely place to walk your dog, which I say because I love the southern end of East River Park, despite their annoying lie about a dog run. The sunken circle of doom is near the public toilets, which are the only ones you’re going to find for miles and miles, at least if you don’t prefer to debase yourself and find relief as your pet would, in a bush or against a wall, in full view of god, country, and the Domino Sugar factory.

Cons: Again, not a dog run. There’s always a chance I misread maps—my sense of direction is so bad, I can get lost in a Target—but it really does seem like this one isn’t on me. Uncool, NYC Parks. Uncool.