You may have noticed a few photos in my Instagram feed from New York City last week. Woody and I were there on vacation. To say it was odd being a visitor in NYC, the city I called home for more than nine years, would be an understatement. As much as it had changed, it had stayed the same. While Woody has been back several times for work, this was my first trip back since we moved to Denver last year.
Cashing in some hard-earned Starwood points, we stayed at the Four Points by Sheraton in Chelsea – 25th St and 7th Ave. – while not the most luxurious of accommodations it is in a fantastic location as we could walk or run just about anywhere we wanted to go – and that’s what was important! Downtown, not a problem. Uptown, easy. West Village, right down the street. Kips Bay, a nice crosstown walk. Of course, we love walking and the miles tick by much quicker when you’re walking along busy Manhattan streets than they do in many parts of Denver, but even for those few times we took the subway we had easy access to every line.
I’ve always been one of those people who loved to walk in the city. And I look up. Which is a rare thing among New Yorkers, but I am in love with the architecture and always have been. And have you ever wondered what it’s like to live, or work, in those beautiful buildings? I’m not ashamed to admit that I love walking around at night and catching a glimpse into townhomes, apartments or offices, you can’t help but wonder about its story. Not much different than people watching – another favorite hobby in the city.
Each morning but one (we were out way too late the night before) started with a run. One of the many great things about the city is the endless running opportunities. Sure, you might be dodging parents with double-wide strollers (why are these allowed in the city?), dogs, or tourists walking 4 across, but you can run for miles without crossing the same intersection more than once and see a lot of the city along the way.
Our first run was down the West Side Highway to the north cove in Battery Park City and back up to our hotel. Number 2 was one loop of Central Park with Grace, who went on to run another 10 miles in the park for her 16 mile long run ahead of the NYC Marathon. Our third was Woody’s least favorite as I insisted on running down 5th Ave, through Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, SoHo, and Tribeca during rush hour on our way to Battery Park, and up through Battery Park City to have breakfast at our favorite bagel place (Zucker’s in Tribeca if you’re wondering!). And our last morning was another jaunt down the West Side Highway (I had to make it up to Woody), with a turnaround at Chambers Street and back up, finishing at Hu Kitchen for breakfast. If we hadn’t slept in the first morning, and I had my druthers, we would have made another trip back up to Central Park. All in all though, we covered 25 miles in 4 days – a lot of miles for me.
I also had the opportunity to take a spinning class with Grace. Another favorite thing – the endless array of events to try something new, to explore what you’re passionate about. BFX Chelsea has been open for several months now, and offers a variety of classes including spinning, barre, yoga and pilates, performance training, martial arts, and combinations of those. Our spinning class with Juan was successful in getting my heart pumping and a good sweat going. The bikes didn’t require clip-in shoes, which in advance of the class I thought would be odd, but it actually worked out well and I’m glad the specific shoes weren’t required, since I don’t have a pair! This does make the class more accessible. Interestingly, we learned from Juan that BFX Studio, which is opening two more locations in the coming months – one in FiDi, the other in Boston – is owned by Town Sports International, which also owns the New York Sports Club chain. You won’t find a mention of TSI on the BFX website however.
There were so many fantastic things about our trip, besides just the running! Reconnecting with amazing friends over drinks, taking a break in Bryant Park, savoring lunch on the Highline, chatting with the doorman at our old building, seeing how downtown has come into its own, looking out over Central Park from the rooftop of the Met, laughing so hard I cried at Upright Citizens Brigade, and enjoying every meal, cup of coffee and piece of chocolate along the way.
Until next time, NYC.
Sound Off: How many pairs of running shoes do you own? What’s your favorite brand & model?