Category Archives: Around The City

Breakdancing at the Staten Island Ferry

I caught this coming home from a Memorial Day weekend bbq in Staten Island. NYC kids rock it. My favorite part is the foot wave at 1:09.

The Garbage Truck Run Battle

I woke up exhausted this morning. Last night I went to an impromptu concert with my brother (Circa Survive at Highline Ballroom) and got home past the time I’m usually asleep during the week.

I pulled through with a strong cup of coffee and the Simon and Garfunkel song Cecilia to pump me up–then I was out the door. My initial plan was to run to the track and do some tempo running again to 1) minimize the length of my workout and 2) still kick some ass. That didn’t happen though.

Somewhere around mile 1 I started to feel awesome, and decided to turn my run into a 3 mile loop. SWEET! It’s a Miracle! I thought. Until.. as I stayed on the pavement.. I began to run into garbage trucks.

the enemy

The first one attacked me from behind. It was a cruel game; stopping long enough that I could get ahead, then moving up right next to me again to repeat the cycle. Holy man, what a stench. The smell that radiates from those garbage trucks is just rude. Can a smell be rude? If you’re a runner getting trapped behind it, definitely. Imagine an odor that’s a mix of hot sour milk and rotten meat following you as you gasp for deep breaths. If you just winced, then you get it.

post-run reenactment. accurate expression.

Every other block I turned down there was a garbage truck. Could it have been the same garbage truck looping around? Maybe. Was there a garbage truck brigade out to sabatoge my miracle run? Also, maybe. Is it just garbage day in my neighborhood? No. They were out to get me.


Sleeping On A NYC Subway

This weekend I was up in White Plains visiting my brother Marc, his girlfriend Jessica, and our families, and we got into a discussion about sleeping on the commute to work. My brother’s girlfriend’s sister Allison (did you follow that?) lives with them, and her and my bro commute to their jobs in the city everyday from White Plains via the Metro North. The ride from White Plains to Grand Central Station is about thirty-five minutes.

Allison: “I was driving to the train station the other day so exhausted that I couldn’t wait to make it to the train just so I could go back to sleep. I was thinking to myself, ‘stay awake!’ ‘ just make it to the train!'”

Me: “Ridiculous. I wish I could sleep on the subway in the city.”

Allison: “I was so tired, I debated sitting on the train back to White Plains and riding back to the city just to get an extra hour of sleep. I figured I’d still get in at 9:30… that’s not bad!”

Me: Stopped talking at this point. just laughing. But thinking to myself–this could never happen for me.

Once I leave my apartment it’s all over. The trains in the city on weekday morning are not quiet. They are not relaxing. It’s more like  hundreds of people squeezing their butts into a subway car regardless of if there is actually room to fit their butts. And in addition, attempting to sip their coffee to wake up and look alive at work, while also reading a trashy novel because how would New Yorkers survive with one instance of nothing to do? Or worse! The men in suits who now read the news on their iPads on the train in the morning. Holding up the big flat device which if someone were to fall into them by accident would slam them in the face and possibly break a nose. Break. A. Nose.

No. Sleep on the subway commute is impossible.

Lo and behold, this morning I was proven wrong. I got on the F train heading to work, and saw this man. This man, pulling out all the stops to catch a few extra minutes of sleep before selling his soul to an 8 hour (probably more like 10 hour) workday.

for real.

I give you..

Ingredients for sleeping on a NYC subway:

  • miniature travel pillow
  • determination to wait until a corner seat opens up on the train, and the speed of light to haul ass and sit in it when it does before ten other grumpy, caffeine-deprived commuters seize it
  • ear plugs to block out the noise from the guy next to you listening to his iPod with the kind of headphones that make everyone around him listen to it too
  • an eye mask, so as to not allow yourself to peak and see everyone staring at you
  • the neck pillow. specifically an inflatable one that must be blown up while waiting for the train, and aired out and packed away once arriving at work
  • complete awareness that what other people think doesn’t matter, ’cause dammit I’m going to get these extra 15 minutes of sleep in!


The New Running Routine

When I first started this blog in May of last year, my intention was to run a different route in Brooklyn every morning and discover interesting things. That plan never panned out, because it turns out I don’t like changing my morning route. Apparently, I love running the same exact route every time. How. Strange. And shockingly boring of me.

I ran this same 2.6 mile loop every day (okay, not nearly everyday, but every running day) I woke up. I’ve been in Manhattan now for 2 weeks, and I’m already on the same loop every (okay, only 4 days so far) day.

The new loop is looking like this:

I’ve realized I lucked out with my new apartment location. Straight down 6th Street is a walking bridge over the FDR Drive, leading to a track on the other side. That’s correct, I live down the street from a track in the city. Karma? Zen? Mozzarella?

In reality I don’t know how often I’ll use the track, but the presence of it feels good. What I really have been doing is running next to the water, all the way up to 34th Street, and then back down 1st Ave. There are TONS of people running next to the FDR in the morning. It reminds me of what a race is like an hour before it starts when everyone is warming up and stretching. What I don’t like is the way people stare me down as they run past me. Why the need to have a stare-down? Why such aggression, NYC? Let me sweat and look like shit at 7am in peace. Eh?

I’d also like to note that this is a legit mile more than I used to run in the morning (total of 3.7). Small thing to note, but HUGE extra bonus awesome feeling at the end. Also, huge increase in hunger throughout the day. I’m now an eating machine. That’s cool.

NYC Blogger Lunch Invite

Hey blogging team out there. A few of us are meeting up this Sunday Jan 10th to grab some late lunch in NYC. If you’re interested in joining (of course you are) hit me up via email. Wahoo!

Holiday Party at Rye House NYC + Hangover Run

Last night was my office holiday party. I work at a small startup ad agency, so we hooked ourselves up modestly with a reserved table at a bar in NYC called Rye House. Most people approach office parties with a plan of poise and pace so as not to become that guy. Well, I think we all had the goal of becoming him as quickly as possible.

Rye house has an awesome cocktail menu that started me off right (or wrong, depending on how you see it). I started with the house punch.

We all started talking, having a good time. After some drinking we went in for food. I find this is always a fatal (excellent) approach: start drinking hard liquor before you eat. Guaranteed sloppy night + hangover.

In keeping with the impending doom that we knew awaited us tomorrow, all the food available was either fried, cheesy, pastry, or meaty. I had a bite of everything below. My coworkers were cheering me on in shock because they think I only eat carrots and coffee. I couldn’t believe I was eating this stuff myself. But dammit, I was drunk and hungry. What do you want?

The tomfoolery went on until around well into the night, and then we all hopped into cabs exclaiming we weren’t showing up at the office until noon the next day. I went home. My stomach went into shock. At 3am I woke up and crawled to the bathroom. Nothing happened.. though I wish it did ’cause I would’ve felt better! I laid in my bed with my hands on stomach until I fell asleep.

Then I did the unthinkable after a night of mayhem. I went running. In 28 degrees. With a hangover. At 8am.

It was brutal. I got a stitch ten minutes into it and had to take walking breaks. I did a small loop of about 2.5 miles, and couldn’t wait to get back to my apartment. I think i do need to invest in warmer running tights by the way if I keep heading out in this weather. When I got in the hot shower, my thighs stayed red and cold the entire time. Like robot legs. Weird.

Drinking the Ju-uice: ‘Jus Bar’ in Union Square

On my way to work in the morning, I pass by a juice bar on 16th and University Place called Jus. I’ve never tried it, but notice a small line of people (clearly, very healthy people) waiting for their drink in the morning. I’ve pondered the possibility of a liquid breakfast made of carrots and whathaveyou.. but never took the dive.

After stumbling upon theirritableeater blog and reading about her fasting adventure of all juice drinks, I thought ‘hey, maybe I’ll give it a shot.’ Not a fast; but a juice drink for breakfast. There’s a lot of talk out there about the “detoxifying” abilities of drinking vegetable juice mixes, and I figured a little detox would be good for me. Maybe it’ll negate a few mojitos from my future weekend.

Friday morning I was pretty hungry (I usually wake up starving), and debated on the L train about screwing the plan and getting an egg sandwich. But I stuck to my guns, and stopped at Jus:

a small miracle for juicers on the go

I ordered a large ($5!) apple, carrot, kale and ginger juice. There was a very long list of options, with categories of mixes. My mix fell under the list called, “sex boosters”. Sweet.

like a burnt-orange crayola crayon

It tasted pretty good. The ginger had a nice kick, but not too strong. ‘Cool, something different to grab in the morning,’ I thought.

I sipped on this bad boy from 8:30-9:30… and then from 9:30-10 I pretty muched gulped the whole thing down in an effort to feel full. It didn’t work. And I was beginning to feel lightheaded. Strange.

By 10:15 I was complaining to my coworker about the effects and threatening to go buy breakfast before our 10:30 meeting, or else I would be an unproductive grump (read: bitch). He said “it’s definitely the effect of the ginger, it opens up your blood vessels and it can make you feel hot and kinda woozey.” Hm. Was that the sex-booster effect?

Whatever it was, it wasn’t good. I ran out and bought a yogurt, banana, and mini bran muffin and scarfed it during the morning conference call. Then I felt much better. And resigned never to try a just-juice breakfast again.

Maybe as an afternoon pick-me-up it could work better? Or maybe the “sex-booster” drink would work best at night. 😉