Tag Archives: manhattan

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!



Movey Blues

1. Movey blues, as in “I just moved, and shit just doesn’t feel 100% right in this apartment yet”. Thus “movey” instead of “moody”. heh.

This weekend, I packed up all my stuff and moved out of Brooklyn into the East Village in Manhattan. It was a great two years with the Mikes (read: I lived with two guys, both named Mike), and I love Williamsburg and Greenpoint, but it was time for a change. Someone once told me that everyone should take the opportunity to live alone once, because once you get married/partner with a significant other, the chance dwindles and eventually disapears completely once co-habitation begins. I felt smart right there when I wrote co-habitation.

So I set out to get my own place. I actually wasn’t even considering Manhattan at first, but when I wasn’t finding much in Brooklyn I broadened my search (Craigslist, that’s what’s up). Now here I am, in the East Village, in a studio apartment to myself. Really, this should be a called the shoebox apartment, or maybe the extra large diorama apartment. It’s pretty small. But I’m cool with that. It’s just me after all, and it’s my diorama.

Where do the movey blues come in? I don’t have furniture for this place yet, and all my clothing is still in garbage bags from the move on Saturday. So I’m living out of these garbage bags that are conveniently located in the center of the floor of my one room.

diorama centerpiece

This pile o’ stuff is kinda messing with me more than an annoying mess should (a mess that messes with me?). For some reason when it comes time to wake up in the morning to run, I feel like I can’t just get up and go. I am mentally aware that I’ll have a monster pile to deal with before and after, and the drive to run is gone. It’s weird because I’m not a super neat/OCD person, but this pile o’ crap is ruining my wake-up-feeling-awesome vibes. Which leads me to:

2. Movey blues, as in lack of “wake-up-feeling-awesome” vibes means run-less mornings. Therefore, no physical movement.. hence.. “movey” blues. heh. Now, it’s only been three official nights sleeping here, but I was on a really good running kick right before I moved. I don’t want this temporary pile o’ ugly to ruin it! So I decided to seize control of the situation, and not let garbage bags full of clothes run my life. Because that would be ridiculous. And kind of like an episode of hoarders.

In an effort to thwart these movey blues, I mapped out a route to run tomorrow morning:

do it mel.

I feel excited and motivated looking at the map; it makes the potential run feel more real. I have a whole new turf to explore now. Also, Manhattan maps out in neat little squares. Cool. Let’s see how it goes in the morning.

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.

Retaliate With a Run

You know, I thought that once I graduated college the partying lifestyle would die down, and I’d spend my weekends walking in the sunshine and sipping a glass of wine or two at night.out in nyc

This is not the case.

There is always a reason to get messy, and it’s just so appealing! Dammit! It’s pretty clear that hangovers aren’t unusual for me, hence my need to revisit this hangover post constantly, but I really do not like myself in the morning.

Mel- I don’t like you.

How do I make it up to myself? I run it out. I feel like a good, hard, run will un-mess my weekend mess and dissolve all the alcohol/2am pizza decisions that were made. Do I really this one run will fix this? Yes, one run will fix this.

Just kidding.

I’d like to blame my current couch position on Blockheads ($3 margaritas!) and The Hill(nice bartenders=free drinks, but otherwise very lame bar). Damn you both. I will retaliate with a run attack at approximately 4pm.

One run will not undo a weekend of debouchery and tomfoolery. But. It helps.

I attempted to preempt this feeling last night, and set out on a 4 mile run here, which felt awesome. I left at around 7pm, and it was already half-way through the sunset. The air was about 65 degrees and kind of humid, and Dave Matthews started off my playlist. It was a sweet vibe. I really like running in the dark. It makes you appreciate your thoughts (if you’re a pensive runner) even more so.

NYC Fall Weekends Mean Good Running

One thing that cannot  be taken for granted in NYC is the weather. Seasons come and go like traffic (quick, erratic, unpredictable) and perfectly sunny + breezy days invite swarms of people out to the streets to soak it up.

Planning ahead to take advantage of the cool weather for some serious running, I was successful in my party/alcohol management this weekend and didn’t get a visit from Hangover Harry once. If he came to your house instead, I’m so sorry I let him loose.

Friday night after work I met my friend Amanda for some Mexican food and drinks at a random restuarant we walked past in Chelsea called Salsa Y Salsa. I sipped on a mojito while she got the sangria happy hour special:

she was successful.

she was successful.

The drinks and food were both weak (mad wack, yo). I would recommend you don’t try this place.

Saturday morning I woke up naturally at 6:30am (victory!) and ran a sweet 4.5 miles here from my place down through South Williamsburg and back. Warning: TMI ahead. I started out feeling like a rocket, but somewhere around mile 3 I really had to go to the bathroom. Every step I took I felt my bladder dying inside. I tried to trick my mind and focus on the scenery, but you just don’t get used to the feeling. Bouncing up and down–bad idea all around. I ran frantically in search of a coffee shop that might let me use their restroom but it wasn’t even 8am yet, so NOTHING was open. I ended up slowing down to a walk for maybe 6 blocks to give my bladder a break from the pressure. Eventually I starting running again (very fast) and jetted straight home. Internal mutiny?

Also- I ran before eating anything and I definitely noticed a drop in energy during the run. If I have time in the future I need to eat breakfast first.

Sunday morning I did have time to eat breakfast first (apple, yogurt + granola) and holy moses it made such a difference. I don’t know where this run came from. It was glory. I haven’t had one of these in a while and it was the final proof I needed that I’m back. My 5 run comeback theory was right on.

The motion in my body felt so natural I wasn’t even thinking about how far or how fast I was going. I just let the run guide itself, and mapped it when I came home. The result was 4 smooth miles here, after which I did a victory dance that included the running man*.

I’d also like to note that my calves were very sore both Saturday and Sunday after my runs. I don’t know if I’ve ever really been sore in that area and I’m not sure why all of a sudden now? My best theory is that I’ve been wearing high heeled boots in the cooler weather + no running for 2 weeks = my calf muscles got tight. I was hobbling around all night last night. I probably looked awesome.

Today I’m taking a rest day because I don’t want to overwhelm myself, and I’ll also give my calf muscles time to heal the ef up (heal the ef up guys!). I’ll leave you with a picture of this morning’s sunrise in Union Square:

7:30am, NYC

7:30am, NYC

Total week 1 miles: 14.7. On to comeback week 2!

* I made a running man instructional video if you’d like to learn. Email me for details.

** No, I didn’t.

Coffee & Apples.

Hey Team

It is gray and threatening to rain any minute, but sometimes that gives the day such a spooky, thrilling feeling. No run this morning due to shutting off my alarm and waking up at 7am.. which I don’t really remember doing but clearly I needed more sleep today.

So, sans run, the day started with a walk to the L train and a cup of coffee at Variety on Graham Ave in Greenpoint.brooklyn coffee shop sign

I got on the bus:cup of coffee

Hot goodness.

I’ve been talking a lot about my addiction to coffee always lately, and I’m thinkin’… I’ll keep talking about it 🙂 . I woke up with a headache again today (mofo!). It hits about an hour after I wake up and I know it’s a caffeine headache. brain, please stop hating me. Yesterday I failed at my 1 cup attempt and had a second at 3pm.. but today, is a new day. I will need a game plan to thwart (thwart.. what a word) the coffee attack.

No second cup of coffee game plan:

  • When the urge hits, get a bottle of water and sip frequently
  • Eat a piece of fruit– this might help raise blood sugar and give me a natural boost
  • Chew gum if necessary for mouth action
  • If a headache comes on, take 2 advil and wait 30 minutes– I imagine this feeling like an eternity, good times.
  • If all of the above fail, leave the office, walk around the block, and get a cup of tea (the lesser evil?)

Okay mel. You got this. Remember to re-read at 3pm when you’re desperate.

Back to the morning: walking through the farmer’s market today I noticed a change in the produce. It’s becoming apple season! I freakin’ love apples. If I could date an apple, I would. Check out the scene– don’t lick your screen–or do, but make sure no one’s looking and then wipe it down:NYC farmer's market apples

Gorgeous. Hey apples- let’s make out.

… too far?

Hey Autumn, I Like You.

MAN! I like to run.

First let’s backtrack: I had a great night last night in the Lower East Side with some friends (check out Cafe Mogador–awesome food, strong margaritas). I stopped myself after 2 drinks because, jesus mel, a buzz is all you need.

That self-control was key to my 7:45 natural wakeup, and definitely allowed me to feel up to running. The theme for the past month has been hangover Harry, if you haven’t noticed. No need for an intervention, step 1 is being aware :).

At 10:30am I told Mike 1 I was heading out, and to expect me back in 20 minutes because it probably wouldn’t go well. I was very wrong. It went awesome.

my daily run entrance

my run park entrance

I didn’t want to push too hard because that’s the best way to get injured when just returning, so I did this 2.6 mile loop like I did on Thursday. When I got back to my place, I was feeling too good to stop running (too good to stop?!) and went back to the park to do some sprints and then stretch. I just didn’t want the burn to end. Glory.

The perfect fall weather also rocked. Probably a key factor. Second run back in the game = great success!