Broadway! Times Square! Greenwich Village! The World Trade Center (ish)! Best cheesecake ever! A dead rat the size of a cat!! This weekend was a whirlwind and thanks to a flight delayed by bad weather (seriously, after everything this country has been through this past year with crazy snow, wind and heat you decide to delay a flight because of a little rain?!) I didn’t get home until the wee hours of this morning. So today I’m resting and trying to unpack with a child permanently attached to each limb. Nice: They miss me when I’m gone! Not-as-nice: They’ll never let me out of sight again!
My friend Rachel and I decided to take a spontaneous trip to NYC to see our friend Beth who moved back east a year ago (and yet she still says she’s “from Minnesota” because that’s how awesome Minneapolis is!). So in lieu of a real post today – sooooo exhausted, it’s the city that never sleeps and we didn’t either – here’s a few quick (and surprising) things I learned about New Yorkers and how they stay fit and healthy (because being there for 3 days makes me an authority, see):
1. They’re super duper amazingly nice. I know! I’d heard all the stereotypes too but save for one hotel clerk who left a group of people stranded in a broken elevator while she leisurely checked in other guests, every single person we met was helpful and kind, even beyond normal courtesy. People chatted us up, gave us advice, helped us through the subway (about 500 times), gave us directions and were generally all-around awesome. We even had one elderly gentleman escort us on an hour-plus ride through the subway that involved several transfers despite the fact he was planning on getting off way before that – just to make sure we didn’t get lost in that labyrinth. A teenage kid (bizarrely carrying an air-conditioning unit in one hand and a turtle in the other) gave up his seat for us even though he ended up standing for an hour. I was blown away by how helpful and sweet everyone was. And you know what they say about the benefits of kindness: not only is it good for your heart but it’s good for your body too by lowering your stress, increasing endorphins and lowering blood pressure.
2. They walk everywhere. With so many people, walking is a survival skill, not a hobby. Even though we pitted out our shirts in 5 minutes every day, walking everywhere was worth it. Not only did we get to see tons of amazing things (see giant dead rat, above) but we got a great workout. I’m kind of envious of people who live in big cities and manage to escape the cult of the car. (Although they probably envy me when it’s dumping snow and 10 below out.)
3. Eating is an experience. It doesn’t take a fine dining restaurant to find great ambiance, amazing food and wonderful company in New York. On almost every corner we found these great hot/cold buffets that had tons of healthy and tasty food options from salads to beans to stuff I’d never seen before. Street vendors sold hot dogs and pizza, sure, but they also sold kebabs and whole fruit and vegetables. Of course there was a wide array of aMAYzing desserts too. Rachel, Beth and I decided early on that every meal had to end with dessert so we could try as many as possible. And yet even with all this food I never felt like I overate and having to get up and walk to our next destination afterwards helped digestion immensely.
4. The bikes! We rode in a rickshaw. A wee little man pulled all three of us like 20 blocks from Radio City Music Hall (we saw the Cirque du Soleil!!!!) to our hotel and chatted and laughed with us the whole time. We debated on whether or not the rickshaws were specially equipped to make pedaling one “easier” but either way his fitness was impressive. They also had places on the sidewalk where you could rent a bike, ride it wherever you want and then drop it off at your destination. (Like over the Brooklyn Bridge!)
5. I was 10 feet away from Ice T and Coco!!! We got pics! This has nothing to do with anything!
Anyhow, my kids are exploding so I will leave it here. But I had a great trip – my first-ever girls-only weekend! – and now I’m curious: Have you ever been to New York? What was your experience? What healthy habits does your city have??
PS> Thanks to a hotel that said it had wi-fi but didn’t, I am still really backed up on e-mail. I’m sorry! Please be patient.