Life of Late ~ 5.12.17

As you read this I will be en route to start my 5th (or 6th since I can’t really remember) Ragnar Relay.  Back in high school and college I ran the annual Wasatch Back Relay with some friends in Utah.  Since that particular race happens in June, it was always a “fun” way to wrap up the school year.  I put that in quotes because most people would 1) call that insane and 2) it really is somewhat of a 24 hour suffer-fest.  My coworkers actually have started to just assume every PTO day I take or “vacation” is running related.  So far this year they aren’t wrong. 

Anyways, being a runner, I forgot what the pain was like and decided to do it again.  This time around has been a bit more intense since I’m actually helping the captains get ready for the race and let’s just say the universe was very against us running.  Between finding an additional 7 runners, runners dropping due to injury (total of 4 runners dropped), issues with driving insurance, and more injury, it’s been a fun time.  I don’t start until later this afternoon and then I will embark on a total of 22 miles (9 + 3 + 9).  Now if I don’t get kicked off the finish line (there’s a slight chance we may not make it based on timing…) it’ll be a grand success.  I’ll have to check back in next week to let you know the result.

As for now, sit back and enjoy this week’s edition of Life of Late.

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Secret Spots of Central Park

My name is Kaitlin and I’m a history geek.  I grew up with a family that would make a detour in order to tack on an extra Civil War Battlefield or museum so I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Right now I’m working my way through New York City via a walking tours book and some spontaneous running adventures.  November Project has been a huge help since the workouts range from Battery Park to deep into Harlem.  But the most wonderful place (biased) is that of Central Park and it turns out that there’s a lot more to this grand oasis than I ever realized!

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This amazing plot of land is smack dab in the middle of the concrete jungle, it happens to be the most visited park in the U.S., and it tops out as one of the most filmed locations in the world.  I can easily say it’s one of my favorite places in the city and I make sure to run some form of the loop at least 1-2x per week.  I also happen to work near the park but the reality of me leaving the office during the day is bleak…so I rely on the epic views we have from the kitchen and cafeteria.  Anyways, enough about me.  The important part is that this park should always be on your NYC bucket list whether you are here for the 1st or 100th time.

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Last Sunday my friend Maura and I went on a jogging tour of the park with a group called Jane’s Walks.  Maura tends to stick to the West Side Highway during her runs and as her time in New York is actually coming to a close (off to grand adventures in D.C.!!!!) so we thought it would be good to accomplish some bucket list items.

Now I have taken many many pictures of the park and posted them here.  From the Great Lawn to the reservoir, they are all pretty note-worthy places.  Today’s post will be more about the more secretive spots that blew me away.  Who knew these lush gardens could be found by simply walking an extra 10-40 yards off the main path?

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It was established back in 1857 on a portion of city-owned land and the design was picked out of a design competition.  With the expertise of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, a design was picked, construction began, and the first public area was introduced to the public in 1858.  The construction continued through the American Civil War and in 1873 was expanded to the 843-acres that it is today.

 The park had been home to a number of shanty towns – Harsenville, the Piggery Disctrict or Seneca Village that needed to be rid of in order to continue construction and there was even a convent on the upper right side of the park called Mount St. Vincent’s Academy.

We started around 72nd near the Daniel Webster statue and ended up around 102nd.  We passed through the west side of the park, through the gardens along 5th avenue and up on the hills of Harlem.  We didn’t run through the Zoo but did pass the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir (<< one of the most difficult words for me to spell).

We crossed over and under countless from back in the 19th century and are still standing.  Along with those bridges are waterfalls, which are flowing a plenty now that it’s spring and we’ve had our fair share of rain.  Then you have the above picture (right), which is a blockhouse, the second oldest item in Central Park next to Cleopatra’s Needle, and was created back in 1814 for defending the park.

Now when writing this post, I spent some time bopping around Wikipedia.  Yes, I was using Wikipedia because all the information is there and I don’t have access to encyclopedias.  Anyways, since I can’t copy and paste and am not going to link back to every single thing, I highly recommend spending some time reading up on Central Park.  It’s fascinating what you can find and if you would rather take a walk in the park, then be my guest and come explore the wonder of New York City!

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Have you been to Central Park? Do you have a favorite place in the park?

 

When Mom and Grandma Come to Town

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend from Mother Nature to show my mom and grandma about town.  While my mom has actually been out to New York three or four times since I moved here, it was Grandma Nancy’s first trip since the late 80’s (or that’s about what we figured).  I wanted her to see the place that I have called home, the routes that I run, and simply see how the city has changed over the years.

We started out on Thursday night with a late dinner at the Flatiron Eataly.  She had encountered some trouble in Denver with the weather but still made it to Manhattan ready to take on the town.  I had taken Friday off so after a quick (terribly lethargic) run along the East River, it was time to meet them for breakfast and and begin our own walking tour.

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Life of Late ~ 8.19.16

Can we get a little BEYONCE up in here on a Friday? Yes.  Broadway Bodies with Alistair was certainly a highlight from the week.  My attempt to be hip, cool, and sassy was a fail but it was 100% fun and worth it.

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Since three of us won free classes, we’ll have to go back to dance part 2.  That or I’ll just add dance classes to my monthly budget.  #priorities

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Life of Late ~ 6.24.16

Who else woke up to the notification that Britain decided to leave the EU?  Well, it’s the end of the world as we (I) know it  – from the countless classes that I took between high school and college that talked about politics, my travels throughout England and Europe, and simply being aware of what was going on.  Between the Brexit and this Hillary vs. Trump phenomenon, our world of politics is on a nice roll.

But enough about politics.  This week I was feeling MUCH more refreshed – probably due to the fact I didn’t go out over the weekend and just hung outdoors – between the west side park and Central Park – for an absurd amount of time.

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^^ Thank goodness I listen to morning television during breakfast because I learned that New York City was hosting our very own volleyball tournament and Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross (the Rio bound duo) were going to be playing!!  This was all FREE and thankfully I decided to bike rather than walk my way down (~3.5 miles) and made it just in time.  They won…obviously.

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^^ After I went back to charge my phone a bit (yay for iPhone battery life), I went into Brooklyn to meet my friend Laura at the Brooklyn Bowl.  She is a HUGE fan of Jeremy Loops, a South African singer and song-writer and I was up for something new and different.  It was SO GOOD! Sadly it was his last USA performance for a very long time and I was so glad that I went.  You never know what could happen when you say yes to new opportunities.

I also happened to fall prey to the artisan ice cream truck before making it to the show, but hey it was part coffee (to keep me awake) and vegan dark chocolate (so healthy?)

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^^ Almost more of a fan of the vegan ice cream (dark chocolate on the bottom because it didn’t melt as fast!)  This also was a summer must as Van Leeuwen’s is ranked in the top 5 ice cream spots 1 in NYC! Thank you PureWow for fueling my constant food exploration and consumption in this city.

Summer means fresh fruit, which means it’s time for BLUEBERRIES! And figs and strawberries and peaches…but I digress.  PureWow rounded up some fresh ways to use blueberries and of course there is one of my favorite YouTube videos about blueberries.  Enjoy:

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^^ Saturday was filled with a very tough workout class (quasi-weights/boot camp), breakfast acai bowl, and lots of park time for a friend’s birthday.  I was quite a sight in the subway as I was not only carrying a butt load of fruit but also walking my friends bike through the mass amounts of tourists in the humidity.  I was not impressed when the subway was 20 minutes late and I’m sure the tourists were not impressed by my desire and ultimate need to get that bike in and on and out of the subway car.

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^^ If you don’t follow Ali’s blog or instagram, I would do so if only for more pictures of Ellie.  How can you say no to that face?  Our friend Jason may have a different feeling after seeing that last picture of Ellie with his soccer ball…she may have thought it was a chew toy.  Oops.

The rest of the day I was SUPER social. Not.  What I actually did was go to Whole Foods with some friends, pick up mac and cheese w/ salmon and cauliflower and then go home to eat and watch Orange is the New Black.  It was glorious and I loved getting a full night’s sleep.

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^^ The next morning was the Harlem Mile up in – you guessed it – Harlem.  Well it was at Marcus Garvey Park to be specific.  I hadn’t signed up for the mile but wanted to get a longer run in and cheer for my friends.  About six miles later, I was up above Central Park and ready to cheer on the speedy crew.  Our crew tied for first and it was also a blast to see all the kids running around – some more enthused about this thing called “running” than others.

For those who weren’t thrilled, I feel for you.  My dad had to draaag me around the local track when I was going into 7th grade.  I’m serious.  I couldn’t even make it that mile.  But hey, look at me now 😉

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^^ Running + Brunch + Levain Cookies + Ice Coffee + Park + ANNELISE FOUND A FOUR LEAF CLOVER! What a Sunday.

IMG_7943 ^^ My view en route to Track Tuesday.  I may not love the track or even really like the track but it’s better with a group of people and the idea that I could get faster.  It also helps that the track is only a mile away from my apartment and I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn (or earlier than I already do) to get to Central Park.  The little things my friends, just the little things.

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^^ That’s the plan for this weekend.  After my 5-mi run (the NYRR Pride Run) tomorrow, I’m heading up to Connecticut with Lindsay and we plan to hang at the beach all weekend long. YES!

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^^ New November Project tag ready for tomorrow’s race.  Thank you so much to the paint crew that got up early to spray paint all of our t-shirts because they look saweeet!!!  Here’s to an awesome weekend to all.  Enjoy!

“Know your own happiness” – Jane Austen