Life of Late in the Big Apple

What I love about my blog is that these posts can go in every different direction that I chose.  As a result, it follows my stream of consciousness and love for sharing (almost) every single thing that crosses my path in the big city.   There are good times and there will be bad times.  Throughout everything, we make memories and that’s what matters – living life to the fullest in our own unique ways.

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The change in seasons will never get old with this California girl.  I may not be able to stop and smell the roses, but I certainly have to remind myself to slow down and absorb the beauty in the corners of this crowded city.

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Loving my morning workouts with November Project

So here’s the deal. I ran a half marathon in May and got a PR, but also gave myself plantar facitis.  I’m not even sure if one can say they “gave” themself an injury like that.  I guess I caused it?  Anyways, running has been off the books for awhile.

At first I was in denial but I have since come to terms with it and with the help of spinning, hot yoga, and painful massaging, I plan to rehab it back into business. For so long my identity was tied to running and I felt lost without it.  What’s great about November Project is that yes, they are mostly built up of runners, but there are plenty who are plagued with injuries such as mine and so we work out in other ways together.

IMG_7086On Monday I started talking about the Christmas holidays but let’s backtrack a little shall we?  It’s never too early to indulge in some Thanksgiving eats and that’s just what my housemates and I did over the weekend.  We each contributed one of our favorite dishes – Hope’s turkey and fantastic caramel apple pie, my cranberry sauce (healthified of course), Lindsay’s epic mashed potatoes, and Gaia’s superb wine selection.

IMG_6946 Can you believe it’s almost been a full month since the New York marathon (or beginning of November)?  The Monday following the race, I stopped by the upper west side JackRabbit store in order to see Meb Keflezighi (4th place at the NYM and 1st last year in Boston!)  Turns out a good deal of New York thought this would be a good idea too and the line turned out to be a 90 minute adventure.  Sadly my meager lunch hour did allow for this but I did get to give him a solid high-five upon his arrival to the store.

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Monday night Soul Cycle with AWNY

I belong to the Advertising Women of New York and was invited a few weeks back to a special Soul Cycle class.  What a better way to network than by sweating and celebrating with some bubbly?

I told my mom that I will be celebrating every future holiday by treating myself to a spin class and she just laughed.  Ok, she may have been laughing at the fact that I planned out my birthday already…when it’s 6 months away.  I mean, never to early to plan, right?

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Just a little bit of Broadway with my dad.  It’s quite the treat to have family in town because not only do they like to wander Central Park with me, but they also like to see a musical or two and test out some new eateries 🙂

I loved listening to Idina Menzel’s voice (Frozen fans anyone?) but honestly felt the acting was a little forced and awkward at times.  However, I adored the message behind If/Then – something along the lines of living in the moment and not regretting your decisions.

IMG_6825Putting an egg on a burger = genius and never fails.

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^^ The flowers would be mine and the gorgeous beach scene would be Lindsay’s.  

Have you heard of those “Wine & Paint” classes?  Well, my friend Marnie had the most brilliant idea to host one of our own?  We have a group of friends that gets together every Wednesday for dinner, but this time we decided to spend a Saturday afternoon painting various canvases for the bare walls of her Brooklyn apartment.  Just a group of friends getting together and painting all sorts of scenes definitely is my idea of fun.

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Here we are at Radio City Music Hall for the filming of Michael Buble’s Christmas Special.  What we expected and what we saw were two very different productions, but just as festive and exciting.  What we had expected was the actual show, however we were the crowd-fillers for the filming of the show, which will air in a couple of weeks.  Thus, we were invited to endure multiple takes, a terrible crowd comedian (to get you pumped up), and Michael Buble’s amazing off-screen personality.  All in all, a blast and another reminder that New York really does have it all!

“One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.”
– Sigmund Freud

Soul Cycle for the Win

Announcement.  I AM HOOKED ON SOULCYCLE.  Yes, it’s a cult.  Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it may change my life.  Ok, a little too dramatic but I’m in love with working out.

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For those of you who don’t know what Soul Cycle is, it’s basically a spin class on steroids.  Studios have popped up all over the country and fitness enthusiasts such as myself (or at least I’d like to think so) are flocking to their doors.  At around $34 a class, it can become a pretty pricey hobby, but then again, it’s better than getting into other sorts of trouble, right?

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When you break it down completely, it is just another spin class.  Each studio is fitted with about 50 or so bikes and participants arrive ready for a sweat.  Ok, maybe it’s not exactly like your normal spin class.  People are so obsessed that when the registration opens each week at 12pm, you must be armed and ready with your credit card number to reserve a bike.  That’s right, you don’t “wing it” and show up hoping there will be a bike left.  No, people are hard core and plan out their days based upon their spin class.  Sounds like my kind of fun 😉

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When you first arrive, you check into the front desk, pick up a complimentary SMART water and get pumped for the next hour of your life. They also provide lockers, hair ties, gum, and some other fun essentials.  I believe you pay an extra couple dollars to rent shoes, although I seemed to get my first session free of charge.  Again, if you are planning to make Soul Cycle a regular thing, it might be worthwhile to invest in some spin shoes. 

Because it is a higher priced affair, they make sure to keep the facilities in tip-top shape.  Even the bathroom was supplied with a legitimate bottle of face wash – not to be stolen but rather shared among other die-hard cyclists.  Per usual, I arrived with two massive bags (just call me the bag lady) and had to somehow use up multiple lockers before getting caught.  Not that it would really matter, but I have a guilt-conscience, so I still sort of felt bad. 

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I first started to hear about such a place this summer or possibly last spring.  I didn’t really think about paying the price to spin until my friends at Hulu were talking about going.  We were searching for ways to celebrate a couple coworker birthdays and while drinks are fun, dinner is enjoyable, working out sounds even BETTER!

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What I started to realize is that it’s basically like a rave on a bike.  No, I’ve never been to a rave (except that time I accidentally walked through Love Fest in San Francisco) but I’m really just talking about the loud music and the fact that everyone is absorbed into the atmosphere.  This differs by instructor, but the classes I’ve enjoyed most tend to have playlists with a fast beat and great tempo, even the songs that are somewhat techno.  I don’t know about you, but working out to music with a fast beat and great tempo gets me pumped up and ready to go.  It felt like one of those infinity or invincible moments where you feel on top of the world.

My friend swears that I need to test out some of the other studios and create a comparison.  Another excuse to work out?  If you insist 🙂 She also was kind enough to gift me a guest pass to one of the Equinox studios, which I’ll be testing out this afternoon. I have a current membership to 24 Hours Fitness and although it’s a bit out of my way commute-wise, I love their classes too much to give it up.  Hopefully I don’t love it that much 😉

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” 
― Dalai Lama XIV