We Run the City in Spring

Being a California girl pretty much means I live for spring and summer weather.  It’s pure bliss with the sun shining, the hint of warmer weather, and flowers everywhere.  The past few days were perfect examples of this and I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

Friday night I met up with Laura and we walked our way down to the Lower East Side to watch a comedy show put on by some mutual friends.  The show was pretty decent but am always surprised how much comedians have to focus on gender and sexual content to get laughs out of people.

After catching up with her friends, we made our way to the famous Katz’s Deli and feasted on some classic pastrami.  Now how’s that for a carbo-load meal?

IMG_4077The week had taken a toll on the both of us, so it was off to bed.  Ok, I may have watched a few things on Hulu but that’s because I’m in the middle of binge-watching Nashville and am hooked.

Saturday 

What better way to start Saturday than with a track workout? (Said no one ever…)  Just kidding – I absolutely loved it and honestly didn’t realize we had run almost 10 miles because it was so much fun running with my friends (or shall I say coaches?).  The people I hang out with ran cross country and track in college so running through Central Park or around a track has become a weekly no-brainer.

photo (8)With a mile to and from the track, a 1/2 mile warmup and cool down, 10x800s with a lap recovery in between, we conquered close to 10 miles.  Not bad and definitely motivation for me to work towards a half marathon PR.

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First stop after our track workout was Juicy Lucy – a smoothie/juice shop that our friend Carmen told us about.  I’m all about green juices and had been craving something citrusy to recover from the run.  I’ve read that pineapple is helpful combating inflammation and helping aid muscle recovery, so it was added into the mix. Make sure not to mix it up with Juicy Lucy – the burger bar and grill – and complete opposite health wise.

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I don’t know about you but the more I workout, the more ravenous I become.  That’s probably pretty obvious, but yes, I become a snack monster.  A smoothie was not enough to satisfy me for the rest of the day, so we checked out the ever so popular Tompkin’s Square Bagels.

IMG_4112A cash only shop by Tompkin’s Square (if that wasn’t obvious), it’s known for it’s excellent bagels, variety of spreads, and delectable bagel sandwiches.  I opted for my new favorite – whole wheat everything – and topped it with chocolate chip cream cheese – because adding chocolate makes the world better.  Although, I really should have gone for the “Kaitlyn” just because it was named after me.

IMG_4096Yes, this is still part of my recovery meal because I had missed out on my daily dose of coffee and felt a frozen dirty chai from The Bean would be worthwhile.  Yes, indeed, it was a worthy choice 🙂

After filling up on sufficient snacks, it was time to veg out and recover from the morning’s run.  A few episodes of Nashville later, Laura and James came over to study procrastinate and we made huevos rancheros for dinner.  I left them at the apartment and went off with a few coworkers to attend a birthday party in Brooklyn.  Oh the stories that happen after 10pm. 😉  I’ll leave it with three D’s – drinks, dancing, and diners.

Sunday Funday

Getting home at 3:30am didn’t exactly bode well for my sleep patterns, but at least I’ve got some time to sleep in later this week.  I wanted to take a spin class by a fellow blogger but when I saw the sub-instructor mounting the bike, I made a bee-line for the door and found myself picking up Stumptown cold brew and a bagel instead.  Both were consumed in the beauty of a spring morning in Madison Square Park, one of my favorite places in the city.

IMG_4105In the early afternoon I caught up with my Claremont running buddies for a long run up to and around Central Park where we had to push past plenty of tourists and finished with close to 10 miles.  Boy, I’ve surprised myself with how I’ve managed the past couple days but I think my legs will not be so pleased in the next couple days to come.  I’ll have to make sure to stretch, ice, and foam roll to prevent shin splints or other fun aches and pains.  But I wouldn’t have changed anything because running with my friends absolutely made my weekend.

On another note, my friend Mia ran her first marathon today and finished in 3:31, subsequently qualifying for Boston 2015!  I’m so proud of her!

“Limitations live only in our minds.  But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.” – Jamie Paolinetti

 

Java Java Java

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In the spirit of it being national coffee day (as if every day isn’t national coffee day), I thought I’d share some of the new and different caffeine joints around town.  It’s not like I’m in a foreign country, but I guess the distance between everything has been so condensed that it’s like stumbling upon a new surprise on every corner.

Walking in New York reminds me of when I was in Barcelona and would walk to school every day.  I think that trek might have been longer and tougher due to the hills, but I would pick out shops and restaurants to add my “to-do” list.  I don’t think I really got around to everything on that list, but I can still close my eyes and imagine I’m walking the various routes around the ancient roman streets, the streets with parks by our home stay  he most touristy and high-end streets – Passeig de Gracia, or even Las Ramblas. 

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Coffee.  An expensive habit indeed, but it’s safe to say I’ve fallen prey to the coffee addiction.  I love starting my day with a cup of joe, not only for the pep it puts in my step, but the taste.  You may be sick of me saying this, but I still have yet to find “my coffee;” the order I can get at every coffee shop or restaurant around the world.  For now I guess my fall back is a medium black coffee – hot or iced, depending on the weather.  When I’m feeling adventurous in the fall, it’s a pumpkin latte or iced pumpkin latte.  During other months it can be a vanilla latte, again either iced or hot.

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Stumptown Coffee, New York
NY (w. 29th & W. 8th)

It originated in Portland, but has spread its reach to include locations in Seattle, Los Angeles, and good ‘ol New York City.  My friend let me in on this little secret after she traveled back in December with her girlfriends.  Because of the hipster/innovative and personal style of coffee making, there tends to be a long line of people waiting to order, but I would deem it worth the experience, even it’s just once.


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That morning I was feeling an iced vanilla latte, which had a rich milky flavor and strong espresso punch.   I happened to notice these gems of postcards while I was waiting in line and so I grabbed a few to send to my friends.

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While I was writing some of the postcards, I noticed one woman had this neat looking bottle of coffee.  I asked her about it and she said it’s the only thing she and her boyfriend order there.  Now they say the people in New York are harsh and unfriendly.  Well, in this account I beg to differ.  She actually poured a little of the coffee in a cup and offered for me to try.  Crisp and strong, perfect for an iced coffee; not to mention the adorable bottle it comes in.  I’ll have to add it to my collection of misfit bottles that I’m hoarding in the kitchen.  But, for the next time I go, the cold brewed batch is definitely in my order. 

Pushcart Coffee
East Broadway & Peter’s Field

This is another “artsy” neighborhood coffee shop.  They like to call their staff, peddlers, and these individuals are often “artists, writers, students, wanderers, doers, and dreamers.”   It appears like a supportive environment where they utilize the barista’s talent to write blog posts, create the store’s website, plan events, and even host yoga in the shops.  I have yet to attend one but am searching the market for cheap or free yoga classes.

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From the inside and out, it felt like Pushcart was directly related to Stumptown.  While there are more seats and tables at Pushcart, I preferred the atmosphere of Stumptown.  The food selection is much more extensive with a fridge filled with yogurt and a case filled with croissants, muffins, and various mini-loafs.  I happened to notice that they sold cold-brewed coffee in similar brown bottles ($3.25/$4), perfect for take-away.  This was of course after I entered unsure of what to order, hurried through the line, (worrying I was taking too much time) and settled for a lukewarm latte.  Was I trying to be a purist?  No, they just didn’t’ happen to sell vanilla.

Overall verdict?  Good environment, decent java, but probably wrong order for me.  I’ll probably give it another shot, this time planning out what I’ll order – the cold brew coffee 🙂

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