Category: New York

Marathon Madness NYC

Tomorrow, I will be doing something crazy. I will be waking up early, putting on some spandex, taking the subway to the Staten Island Ferry and then running for 26.2 miles. For the first time ever, I will be running the NYC Marathon.

Running a marathon has been a bucket list item for me since I was a child, but it was one of those things I never actually thought I would do. You see, I actually hate running. But, growing up in Boston, the marathon was always a huge deal. I knew people who ran it every year, who raised money for charity, who trained all year for Heartbreak Hill. We had the day off from school and would pile out on to Comm Ave to watch the marathoners run by. I always dreamed it would someday be me, but at the back of my mind, I didn’t really believe it would ever happen.

Yet, here I am. I moved to New York, got a job and started dating a great guy who is now my husband. When he started running seriously, I said what the heck, might as well try. And after a couple years of regular racing, we qualified for the marathon by running 9 qualifying races and volunteering for 1 event. Now the moment is here and I’m excited, nervous and most of all, hungry.

There is a certain energy surrounding any marathon. People find out you are running and they want to hear about your training and your predicted time. You hear “I could never do that” so many times it becomes meaningless – because you know that, really, anyone can do it. It just takes some planning, training and grit. We’ve been talking about this event for months. Last night, we went to the marathon expo to pick up our bibs and race materials. The place was mobbed with svelte people in warm-ups and sneakers. There were DJs playing pump-up music and free give-aways of Gatorade and PowerBars. You could buy any kind of athletic gear you wanted, all personalized with NYC 2013.

Tomorrow, much of the city will be closed down and people will pour forth to watch us run past. They will cheer and ring cow bells and shout our names (which we have written in large letters on the front of our t-shirts for that express purpose). The whole city will be united behind this one event that disrupts traffic patterns and raises spirits. And I will be there in the thick of it, knees aching, covered in sweat. Here’s to hoping I can enjoy it.

Wish me luck!

New York, City of Bridges

 

New York, surrounded by the Hudson River, the East River and the Atlantic Ocean, is truly a city of bridges. There are approximately 60 bridges within NYC and connecting it to surrounding areas. You’ve probably heard of the most famous ones, like the Brooklyn Bridge, the George Washington Bridge and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, but in a city built on marshland, you are never far from a bridge.

Living in NYC, it is easy to forget about the water. Riding the subway to work, going to dinner in Midtown, zipping from place to place, the water is hidden by towering skyscrapers and crumbling brownstones. It is the bridges that help remind me that I live in a coastal city. Every morning, walking from the subway to work, I cross over the BQE (Brooklyn-Queens Expressway for outsiders) and look up. Soaring skyward, often glinting in the sun or disappearing into low-hanging clouds, the Verrazano Bridge reminds me of the lapping bay it crosses. I can’t see the water, but I know it is there.

Probably the most famous bridge in New York is the Brooklyn Bridge, linking Brooklyn to Manhattan (pictured here). Tourists flock to walk this picturesque bridge and take in views of the Manhattan skyline from its midpoint. Built in 1883, it is the oldest suspension bridge in New York and considered by many to be the best-looking bridge in town. For those in the know, the best views of the Brooklyn Bridge can be obtained by walking on the less crowded Manhattan Bridge. From there, you can see the full span of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. There are also several subway lines that cross the Manhattan Bridge and offer spectacular views.

New York is a city of convergence, of meetings, of captivating skylines and the bridges are a fundamental part of the New York City vibe. For many, they serve simply as a means to span a body of water, but for me, they represent the heart of the city. Next time you walk around New York, I hope you will take in the many bridges with new eyes!

Favorite Things – New York Edition

BBG

New York is known as the city that never sleeps. There is always something going on, some bustle or commotion to participate in. As a college student here for four years, that was one of the draws – the lights, the plays, the movies, the bars and clubs. As I get older and live in the city longer, however, I am finding myself drawn to the quieter parts of the city, where I can get away from the crowds and almost forget where I am for a while.

A few weekends ago, my husband and I decided to go for a Sunday stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. It was our first visit to this hidden gem and one that we hope to repeat often now that we have discovered it. The trickling water and swaying maples in the Japanese Garden (pictured here) transported us to a world far away from the honking cars just meters from us. We watched a turtle sun himself by a waterfall and admired the leaves that were just beginning to change color. The Garden quickly became one of my favorite places in the city and I look forward to returning with a book and notebook to spend some literary time among the cherry trees.

Despite being drawn to the quieter parts of the city, another huge benefit to living in New York is the abundance of restaurants, both fine dining and dives, that serve superb food for those who know where to find it. Even the food carts are spectacular, with some of the more famous ones drawing hour-long lines. One of my favorite restaurants when I lived in Manhattan was Cafe Fiorello, where I could take in views of Lincoln Center while rubbing shoulders with famous New Yorkers. Now, living in Brooklyn, I tend to opt for closer restaurants in Fort Greene and Park Slope. My husband jokes that we could eat at a different restaurant every night, within walking distance of our apartment, and not run out for a few months. And the food would be delicious at each place. The abundance of varied and delicious choices is one of the things that makes New York City so special for a foodie like me.