WILW (10/9): Outdoors in NYC Style

There’s an awful lot of running and workout talk going on in this blog, which is to be expected and will obviously continue to be a major topic. However, I was thinking this morning that I want to start writing more fun stuff about the city and my life outside of running, so what better way to use my What I Love Wednesday posts than to talk more about the fabulousness that is NYC?

nySince most of us NYers lead pretty busy lives, cramming our outside-of-work time with hobbies, leisure activities, social lives, classes and running (duh), combined with the fact that most of us live in small-ish spaces, we spend a lot of time out of the apartments. For me, this means spending as much time as possible outdoors, especially in the non-freezing weather — and since that will be quickly approaching, I figured this post needs to sneak on in before we all start to hibernate.

These are some of my fave places to be outdoors in NYC:

1. Riverside Park. I speckle this blog with pix of this lovely stretch along the Hudson River on the West side of Manhattan frequently, as I always run this route and so enjoy everything about it (minus the whole crazy-person-with-scissors thing that went down 2 weeks ago…yikes). Here’s a shot of this morning’s gorgeous sky from my river run around 6:45am, chilly and quite lovely for an early run (but would have been mega better if my legs weren’t sooooo darn sore).

At least if the run has to be painful, it might as well include something pretty. Thanks, God.

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2. The Highline. An elevated park built on a historic train rail (how cool, right?) stretching from Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District to the 30th St. in Chelsea, The Highline is pretty fantastic. It’s a phenomenal work of natural architecture that showcases eclectic art exhibits (often multi-media), has a cool running water section by which people love to lounge on the sliding wooden chaise-like structures, and boasts some beautifully well-kept landscaping and plant life.

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I love to take visitors here or just stroll with friends. It offers you a sensation of being elevated up and out of the city, becoming a sort of passive spectator-participant to this vibrant, throbbing place from your perch above. It offers a sense of necessary detachment from the concrete and a limited return to nature, all the while blending the two worlds and suspending you between them. Oh, and you get a sweet view of one of my fave pieces of NYC graffiti:

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Yeah, so…I totally dig this spot. If you visit NYC, be sure to check it out.

3.  Rooftops decks. These are totally clutch here. While rooftop bars are definitely all the rage in the nice weather (and charge you more money for a drink than seems legal), it’s even nicer to have friends with roof decks on their buildings. Especially ones with grills. When you can be there at sunset. With a wine glass in your hand. No lines, no dress codes, no $20 drinks. Some people choose their friends based on similar interests, or how much fun they have together, or things like loyalty and kindness and all that jazz…we go right for the outdoor spaces here — cuz ya never know when the claustrophobia might set in. Good to be prepared. 🙂

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4.  The South Street Seaport. What used to be NYC’s wholesale fish market “back in the day” is now a charming spot all the way downtown that attracts locals and tourists alike (and I’ve heard is one of the top touristy spots on the East Coast? Let’s go with that.). Whether you want to shop, dine, drink, or take in some magnificent views of the Brooklyn Bridge and skyline (note: go at sunset or dusk), this spot has a lovely throw-back sort of vibe. I’m a bit boat/water person, and I love the big ships with the massive sails. Although it was all but destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, the revitalization efforts have been astounding, and this place is definitely worth visiting.

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5. Central Park. Seriously — it’s a must see/must spend time in, whether you’re visiting for a day or have lived here all your life. You really can’t overestimate this place, and I’ve never regretted a single moment I’ve spent here: whether it be running the loops or the reservoir, picnicking on a lazy afternoon with friends, going to concerts or Shakespeare in the Park, or just strolling around and exploring all of the nooks and attractions. It really is a spectacular place…I mean, where else can you visit castles and take gondola rides and go for a run and see a wedding and throw a frisbee and take a carriage ride and swing by the John Lennon Imagine memorial all in the same afternoon?

Exactly. It’s famous for a reason: because it’s one-of-a-kind wonderful.

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