soul in the city

there’s something quite soulful about being one teeny tiny person in a big, big city.  new york city, that is.  this little country bumpkin (yes, it’s true) finds herself amidst the fast-paced, busy streets, and somehow among the chaos, it’s profoundly, well – for lack of a better word, soulful. [apparently that's my theme so i'll just stick with that!]

why, oh why, might you ask, am i here? on business. my once-little fitlosophy is now quite a-buzz with new opportunities and to say i feel blessed that it’s giving me these great opportunities to go and see new places is quite an understatement. 2012 is off to a great start with nyc in january and pittsburgh, detroit, minneapolis, and denver all in february!  so here i am, in the big city, having no clue how to get from one place to the next, but truly embracing just the experience in itself. so much so that it inspired me to, well – blog.

it’s been far too long, and over a wonderful dinner with, quite possibly one of the sweetest individuals i’ve met renee at abc kitchen we discussed just that. being a blogger herself (but a big-time one, not a random throw-my-thoughts-into-the blogosphere blogger like me),  she is the girl-on-the-go for  obviously i was thrilled to meet her and we instantaneously hit it off. over a wonderful (local, organic) dinner we nibbled on roasted baby beets with goat cheese, a grilled carrot + avocado salad, and then for entrees we each tried one of the fish specials (red snapper for me, cod for her).  quite possibly the most fantastic (and healthy) meals i’ve ever had, completed with of course a bottle of a bold red wine from spain.  this little firecracker of a blogger had the  most fascinating stories from the line-up of accomplished individuals she has the opportunity to meet through her blog, to her traveling adventures riding horseback in spain for two weeks by herself.  as only two healthy individuals would, we ended the fabulous dinner by packing in our um, antioxidants, by sharing the to-die-for chocolate cake (yes, antioxidants, that makes it sound healthy) and sipping the boldest, best coffee from what i still think are the coolest porcelain mugs i’ve ever seen.

after calling it a night, we ventured out into the rain and she ever so kindly shared a cab with me to ensure i got to my hotel in times square. note to self: know your cross-streets!   happily we will cross paths again…wednesday morning at 6:15am, actually, at soul cycle.  which is how i started my morning off today.

let me just clarify that THIS is how spin should be done. dark room, candle light, loud music, energetic but focused instructor that talks just enough to keep you going but not so much that you wish his mic would blow out. “string” was the spin instructor this morning at the w. 77th location of soul cycle. coming highly recommended, only the hope of an amazing experience could get this little tush out of bed at 5:30am (mind you, that’s 2:30am my time!) to spin.  and amazing it was.

the moment you walk in you’re in this zen-like space, complete with yellow grapefruit-scented soul cycle candles, inspirational quotes on the wall, and soul-cycle branded gear from lululemon + nike that left me wanting to forgo spin altogether just to shop!  being my first time there, they let me borrow spin shoes (mine didn’t make the trek being that i had to squeeze 4 days into 1 carry-on). the sweet girls at the front desk made sure i had my bottle of smartwater because they looked at me as though “you’re gonna need it.”  the attention to detail they take on getting you set up on your bikes is phenomenal – and yet so important if you’re going to ride for 45m non-stop.  all set-up and ready to go…the lights dim, candles flicker, music booms, and off we go.  45m later, sweat-drenched, and water bottle completely empty, i had at last experienced what i believe to be the only way spin should be done. a glutton for punishment? yes, i am.  i’ll be back there tomorrow morning for another dose of soul cycle.

with endorphins kicked in, i opted to take the scenic route back to my hotel – via central park. i proudly navigated my way (ok, with help from sweet brianna from soul cycle) over a few streets and avenues, making a quick pit stop at my beloved starbucks.

and  then i saw it: central park.  rewind: my only experience of central park up until this point in my life has been via movies (you’ve got mail) and the episode of friends where phoebe + rachel go running through the park.  so to be walking amidst super tall, gorgeous buildings, which for sure i thought sarah jessica parker might walk out of at any moment, it’s an understatement to say that seeing central park for the first time at sunrise absolutely took my breath away. so from 77th ave, all the way to my hotel on 44th, i clung to my warm cup of coffee, freezing my hiney off but in sheer delight of it all. it was (yes), soulful.  just to be there, among the hustle bustle of new yorkers scattering off to work, parents herding their children onto their buses, runners and walkers treading through central park to start their day, taxis honking and sirens blaring.  for me, somehow among all that choas it was completely peaceful.  a bit reflective. like, how did this little girl (ok, so i’m 32 now…but i’m still only 5’2″ so i can get away with this) from the middle-of-no-where in colorado end up in this big city?  yes of course i’ve lived in california for 11 years now, but there are moments when i just step back in awe of it all. like how some days you are amazed at how days turn into weeks, turns into years…and one day you just realize how your life has unfolded much more beautifully than you could’ve ever expected.

pretty deep just for walking down a dirty street, right?

this is my one day to take in the city before the (welcomed) onslaught of meetings that start tomorrow. fitbooks in tow (hey, i’m here on business right?), i’m headed to equinox headquarters, modell’s sporting goods (who i’m meeting with on thursday), paragon sports (an amazing sport goods store…a candy shop for all things fitness), physique 57…and then maybe barnes & noble.  ya know, we go big.  with an afternoon off, i’m thinking i’ll take a trip down to the financial district, maybe over to soho and, then swing by the chelsea highline.  ooo…and apparently i need to go to eataly which is a local market for fresh breads, pastas, meats, cheeses…buonissimo!

so off to start my day of meandering through the city and ending the night at the highly-recommended sushi restaurant nobu with my friend, marcia, who will be my partner in crime for the rest of the week – well at night at least. then to bed early so i can wake up and rock spin again tomorrow morning!

any recommendations on where i must go? do tell. anyone wanna place bets on the number of times i get lost?  i probably won’t disappoint.

off to take in the city…i’ve only been here 14 hours and already i heart NYC.


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