I had my first pastrami sandwich from Katz’s Deli, down the street from where I live. It’s funny, I’ve walked past this place a million times and never had the urge to stop in. My friend Parry was visiting from LA this weekend, and we randomly went in on a whim. The guy behind the counter gave us a sample of pastrami and we were hooked. How can anyone walk away from that! We got a hot pastrami sandwich, on Rye with a smattering of mustard. The meat was so tender, it melted right in my mouth. A plate of half soured pickles completed the indulgence. I’m no meat aficionado, but I know good stuff when I eat it. I now understand why there are so many pastrami lovers out there. Viva!
Summer Streets August 23, 2008
The New York City Department of Transportation closed Park Avenue from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to vehicles this morning in honor of Summer Streets. Cyclists, walkers and runners to took to the streets without the fear of getting squashed. What an amazing feeling it was, to cruise up and down Park Avenue with the wind in my hair! There were a few times I wanted to make audible exclamations while riding… what is that about?? I think I had a big smile pasted on my face the entire ride – ode to the little things that bring so much joy!
On my way back I stopped at the Farmer’s Market in Union Square and thoroughly enjoyed myself by sampling seasonal fruits and looking at all the fresh produce. Strawberries are mighty fine specimens at the moment. I also discovered the beauty of Zinnias – I had never seen them before. The colors are so vibrant and pretty – a nice diversion from the popular Gerber Daisy.
All in all, a great day – I had forgotten how much I enjoy my bike rides. I haven’t gone in a while because I got burned out on my route. There are only so many times you can ride around Manhattan! But riding IN it, is a different story. Such a wonderful feeling of freedom without cars!! Unfortunately, this was the last day for Summer Streets. Back to the dangerous yet exhilerating game of Frogger…
Everybody Wants To Rule The World August 15, 2008
There’s a yoga competition coming up in October where yogis battle it out for the 6th Annual Bishni Charan Ghosh Cup. Yes that’s me in the picture – someday I might sign up and compete for this but for now I’m getting into that cab.
I plan to go and watch the competitors this year because during class it’s very difficult to focus on anything else except for what you are doing at that very moment. Not only are you battling the heat, sweat is coming out of every single pore while you are trying to get everything aligned and in position for your posture. I find when I check out other people’s postures during class it throws my practice way off. It’s a great exercise in concentration, for sure.
The yoga asana competition lasts for 3 minutes and consists of 5 standard Bikram postures in this order: Standing Head to Knee Pose, Standing Bow Pose, Floor Bow Pose, Rabbit Pose and finally Head to Knee with Stretching. After that the contestants do 2 advanced poses of their choice. I found a video from a recent competition to illustrate. I am absolutely captivated by her grace! Don’t try this at home, kids.
Philadelphia August 3, 2008
I spent some time in Philly this weekend, visiting with stellargirl. We met up in Manhattan on Friday and went to David Byrne’s Playing the Building installation at the Battery Maritime Building downtown. It’s a fun exhibition showcasing one lone piano that is connected by myriad of wires to various parts of the building. Anyone can sit and play the piano, eliciting different sounds from the building. It’s free so if you find yourself in that neck of the woods, it’s worth checking out.
In Philly we had a great time eating good food and walking all around the city. We had brunch at Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat. I’m not typically crazy about brunch, but let me tell you, this was good. I had a simple plate of free range eggs with potato latke, and this lovely buttery biscuit with possibly the best blueberry compote ever. It was so fresh tasting and not too sweet and utterly amazing! And I was especially wowed by the ice cream at The Franklin Fountain – absolutely delectably delicious! It’s my favorite ice cream so far. Sorry Sundaes and Cones, you can’t even compete. I had the mint chocolate chip and Roz had the black raspberry with hot fudge. Mmmmm…ok, hers was really really good, maybe even better than mine. I’m getting that next time!!
It was a very short trip but I think I got a good sense of the place. It’s a great walking city where nothing seems too far. From what I could tell it seems pretty diverse and has a good mix of people. I saw a lot of ink and beards…what’s up with the lumberjack beards in this town, especially in the heart of summer? The tattoos – not only did almost everyone seem to have them – they were colorful sleeves of skin art. And on Friday night, Philly seems to get barraged by Southern New Jersey – I just can’t seem to escape the B&T crowd even in another city! All in all it was a fun trip but I feel like I’ve only skimmed the top so I look forward to my next visit!
Making Progress July 29, 2008
There are some days where the yoga completely kicks my ass and then the following day I have the best class. This week has been the perfect example of that. Today I had to drag myself to class, and once there my stomach was churning from the heat and for a moment I thought I was going to have to get up and get really, really ill. But something happened, I’m not sure what. Something just kicked in, and I had one of the best classes to date. I’ve been working on my Standing Head to Knee Pose for a few weeks now, trying to get my standing leg locked so I can extend my other leg out in front. Today that leg snapped in straight, if not only for a moment!! I wanted to laugh out loud – thankfully I was able to contain myself.
Life’s A Beach, And Then You Die? July 18, 2008
I met my friend Greg out at Rockaway Park Beach today. What started out as a picture perfect beach day ended in a wild spectacle straight out of bad reality television. The beach was like a zoo today, mostly made up of local New Yorkers. In the mid afternoon, we noticed a large number of policemen and helicopters flying above. We heard that a girl had drowned and what ensued was a 4 hour search and rescue operation – to which we had front row seats. I had never seen anything like it before.
First, all of the lifeguards were called out and swam reconnaissance style in one straight line, diving down and bobbing back up in unison all along the shore. There were probably 25 of them and they were doing this for about an hour. While they were doing this, a few helicopters flew above and soon NYPD dinghy boats would join. When we saw 2 divers drop in the water, we knew it was really, really bad. At one time we could see 4 helicopters and 5 boats out in the water. It was especially insane when a helicopter flew in to the shore and landed so close to where we were sitting! While the helicopter edged its way onto the sand we talked frantically about packing our things up and making a run for it. I was beginning to panic. It was sheer sheer madness!! Everyone was cleared from the water and watched from the shore. But nothing surfaced and the body was never recovered. I overheard a parks ranger say the beach would be closed tomorrow for another search in the morning.
Photo by Greg Stadnyk