Saturday, Dec 23:
An evening run in Central Park, my first run back. 9.3 in 1:32:46, 9:56 average. As you may know, I like to run on soft surfaces like grass or trail whenever possible, so the Reservoir is definitely my preferred spot there. It had really pretty views, with the lights in the skyline. The path right around the reservoir is super flat but is just wide enough for maybe 3 people and has more tourists because of the good views. Circling that path is a much wider, and slightly hilly dirt road with fewer people and like 3 car lanes worth of space to weave through, but you don't get those same views. I mixed it up between the two.
At night, we went out to Saks near Rockefeller Plaza for the Christmas window displays. They were Snow White themed. I like Dopey.
They also had a dancing light display accompanied by music, on the building, also produced by Disney. Our family often goes to Disney during December or January, so it was nice to get a taste of Disney this year, even though we weren't in Florida.
There are lots of Pokemon in that area, too, so my sister and I ended up spending about an hour catching them, much longer than planned, haha... just so many to get, especially since they had just released a bunch of new kinds.
For Christmas, we went to my sister's boyfriend's parents' house in Long Island (which is really super long, like much longer than even Cape Cod!). We enjoyed tons of great Italian food, midnight mass, white elephant, and family time.
Tuesday, Dec 26:
My sister was working, but I went out for another run at the Reservoir. When I first went out onto the street, it seemed like it would be bearable in just a long sleeve tech tee, shorts, and my usual compression socks. But when I got to Central Park, the wind made the 28 degrees feel quite cold. I stuck it out through 5.3 in 52:13, 9:52, but it was tough. 3 laps around the Reservoir.
Wednesday, my sister, her boyfriend, and I first went out for squid ink Paella at Socarrat:
And then we went to Output. It might've been my first time at a club. Bouncers, coat checks, no pictures allowed... interesting. The DJ was Australian Thomas Jack, who does "deep house" music.
Thursday, we were going to go to the 9/11 memorial, but the lines to get in looked super long, and the waits were outside, so we stuck with looking around the Occulus (a shopping mall), and Eataly.
I first learned about Eataly through a series about Dogfishhead brews, telling the story of different collaborations and experimental beers that they did. One was a collaboration with Mario Batali when he was first starting Eataly, which is a combo Italian-oriented fine grocery store, kitchen goods store, and food court.
I happened upon one of their stores during a visit to Chicago. It was a cold night, and it happened to be on the way to the Mag Mile. When I saw that there was an Eataly right next to the 9/11 memorial, I knew I couldn't miss the chance to go again.
It's truly an experience going there, because there are so many unique items there. You really feel like you've been transported to Italy. We bought some cheeses, bread, and beer, and went home for an Italian feast.
That evening, we did an escape room. I had done a few apps before, but my sister has gotten into the physical escape rooms. We did a space-themed one, the one my sister says has been the best out of all the ones she has done, because of a second room we got to go into during the game, and cool mechanized things and clever things. It only goes downhill from here if I ever do more, supposedly. It was a lot of fun, and I'd certainly be interested in doing more with friends some day. Our group maxed out with 8 people. Strangers who came together and saved the world. There were enough puzzles to work out concurrently, so that everyone had something to do. Everyone got to participate, which was good. I think we did use all 3 clues, but we made it with 9:36 out of 60:00 to spare.
On Friday, while my sister worked, I went back out to the 9/11 memorial to try to go again, since it seemed like something you couldn't miss going to, if you were in NY. I ended up waiting an hour to get tickets (even Will Call people had to wait that long on this day, since the machines weren't working), I waited another hour for my timed ticket to become valid, during which I got a letterbox geocache and a virtual geocache:
It was a multi-step geocache, and the container was a book! Pretty awesome. The stamp was NYC-themed, too, which made it a great addition to my stamp book. Fortunately, the hunting and stamping was in a library, so it was indoors. It was sub-freezing outside, so this was very welcome.
Back at 9/11, there was another 45 minute wait to get through security. Finally, I made it in, and ended up spending like 4 hours there. There is 9/11-inspired memorial art, sections that feature original elements of the buildings in the Towers' footprints, and rooms to honor those lost. The main exhibit tells the a timeline-based story of the events of the day, which made you feel like you were experiencing it as it happened. They have artifacts, they give perspectives from first responders, government response, victims, survivors, and witnesses. They had recordings from those people, too, and it was really moving. They have tissues in the rooms, if that's an indication of how much it impacts you. It's definitely something that everyone who goes to NYC should experience, because the event, and overcoming it, and remembering it and honoring the heroes and victims, is such a big part of the city.
On my way home, I swung by Wholefoods and Times Square. It would be my only taste of Times Square during the trip. I had really wanted to spend NYE there, but it was super cold, people address the lack of restrooms with bottles and diapers (so even if I can hold it for 9 hours, it may not be pleasant being around people who can't), and my sister wouldn't be able to make it because of not getting out of work until the evening. So... this was my only taste of Times Square this time.
Sunday, Dec 31:
My last workout of the year was a body weight strength session in my sister's apartment.
- Crunches: 400/side
- Plank: 2.5 + 2.5 min
- Single Leg Squats: 80 + 85 per side
- Pushups: 25 + 25
- Adductor/Abductor Leg Lifts: 85/140
- 6 inches: 90s
- Squats: 100
We had a party in the apartment, with her roommates and some friends. We played telephone dictionary, had pomegranate orange cake, and an African chicken peanut veggie stew. Lots of fun!