Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Manhattan madness.

I love living out on Long Island, but sometimes I wish that we made more of being close to Manhattan and went into the City more often. But over the past few days I've had a really good dose of New York moments, enough to keep me sated for weeks.

Saturday morning saw me leave home at 6am with a group of friends for a women only 10K race in Central Park. I enjoyed this more than I ever could have imagined. From the scrum of the start line, where 6,000 women waited to begin the race listening to someone sing The Star Spangled Banner; to the fabulousness of running round the entirety of the Park, cheered on by supporters with placards, as well as random dog-walkers; running past such New York landmarks as the Museum of Natural History and the Met; to the final stretch towards Tavern on the Green, where the race ended with bagels, Gatorade and ice lollies. It was truly inspiring, and the whole experience filled me with such extra energy that I managed to record my fastest average pace ever (although Paula Radcliffe need not worry for the moment).

Afterwards, seven sweaty women headed off for brunch at a nearby hotel (having changed into sundresses and squirted ourselves with lots of deodorant and mist spray in the loos); gorging on Eggs Benedict after an hour's run made it all doubly worthwhile.

Later that day (having finally showered at home) I was headed back into the City, this time with the Doctor and his brother and my sister-in-law. We were off to the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center to watch the American Ballet Theater's production of Onegin. As we ascended the subway escalator straight into Lincoln Center it was like entering another world; one of culture, wealth and privilege in contrast to the grimy subterranean world of the subway. The Met building was gorgeously opulent - all red velvet carpets and people drinking champagne in glamorous gowns; in the interval you could stand on a balcony overlooking the Lincoln Center courtyard with its beautiful fountain, or, for the real ballet fanatics, buy used ballet shoes from the Met shop. (I wasn't tempted, but did treat myself to a glass of cava just to feel part of the whole scene). The ballet itself was excellent; I'm not an expert on ballet by any means but the set, costumes and dancing were all incredible and, thanks to watching Ralph Fiennes in the film version some years ago, I actually knew the story of Onegin, which helps.

As if this wasn't enough to feast on, I was back in the city last night for a work-related reception at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Here was a chance to view the great and good of the creative industry in their most glamorous finery, knocking back cocktails and appetisers in the amazing setting of MoMA's bright white atrium.

Ah well. Back to the world of piano practice and grocery shopping for the next few days. But meanwhile I'm plotting something for The Doctor's 40th which will involve Manhattan again - and this time just for the two of us. The last time we stayed in the City as a couple was in 1995 at the YMCA; we ate at a greasy diner off Times Square. Hopefully this time will be just slightly more glamorous.

13 comments:

Home Office Mum said...

Makes me miss living in NYC. Did I tell you we used to live one block away from the Flat Iron building with views of the Empire State and Crysler. It was magic. Ps - well done on the run

About Last Weekend said...

Is that you in the pink? - you look so tanned and fit and fabulous - you need to post more pics of yourself. What a wonderful cornucopia of events. We live in Oakland 15 mins across the bridge from San francisco and I hardly ever get in there! This will give me the good kick up the bum I need to get to our Moma.

MsCaroline said...

All three of those sound like wonderful life experiences - especially the 10K - I am so impressed at that accomplishment!
Great memories of the Big Apple to take back with you to the UK - most Americans haven't experienced them either!

Iota said...

Wow, you've obviously been inspired by all the summer activities your boys are involved in, which you wrote about recently. That's one jam-packed NY experience.

Congrats on the run. Great achievement.

Just wondering what on earth could be more glamorous than the YMCA and a greasy diner.

nappy valley girl said...

HOM - that sounds fabulous...

ALW - you're privileged, it's only about the third photo of myself I've ever posted, after years of semi-anonymity....

Ms Caroline - They are definitely moments to remember...

Iota - thank you. I forgot to mention that we also slept in bunk beds at the Y that time, and I had food poisoning. So it can only get better...

Circles in the Sand said...

I know I've said it before, but I'm seriously impressed with your running - and you look fabulous. Xx

AliBlahBlah said...

Nice work with the 10k - I completely agree with you on the atmosphere at these races. I always thought it would be full of intimidating uber-athletes, but have always been pleasantly surprised at the friendly and positive vibe from other runners. Must be all those endorphins!

Metropolitan Mum said...

10K??!!?? I think I managed 4 once and have been immensely proud. But 10? Wow! I am very impressed. And yes, please more pictures of yourself and New York City :)

PantsWithNames said...

I remember that film too - very opulent and full of velvet and snow if I remember correctly. NYC sounds amazingly fun. You are definitely making the most of your time there. And very little wrong with a greasy diner off Times Sq? can't get more fun than that surely? x

Knackered Mother said...

Am making notes, ahead of my 3 day visit to NYC in July! Work-related, but I get an afternoon to myself, can't wait. Well done on the run :)

nappy valley girl said...

Circles - thank you!!

AliBlahBlah - I think it helped that it was an all-women race. Some of my friends, who are seasoned runners, said that they have seen competitive males behave appallingly at other races!

MetMum - I couldn't have even run 4K six months ago. It's amazing how you can suddenly get into it.

Pants - Ah, I'm glad someone else remembers that film! Perhaps you're a fellow Ralph fan?

KM - Ooh, how exciting. Email me if you want more tips!

geekymummy said...

Sounds like a fantastic couple of days! How lucky to be so close to New York.

Tanya said...

Awesome re the run, there is a magic about running in central park! I look forward to some time in NYC this summer