American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial in Battery Park
Spuyten Duyvil, Henry Hudson Bridge from Inwood Hill Park
13 miles as the crow flies.
That’s the distance often thrown around as the length of Manhattan. As the Google Maps, Battery Park to Inwood Hill Park/Spuyten Duyvil Creek is 13.4 miles driving or 13,2. on foot.
Well, I’m not a crow and I don’t fly, I meander.
Yesterday alone I covered ~ 9 miles. On foot to “finish” the “Great Manhattan Loop” as I dubbed it last Spring. It was 9.8 miles per my new Jawbone UP (22,919 steps!) and 8.35 miles per MayMyFitness: 8.35 miles
Some other distances:
- About 7 days of walking in just under two years.
- 10.62 miles in last two days (Bennett Park to Inwood Hill Park)
- 14.38 miles down the west side
- 7.17 miles of the east side (East & Harlem Rivers)
I think that’s part of why I never seriously considered the Great Manhattan Saunter despite using their excellent map as the rough framework for my “loop” . Yes, it’s a “loop” and yes it’s “finished”. Part of the reason it isn’t a loop isn’t my fault. Unknown to me at the time I started this walk, there is no path that lets you circumnavigate Manhattan on foot/bike. The Greenways, or the larger loop (to hit Inwood Hill Park/Sputen Duyvil) require some use of surface streets, mainly on the Harlem/East River sides. And some of the surface streets? They’re boring. And slow, with lights. Since the walk was meant to be fun, I decided I wasn’t going to walk anything I didn’t want to. Some pieces I’ve missed, which all in all aren’t that many:
- W. 79th to W 87th – not because I didn’t want to, but due to changing plans one day. I will do this short stretch when I do Riverside Drive, hopefully this summer.
- E. 10th to as far north as the Greenway stretches until the UN cut.
- Grand St. to Fulton St.
- A walk down the East River on the day of one of 2011′s “raptures” got this all started. At the time, I had no idea what it would lead to, but it did let me see the place where mom and dad were married in June 1971.
- Apparently, checkers are popular on the East River, some of which is living history to the transit hub it once was. And some of Lower Manhattan, especially on the East Side, still looks like the 1800s.
- There’s a “Palazzo” in the West Village. And Seinfeld & Stephen King references rule the Lower East Side.
- Anyone who says West Harlem isn’t pretty isn’t looking. Ditto Washington Heights. And if you’re not looking, you might miss the Upper West Side’s Civil War history.
- Manhattan is photogenic in many different ways.
I expected to feel a let down when this was done, except I realized it’s not done. As I alluded to the in the WH/Inwood post, this walk taught me how much I didn’t know about Manhattan, and now I want to explore more. Downtown: My Manhattan fed that, and I’m finally re-reading (and finishing!) Waterfront so I’m sure that will add to the list below.
Remaining NYC Bucket List:
- Marcus Garvey Park, because the idea of a Fire Tower is really cool.
- Riverside Drive – so much history, so many awesome sites including Joan of Arc, Riverside Church and Grants’ Tomb
- Audobon Historic District and surrounds. Yep, more reading
- High Bridge if it re-opens as planned
- Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island
- Brooklyn Heights Promenade
- Historic House Trust Properties… when they’re actually open
- northern end of Central Park
Yeah, I’ll be at this for a while.
Taller? Longer? Whichever… it’s deceptive!
Ever since I came home from the walk to the GWB/Light House last summer, I regretted not knowing how close I was to the Cloisters and pressing on.
On Friday, I had time to kill before meeting friends and it was a gorgeous day so I decided what would be interesting to see and do. After some random Googling I came upon Fort Bennett Park and Manhattan’s natural highest point and I decided that was a good fit. I don’t view it as cheating at all since it was at the 181st St. stop that I ended the walk from the UWS to the Bridge.
Continue reading Manhattan: You’re Taller Than You Look
I cannot count the number of times I’ve started and stopped reading Pete Hamill’s Downtown: My Manhattan. Not because I didn’t enjoy reading it, but because I never seemed to have the time to commit to it. I can’t even blame it all on library book expiration — at one point I’d mooched two copies off BookMooch and managed to give away/donate both before I read it. I started thinking about it as well as Philip Lopate’s Waterfront during last summer’s Loop, but never got my hands on a copy. Recently I got back into it and decided this was the time. I would re request a copy for the library as often as I needed to. Luckily, it only took one renewal and I absolutely love this book. I find myself wishing for a sequel.
I like Hamill’s idea about owning a city (and its neighborhoods) in different ways. It’s something I never really thought of, but it’s absolutely true. I argue about the boundaries of the Upper East Side in the same way he does about “Downtown”. Your perception depends on your attitude, your hobbies, your favorites and your age. Hamill is significantly older than I am so his view of his neighborhoods were different to mine even when they overlapped. There’s also the question of timing — this book was published in 2004 which doesn’t seem that long ago, but is significant in the development and change of NYC.
Perhaps the key change was the view of 9/11: in Hamill’s writing, the city was still dealing with the hole in Lower Manhattan. While I was reading, they placed the spire atop the new Freedom Tower. Healed? No. But in a much different place than the early 2000s.
The other issue that time hurt? His bibliography. So many titles I want to read. ** So few available for Kindle and some out of print entirely.
Continue reading Review: Downtown: My Manhattan
So when I stumbled on the new Essie summer line, I squealed like the 13 year old I am when it comes to nail polish. So pretty, vibrant and perfect for summer. I’ve been busy and not caught up on my nails so I didn’t realize they were actually out already until a colleague said she had Bottle Service. Knowing I “needed” a pedi this weekend, I hoped for the best. Before I got to the salon today, I was at a friend’s place and saw a pretty, vibrant orange. I was intrigued. It was Saturday Disco Fever. Orange doesn’t tend to suit me well and it’s definitely more of a pedi color, but I gave it a try.
Saturday Disco Fever indoors and out
It’s pretty, but it’s definitely not for me. Clockwise form top left: indoors, indoors flash and outdoors. It’s very close to Brazilliant which was a summer favorite and might be OK for a pedicure, but not for me for a mani. Just doesn’t work with my skin tone. Still, nothing lost but a few cotton balls to try it.
Happened to be in CVS this morning and looked to see if they had any of the colors, but they were sold out. So it turned into one of my favorite salon past times, treating myself to a color I might not like enough to buy. With few exceptions, I won’t buy a color that can’t work for manis and pedis because I rarely do my own toes. The down side, I found myself wishing for Cab-ana this week when my pedi chipped.
Was pleasantly surprised to find that my salon had the new colors. It was actually a hard choice because I was thinking about a color that might work with the outfit for tonight’s Lortel Awards. I saw and dismissed Shake your $$ Maker, (much darker and less neon than the swatch looks) and a few of my standards. Quit looking at Merino Cool, it’s summer. Without even fully planning on going all with the new summer line, I landed on Bouncer, it’s Me! and DJ Play that Song.
Bouncer It’s Me and DJ, Play That Song (Outdoors)
Bouncer It’s Me and DJ, Play That Song (Indoors)
Bouncer It’s Me and DJ, Play That Song (Indoors Overlap)
I’m quite pleased with both colors although I don’t think the blue looks anything like the swatch? Would I buy it? Probably not, too close to Butler Please (and Mezmerize) but it’s a great summer pedi color. I love the purple, although it’s definitely more fuschia and not really neon in my opinion. It’s a hair darker than Splash of Grenadine and less sparkly than Madison Ave-Hue (below). Bizarrely? I was initially concerned about it clashing with the coral/red skirt I planned to wear tonight and then I remembered I had a skirt that works perfectly with the purple — two actually, one a solid, one part of a multi color pattern on black. Thank you, Old Navy, and my love of all thinks pink/purple for bailing me out.
I like Madison Ave-Hue. It’s not as vibrant as Grenadine or DJ, but I love the sparkles. Also great for hiding sheet marks. Both of the above are indoors. If I ever took one outdoors, I’ve since deleted it.
Haven’t yet tried Bond With Whomever. Salon has it so I’ll give it a go for next mani ped, maybe. I need to try Ginza again because my only take away that I remember was that it chipped too quickly. Overall I give the Spring lines a B. Some winners (Cab-ana, Madison Ave-Hue, Come Here, First Timer) and some mehs (Avenue Maintain, Ipanema (too close to Fifth Ave) with the purples (Bond, Ginza) still TBD.
I did it. I finally bit the bullet and revised my #GoTheDist goal for the year. Not because I’m less active than I thought, but because my initial goal was essentially a math error. I bike at roughly 3x the speed I walk, there was no way I was going to hit what was essentially a bike goal. So the new goal is 500 miles. That’s still highly debatable, but at least it’s realistic-ish.
Here’s my mileage so far this year:
Totals for January 16.28 58.89
Totals for February 20.52 54.15
Totals for March 25.08 37.61
Totals for 1Q 61.88 150.65
Totals for April 56.5 17.71
I walked nearly as much in April as I did in Q1! Partially a factor of the improved weather, and partially helped by 16m in two days, but there’s no reason I can’t keep it up. I walked all over the planet last Spring and can do it again. I did realize it’s a good thing I’m not going to do the Great Manhattan Saunter since 9 miles killed my feet on Sunday. All isn’t good with those numbers though — reflects a drastic decrease in gym visits. Time to fix that.
“In the Middle East, what you believe can still get you killed”
After the post that was supposed to be about the book turned into an analysis of reading habits, it’s time to think about this book. As I mentioned, I read it on the iPad, so it wasn’t physically highlighted or dog eared, but I certainly made extensive use of the Kindle app’s highlight feature. It is an amazing book both in Feiler’s writing style, but also in the information he presented.
I was left thinking throughout the book about what his chosen title meant. It has very little to do with the physical place where Yahweh, Jesus or Allah were born (if indeed there is such a place) and more to do with the idea of where religion and belief in god was born. There were gods in ancient Greece and Egypt, but it wasn’t organized religion the way it came to be in monotheism in the Middle East. In many ways this book has more to do with where monotheism is born and the idea of a relationship with a god. At least that’s my take as someone who loves the history but has no relationship with a god.
Continue reading Review: Where God Was Born
I have an extremely conflicted relationship with organized religion and the concept of god, yet I am enamored with the Middle East. Mom and I went to Israel for my 30th birthday and it was magical and everything I thought. I was already planning my next trip while still there. When people were curious about it, I explained it as a fascination with history. And that’s a huge part of it in the same way I love Rome. So much happened there. But that’s not all of it, I’m fascinated with reading about the Middle East and you can’t read/experience/know the Middle East without looking at religion. Too many of the world’s faiths are tied there.
Continue reading Where “God” was born?
Loss Since April 7: 1.0
Total Loss: 17.8 lbs
Weigh in for DietBet 1 (Jan 28) and weigh out for DietBet 3 (April 23)
Excuse the bedhead.
I was worried about this DietBet. I hit my number at the two week mark, but then I wasn’t losing any more. I also knew I was going to be away this weekend. Friday when I left, I was half a pound over. I decided to just do my best, make smart choices, and track. I weighed myself last night when I got home and thought I was in a good place to hit the number on the dot this morning but I stepped up my fluids anyway.
Not only did I hit my DietBet goal, but I beat it by 2.1 lbs. Thank you water weight last night.
I don’t know how much the winning share will be, but the pot was $10K. Wow. Really proud of myself for sticking with it even while away. This also makes up for the loss I didn’t have in the second DietBet.
I’m looking for another good DB to join since the one I did for the first two months was discontinued. I like the large pot of this big public one, but I didn’t feel the same sense of community in the message board. It’s odd that I care about it since I’m not a message board person, but I didn’t like the competitiveness that consisted of putting other participants down.
Any recommendations? I’ll be paying for this one since I don’t think the last one will pay out in time and I used my winnings from #1 on this one.
Also, can someone please have a word with Mother Nature. I want to walk home, but this weather is ridiculous.
Essie, I take it all back. You’re back in my good graces.
Essie In the Cab-ana in the sun
Essie In the Cab-ana in the shade
Went for a mani-pedi today and had no intention of getting In the Cabana. I was thinking an orange that I could never get away with on my fingers (maybe Tart Deco or Brazilliant) and even had Vermillionaire in my hand but my eyes kept wandering back to this pretty blue. I was surprised when I looked at the label, I thought maybe it was Where’s my Chauffeur because I didn’t like Cabana the first few times I saw it. It’s actually closer to but more vibrant then Turquoise & Caicos. Unable to find another color that really grabbed me, I decided why not. I am in love. I still might not buy it since it’s really a pedi only color and I always get my pedis done, but it’s really a gorgeous color. Perfect for spring and summer.
I bought Madison Ave Hue from the Spring collection and Come Here from the Resort collection yesterday. Which one is on my fingers, you ask? Neither. Because the Butler Please glitter palooza, while pretty, was an epic fail to remove and I turned the planned pedi into a mani/pedi. I try to use salon dates to try colors I don’t have (and maybe one day I’ll avoid color busts by trying first). I really wasn’t sure what color I wanted and my eyes were drawn to a pretty pinkish purple, which, I initially thought was Play Date. But, it was Splash of Grenadine, a color I’d had my eye on for a while but hadn’t found to try. So I did. and I love it. Probably not different enough from other pink/purples I have, but another perfect spring color and I have happy fingers *and* toes. Madison Ave and Come Here soon.
Essie Splash of Grenadine
Loss Since March 10: 1.6 lbs
Total Loss: 16.8 lbs
I could look at that and be disappointed, but I’ve instead chosen to focus on the last two weeks where I got back on track.
I was so good through March 10 but then some things popped up and I wasn’t. I still tracked every mouthful but I wasn’t drinking enough and made some less than ideal food choices when rushed/stressed/out of my comfort zone. Within the last two weeks I’m back in my own environment where I can more easily control my choices, on a more normal schedule (goodbye 16 hour days) and I feel better about it. Still, life is going to happen and I need to figure out how to better manage that. On the plus side, I didn’t gain other than water weight, I just didn’t lose.
I have my regular check in with my endocrinologist on Tuesday and time to see where my numbers are.
Time to revisit my Accountability post two months later and see where I am. Original comments struck through with new text after.
Blog. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes. But when I was losing, I was blogging. So we’re going to try it again. Honestly, pretty good. I will never be a daily blogger but I’ve kept up pretty well. And I read the few blogs I follow daily or every other day.
On the writing theme, I’m tracking. I was a master at tracking way back when and it’s time to go back. I don’t see what my road block is here. I face the foods when I see the number on the scale, it’s time to face it in my tracker. I tracked today. Including the m&ms. That’s a start. I have tracked every day since, every morsel that went into my mouth. I think (shocker, shocker) it’s a big reason I’m losing. I’ve also kept up my #GoTheDist tracking even though my goal is unattainable. Oh, and I haven’t touched m&ms since Jan 29.
Money. I joined Run With Jess‘ DietBet challenge at the instigation of a Hive friend. It cost me $10 but I will lose my 4% and if I do that every month it won’t cost me another cent I don’t think. AND if I hit the 4% goals each month (a big if, I know), I’ll hit goal by July, which gives me plenty of breathing room if I have an off month. I had my off month. And I jumped right back in the game with a $25 buy in. To be honest, that was free from my winnings in the first DietBet but it doesn’t mean I’m working any less hard to win this one. I want the pot, in part to go toward my new iPad.
- #GoTheDist. I gave up on tracking this a chunk of the way through last year although I continued to track my workouts in MapMyFitness. But the challenge is a great motivator and it gets me to the gym when I don’t want to go. See bullet #2
Smoothies. Yep, back to smoothies for dinner. They help with the salt retention and they give me my chocolate fix when I otherwise eat things I have no business eating when I get home. I started with this, and then I got bored. I just can’t do them daily like I used to and I still don’t really like bananas. But I’ve moved toward other, better evening choices like Jello and hard boiled eggs. Evening eating has been going well although I need to break the newly reacquired Tasti kick.
I’m not giving up soda. Not yet, at least. I was the queen of fake lemonade last time and while I’m contemplating getting a soda stream, I’m not ready to make the switch off soda. I’m afraid I won’t drink enough until it’s warmer. But it’s diet soda so that’s a partial win. And I got a soda stream. Just bought but haven’t yet tried the diet lemonade for it. I’m totally addicted to fiizz and seltzer is nice. And I’m getting as turned off my Diet Dr. Pepper was I was by Diet Coke so maybe that’s my body voting.
S is for Spark. as in the Spark to get to goal. As in SparkPeople. If I do what I did with Weight Watchers online, I can make it work with Spark. There is no difference in the foods I’m eating. As I mentioned, I went to LoseIt. I never really liked Spark and used that as an excuse not to track, which is ridiculous. But I haven’t missed a single meal since I switched to LoseIt and I’m thrilled. It’s easier to use and works well for me.
I’m going to get my knees to the point where I can do more than one squat, or I’m going to quit putting off knee surgery and get it done. N/A
It was a start, and a very good one. I’m proud of my progress although I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I’d lost a little more. But I know how to fix that. Now time to set some new measures of accountability in addition to continuing the ones above:
- Exercise everyday. It doesn’t have to be the gym, and my 64 stairs a day probably count anyway, but with the weather getting nice there’s no reason not to spend some time outside walking, etc. Especially because I’d really like to finish the Great Manhattan Loop.
- Eat better. Not just within the calories, but more fruits and vegetables. It’s the perfect season.
- Diversify my breakfasts. I’m getting sick of Cheerios. I think there are better options to keep me fuller too.
- Set a goal. Maybe even a Goal. Time to figure out what I’m working toward.
Maybe more to come.