June 02, 2014

New York State of Mind

By Crabby McSlacker

So I just got back from a few days in New York City, a lucky tag-along on one of the Lobster's business trips.

And, as usual when I travel, I brought my phone and took random crappy pictures with it, lucky readers!

However, you may all be all relieved to know that my cell phone contract is up in a few days, thus enabling the purchase of a new device. We will soon find out if the blurry/cloudy/dim/grainy issues will improve with a technological upgrade, or if a new phone will only confirm that it's the doof behind the camera who needs the upgrade.

Also, sorry, this was going to be our monthly community goal-setting/support/check-in post, but I'm delaying that a few days because we've got a very cool giveaway coming that I want to pair with it, so I'm hoping you guys will stay tuned for that.

Meanwhile, please bear with me as I dump the random contents of my phone and brain collected while I was out roaming around in a New York State of Mind.

First off, I love New York.  We got to live there for a couple of years, and I was very happy to be a...

So, whenever I get the chance to visit, especially if someone else is springing for a swanky hotel, I jump on it!  I am very fortunate to have a spouse who will Take Me Along when she has a business trip.  (In fact, my gratitude was responsible for this retro earworm from my youth that I couldn't shake the entire trip.  Anyone else old enough to remember this one? I'm afraid it's kind of a must-see.)

However, part of what's both wonderful and annoying about New York is that:

There are a lot of people.

Busy, busy people.  You can't take a picture without someone crossing in front of you, which is totally fair since you also can't walk anywhere without inadvertently photobombing someone else either.

 Everything is amplified, both good and bad: vibrancy, stress, creativity, noise, diversity, snootery, (who says that not a word?), opportunity, hubris, tragedy, treasures and...

New York is one of those cities with all kinds of Great Old Shit that has been preserved and appreciated.

But not just famous buildings; everywhere you walk you see architectural details that remind you, if you are me, that you are somewhere with far more history than the suburb you happened to grow up in, however pleasant that might have been.


And yet, snuggled right up against the old is the new.

Things never stand still, everything is always under construction.

This is exciting, yet also inconvenient and sometimes frustrating.  It's hard not to feel like the whole freakin' city is some sort of boisterous, beautiful, congested, contentious and sublime personal growth metaphor: Are we done yet? Is everything fixed and perfect? Hell no! Never gonna happen. 'Cause what fun would that be?

Of course neighborhoods change too, and mostly become more trendy. Fifteen years ago when I lived nearby, the meatpacking district had cool restaurants, but it also also a bit sketchy and, well, it stunk. It was a working neighborhood and wasn't yet crammed with boutiques. Trucks full of bones trundled around and big sides of beef hung on hooks adjacent to the sidewalks.

Not so much now.

One thing many find annoying about New York is it seems to think it's pretty much the Most Important Place in the...

There is a certain hip smugness one senses, especially in some of the trendier 'hoods.

On the other hand, with so many people arriving from so many different places, a visit to New York is kind of like taking a trip around...

And so yeah, while I was in New York, it wasn't just all this philosophical stuff I was thinking of.  I couldn't just leave my warped health-blogger brain behind, so I did find myself noticing fitnessy things too.   Many New Yorkers like to exercise.

We were lucky to have an awesome hotel gym, which we took advantage of...

And I couldn't help noticing the way in which the city has become way more bike-friendly since when we lived there.

There were many more of these:

Which is probably why I saw so many more of these:


We had a fridge in the room, and, in a shocking turn of events, I mostly took the high road when it came to dining choices. 

And part of the reason I got to come along was to join in a corporate volunteer day, getting some functional fitness working on some hurricane Sandy rehab out at Breezy Point.

The long train and car parts of the trip were a necessary evil, pretty much bereft of fitness opportunities, though walking to a restroom in a lurching swaying train does count for a little balance training, doesn't it?

Anyway, I'm back home and very grateful for those of you kind enough to leave comments while I was gone, I loved reading them!

What type of stuff do you guys notice when you travel? Any other thoughts about anything at all on this fine monday morning?


  1. Because my mom occasionally didn't go with my dad on his business trips, I got her ticket and had some great travel adventures with my father!

    I'm the oldest child! I notice everything , lol!

  2. Thanks for the trip to New York. Glad you got to go, and glad you shared it with us.

  3. OMG, that commercial. I can't believe I'm old enough to have been around when that sexism was so "normal" - wonder if any career women (I hear they *did* exist) could buy a 1/3 off ticket for their husbands when they traveled?

    I love seeing what you see when you travel. NYC sounds like an awesome place to visit and I hope to do that one of these days.

  4. OK I'm just going to say it. Your hotel gym looks like it was set up on a subway platform with those tiled pillars.

  5. OMG, that United vintage video is absolutely The Best! Yeah - have the same earworm now, but actually loving it :). Thanks for giving us all a bite of the Big Apple, too!

  6. I have not been there since the NY Worlds Fair (showing my age) and that was not an opportunity to see the city at all. My kids and spouses love it and I hope to get back there some time. It is so large that I would not know where to start!

  7. NYC is such a crazy yet amazing city - I love the architecture in many of the areas! Lots to see & people watch too!!!

    I don't travel much & never did - only when we had some money for vacation & that usually was Hawaii or the kids.. :)

  8. City Crab had me laughing!!! I went to the Big Apple once and I enjoyed it. I was with a tour group, so didn't have a lot of freedom to go where I wanted, but I also felt safe with the crowd.

    The high road with food choices and corporate volunteer day? I thought I felt wings under your shirt. LOL!

  9. I've only been to New York for 2 short day trips (we spent several weeks in NJ one summer and took the train in 2x) - not nearly enough! (and we had a 4 & 6 year old at the time)
    I would love to spend time exploring - I envision it just like it is on Sex and the City!!!

  10. So Nice. Now you make me want to travel to New York for my next vacation. I hope I enjoy it like you did. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I spent several days in New York for an ALA convention back in the eighties, and I can't remember anything I took pictures of except the Javits Center. I went on to Boston to visit a friend, and I can remember several rolls of film I shot there without needing to get the prints out and look. Yet I'm sure I found New York just as visually exciting.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  12. Wow that commercial was an eye opener! I don't remember that particular one but I do recall that era.
    I was in NY for one day last September. (Day before boarding the New England/Canada cruise ship). We saw Central Park, St. Patricks Cathedral, Tiffany flagship store, Time Square, Macy's on 34th Street (as in Miracle on 34th Street!) etc.. It was really fun whirlwind day. Then in the late afternoon, I took a cab to the 9/11 memorial. It's really moving experience. Glad I went.

    I don't want to live there, but it sure is a fun place to visit.

    Im all "but you do giveaways each day...of your WORDS!!!!!"

  14. Death Ride GrandmaJune 3, 2014 at 10:41 AM

    Feeling jealous! It's been too long since I have been to NY. Your words & pictures help bring it closer. I am traveling, though. Back from Maui Sunday - lots of great opportunities to see the many ecosystems as I rode up Haleakala - off to Portland today, LA Thursday. This will help me remember to look around more rather than just racing through the days. Thanks, Crabby.

  15. As usual when I'm blogslacking, I'm SO appreciating these comments! But I'm looking forward to the monthly check-in post, coming soon, where I will, I hope, be much more present down here.

    Remember me talking about making chores fun? Well, I'm getting LOTS of practice because somehow our San Diego/Provincetown transition (interrupted by the NY trip) seems to have come accessorized with all kind of additional projects, complications, malfunctions, deferred maintenance, etc, plus with the Lobster now working her ass off for Corporate America, I'm having to actually pull a little more weight around here. Sigh.

    So thanks for your patience and for your great conversation down here!

    1. I only hope a Tea Dance fits in with all of that!

  16. I lived in NYC in the late 80's/early 90's. I haven't been back since 1997!
    I doubt I would recognize much of it, lol!
    Except for the noise, the crowds, the hot dog vendors, the energy, the noise...

  17. True story. I once traveled on a day trip to Baltimore. There was a guy near the parking garage sitting in a chair outside with his junk out, with not even any part of it covered up. Then he peed on himself. This was my "welcome to Baltimore" experience. Very proud to share it here on this blawwg.

  18. I notice driving habits when I travel to other states. I'm pretty vocal about it, too! "OMG that car just passed me...on the right..in the emergency lane, and flipped me off!!!" Here in CO no one knows how to merge. I've never been to NYC, except to change trains. I wonder if they have any interesting driving habits?

    Loved the pictures. Thanks for sharing them,



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