Sunday, 24 February 2008

Madam, please calm yourself, this is Pilates NOT yoga!!

Pilates class was crazily crowded this morning, there were a good dozen more people than usual crammed into the studio. Fifty-two of us, I counted. It distracted me from the pain I was feeling in my abs. There were 49women and 3men and we were mat to mat; it was very cosy. I’m guessing the slight rise in temperature today must have got people fired up to work off those extra winter pounds in preparation for skimpier summer attire in a few months.

Fortunately the instructor does a great job of keeping the class good natured, so there was no squabbling over floor space. She’s also excellent at wandering around class and keeping her eyes peeled for saggy posture, so there’s no hiding, even among 51 other people. Woe betide you if you don't maintain correct alignment and let your abs relax for even a brief second, she'll spot you shirking and be over in a flash to sort you out. She's a real task master that one, but I have her to thank for a flatter belly. It was a great class as usual; I only wish the woman in front of me could have refrained from making sex-like noises of exertion throughout the class. Yuck!! I really could have done without hearing that.

After class I jumped on the subway and headed over to Brooklyn to meet my friend Nigel for a catch up over brunch on Smith St. I hadn’t eaten for 5hours and was ravenous when I got there 20minutes early, so I was relieved when I called Nigel and he was good to go. I couldn’t wait to wrap my hands around a big mug of coffee and tuck into poached eggs with smoked salmon. Mmm mmmmmm!!

I love to pop out to Brooklyn from time to time. I love the fact that it’s mellower than Manhattan and that small stores and restaurants can still thrive as Manhattan rolls inevitably towards becoming one giant strip mall. I’ve toyed with the idea of moving to Brooklyn a few times, but I’ve never gone through with it, because much as I love Brooklyn moving is, quite frankly, a pain in the arse and much as I would sometimes like a change of scenery I’m completely smitten with my cosy little apartment on the Upper East Side. I have a good deal; too good a deal to give up. It’s not an amazing bargain by any stretch, a friend’s mother has one of those deals that are the stuff of New York legend; she pays $300/month for a one bedroom apartment in the West Village. $300!!! Peanuts!! The $2,900/month another friend pays for a one bedroom in the same neighbourhood is more typical for that part of town. It’s no wonder the area is supposedly infested with investment bankers, who else could afford to live there? However I’m lucky enough to rent a small 2 bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side for the price most people pay for a studio. It would be hard to give that up for either a smaller space or higher rent in a different neighbourhood. I’d also miss the half a dozen friends who conveniently live close by and not being able to walk to and from work every day. So, much as I'm tempted, I think I’ll be renewing my lease on the UES for at least one more year. I’ll just keep sating my Brooklyn craving by popping out there every now and then to visit Nigel.

Brunch with Nigel was fun as usual. We like to get together every few months and trade war stories of being single in New York. He’s just met a woman he really likes so I’m keeping my fingers tightly crossed for him. Funnily enough as I was waiting for him to show up outside the subway station on the corner of 2nd Place and Smith St I heard a familiar voice. I glanced over at the woman sat on the bench, chatting on her mobile.

“Amy?”

“What? Yes. Wh…!! Oh my God. I can’t believe it. What are YOU doing HERE?”

I work with Amy and for the last 5years she’s lived with her husband and 2 young children a few blocks for me on the Upper East Side. I've never once seen her in the neighbourhood, but then I take the F train out to Brooklyn and who should be loitering outside the Carroll St subway station. Turns out she and her family are considering making the move, so she was spending the day house hunting in the area. I love those moments when I randomly bump into someone I know. It makes New York feel like a small town instead of a heaving metropolis.



Photo of Brooklyn Heights Promenade courtesy of Josh Derr via Flickr.

13 comments:

sid said...

Picture of Brooklyn heights ... it looks so pretty.
You've also kinda convinced me to take up Pilates.

Blur Ting said...

That's such a beautiful photo!

And what coincidence. It's funny how you never meet people who live nearby and bump into them somewhere far away. It has happened to me before. I met an old neighbour in another country!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Sid, Brooklyn Heights is gorgeous, it really does look like that. It's a really pretty part of Brooklyn.

Good luck with the Pilates, I love it, it works, it honestly does, but it's a killer.

Hi Blur Ting, how funny you bumped into someone in a different country. That happened to my sister once. She went to Greece on a beach holiday and bumped into the landlord of the local pub :-)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Sid, Brooklyn Heights is gorgeous, it really does look like that. It's a really pretty part of Brooklyn.

Good luck with the Pilates, I love it, it works, it honestly does, but it's a killer.

Hi Blur Ting, how funny you bumped into someone in a different country. That happened to my sister once. She went to Greece on a beach holiday and bumped into the landlord of the local pub :-)

airheadgenius said...

I used to live in the village in a rent stablilized apartment ($800/mth for a 1 bedroom on macdougal) and really did not want to move to Brooklyn. But child # 1 needed more space and it was time to invest in proprty so I made the move. The first 6 months, I missed the convenience of Manhattan, but after that, you couldn't pay me to live there. (Well, ya could, but it would have to be steep)

Brooklyn is where it's at.

Amel's Realm said...

BWA HA HA HA HA HA HA...I couldn't stop laughing when I read about the "sex-like noise" HI HI HI HI...Doh!!! Poor you!

And GREAT photo choice! ;-D

Hey, you've got quite a bargain there with your 2-bedroom apt. but you only have to pay a studio price! When my family gets bigger later on, I'd hate to think how much we're going to spend on the apt. rent per month...but we'll see...if we get lucky, we'll get a nice price like you too he he he...;-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Genius, you had a bargain in the village. If I had kids it would be a completely different story, I'd be in Brooklyn in an instant, but as a single I enjoy the convenience of Manhattan :-)

Hi Amel, ha ha, yes it wasn't fun. People occasionally fart in class too which I don't appreciate so much either. Fingers crossed you find a good bargain when you extend your family.

Kitty said...

Whereabouts in the Brooklyn?

That's the thing. When I lived in Manhattan, I thought of Brooklyn as this one huge monolithic place. But it isn't at all. It's many smaller neighborhoods (much like the main island), each with its own character.

I'm still getting to know Brooklyn, even my own neighborhood. It's wonderful.

Take your time with it. I can understand staying on the island (though not so much the UES. I am a West Sider, lol!)

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hey Kitty, no specific place right now. It's not an imminent move. I've explored many a Brooklyn neighbourhood during my years in New York...Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Greenpoint, W'burg, Ditmas Park, Fort Greene, Bay Ridge, Coney Is...I've covered a lot of ground over the years :-)

Sister Sassy said...

cool running into your friend. Its like the time i lived in Chicago and ran into a girl who had lived in the same Northern Michigan town I had moved from.

The picture IS nice, nice shot!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Sassy, it is a nice pic isn't it. A shame I can't claim it as my own ;-)

Amel's Realm said...

WOAH! People occasionally fart, too? Well, it's dangerous if the classroom is crowded and people are farting here and there hi hi hi...THX for your well-wishes! ;-D

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Amel, yes there are random farters in Pilates. Not often though thank goodness ;-)