I discovered — I actually re-discovered — how New Yorkers stay in such top-notch physical condition.
Not only do they walk everywhere in Manhattan, but they ride the subway.
That may not say much about their physical condition, unless you understand that each subway station has several flights of stairs to scramble up and down.
Take a subway to and from work and you’ve already done your daily stair-master stint. But transfer to a train or two and you will have dashed up and down a few more flights of stairs between trains. And probably at aerobic speeds, to be sure you don’t miss your connection.
That was one of the ways I stayed in shape on my visit to the Big Apple and environs last week. Katie had me romping around the city from one sight to another — subway trains and long walks in between.
My daughter Maggie and husband Doug sent me an airline ticket to come visit my beautiful, precocious grandchildren Kelsey, Ewan and Sidney.
I’d not been East since Hurricane Sandy four years ago. So, this was a big deal for me. And I had forgotten just how energetic bolting up and down subway stairs can be!
To flesh out the visit, my daughter Diane and husband Chuck came down from Boston, while daughter Kate and her partner Charles joined us from Brooklyn.
The ten of us hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art our first day, then dashed downtown for lunch in Chinatown and on to Little Italy for cappuccino and pastries.
Out of the Woods Into the Wilderness
The whole trip was like visiting a foreign country, surrendering my country ways to the energetic vibrations of The City.
After church on Sunday we all assembled, the whole pack of us, at Maggie’s for brunch and conversation. And three-kid acts.
The next couple of days Katie rushed me around Manhattan, through way-overcrowded Chelsea Market as well as Grand Central Market before a tour of the back house of the filming of the Black List television series. I saw how all the sets were created from raw lumber in the lumber room into hospital room, bedroom, kitchen, interrogation room, police headquarters, massive elevator shaft and etcetera.
Charles works on these sets — twelve-hour days, often seven-day weeks! They’re in the middle of shooting twenty-three episodes of Black List.
I had no idea how large these studios are and how much precision work there is in filming an episode or so. Both Katie and
Charles work in films. They seem to love the intensity of it all.
Something else I observed in The City this time around was the amazing amount of courtesy among people I least expected it from.
Every time I was on a crowded subway train I was offered a seat by a young woman or man of all colors. Well, my being such an old codger may have had something to do with it. They probably all expected me to stumble over my shadow, cause a major situation and didn’t want to be involved in it.
Irregardless, (as some New Yorkers would say) I enjoyed taking advantage of my “age card” (as my wife would say) and did it with grace.
So, now I am back home again. And I’ve already done a couple of day’s hikes, getting into condition to stay in condition for some future trip back to the Big Apple.
Without my dog Tessa it is not easy. I expect to look up at any time and see her waiting for me at the next curve. I’ll get over it. But not any time soon.