I’m just back from Baltimore where I celebrated Thanksgiving early with my mom and then spent several wonderful hours visiting with my friends, Mike and Lisa and yes, getting to meet for the very first time their not quite month-old twin girls.
For the day itself, I plan to mix old traditions with new ones. I’ll take in a bit of the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade–I mean, when in Rome–and then later I’m meetingÂ up with a friend to see the new Hugh Jackman-Nicole Kidman epic flick “Australia.” A movie about Australia actually acted by Australians–how novel! Afterward, any feasting will more likely take the form of smoked salmon than traditional turkey bird but you know, that’s okay.
As I get ahem…older, I realize we each have two families, the one we’re born into and the one we create for ourselves along the way. And on this most special day, I’m mindful of how very thankful I am for both.
Winter’s here, I’m telling you, and for those of us who are solidly outdoor runners–I loathe treadmills–this whole plunging mercury thing makes running rather a challenge. On my last windchapped outing a few days ago, I came to grips with the cold (literally), hard fact that strappy just wasn’t cutting it.Â Running along the HudsonÂ wasn’t going to happen again for me until spring, it just wasn’t, so I’d better come up with aÂ seasonal alternative and fast.
For kicks,Â why not run up to Central Park, around said Park, and then back?
The deal buster in my plan was Midtown. To get to CP, you gotta go through–there. You see,Â I detest crowds–and yes I realize that soundsÂ crazyÂ coming from someone who moved to Manhattan on purpose even. But it’s true, which is whyÂ ordinarily I avoidÂ Midtown like well, the proverbial plague. Problem was,Â I was desperate, jones-ing for that Runner’s High. Unfortunately,Â off-hours in the Big Apple are hard to come by. With the city decked out for the upcoming holidays, checking out Midtown wasn’t just my good idea. The sidewalks were thronged, three-deep, making me feel like I was in some sort of virtual reality pinball machine. At times, I just had to give up the ghost and walk it. So much for my much anticipated endorphin boost.
But, mes enfants, when given the lemons, sometimes it is best to make the lemonade, or in this case, the holiday lemon curd…
Rather than gnashing my teeth and vocalizing some very non-brotherly love type expletives every time my shoulders got bumped, which was a lot,Â I decided to dial it down and just go with it. Smell, if not the roses, thenÂ the vendor hotdogsÂ andÂ roasted chestnuts.
Manhattan decked out for the holidays is truly a sight to behold. Fortunately I had my trusty Blackberry tucked into my runner’s arm band and I used the camera of said BB to snap some photos.
First stop: The New York Public Library. After paying my respects toÂ Patience and Fortitude, IÂ ran up the library steps Rocky style just because I could. Duly oxygen deprived (hmm, perhaps source of aforementioned Runner’s High isn’t endorphins at all)Â IÂ circled back behind to Bryant Park. Not much running there given the temporary buildings set up for winterÂ but fortunately lots of good photo ops. There’s even a small skating rink called The Pond. After watching for a while, IÂ think I like this oneÂ better thanÂ Rockefeller Center’s. Not as grand for sure but somehow it just seems more friendly, more approachable. Then again, maybe I’m influenced by the signage: “The Perfect Antidote to the 9 to 5.” I haven’t had a 9 to 5 job in years, thank goodness,Â but if I did, I’m sureÂ I’d needÂ an antidote.
And of course, since I was in the hood, I had to stop in at Rockefeller Center, which is yes, really quiteÂ spectacularly beautiful despite the proud dad who didn’t seem to understand why I objected toÂ his learning-to-walk toddlerÂ stomping on my beloved Blackberry, whichÂ I’dÂ set down on the wall–for like less than a minute.
Peace and love,
Whether you live in an area where Jack Frost is already nipping your nose or you’re reaching for the sunscreen to ward off a Caribbean style sizzle, whether you’re spending the day en famille sitting down to a traditional family feast, or plopping down solo on the sofa to watch either football or a rented “chick flick” or better yet, to savor a soul satisfying *romance* novel, I wish you a day filled with peace, happiness, and newly discovered treasures both large and small.