Bodies For Show
It’s started already. Puffy jackets went back to their closets and New York streets turned into one big runway again. This crazy town will make you encounter two types of people, basically: those who stay fit and go to the gym regularly and those with a lot of extra pounds. I don’t know what the source of the division is, but the fact remains that it’s really difficult to see an “average” person here (unless you decide to spend a lot of time in hipster areas of Brooklyn).
New Yorkers are obsessed with sports. Half of them run regularly – in Central Park, Prospect Park, along the Hudson and East River, at the beach in downtown Brooklyn, as well as across every green area possible. Almost everyone frequent the gym, and the number of the latter here is borderline-shocking. Monthly memberships begin at $10 (that’s the price at Planet Fitness, where all you will find are exercise machines http://www.planetfitness.com/gyms), crossfit is also very popular (http://crossfitnyc.com/), as is spinning (SoulCycle https://www.soul-cycle.com/) or there are also the UMC gyms (http://www.ufcgym.com/nycfidi), where you combine exercise with martial arts.
You also have access to a wide variety of training programs (including personal trainers) at clubs like the Equinox (it’s a bit more expensive and exclusive, since you will pay around $160 a month for a pass http://www.equinox.com/clubs/new-york/uptown/sportsclubnewyork ), Crunch (https://www.crunch.com/splash/ ), New York Sports Club (https://www.mysportsclubs.com/) or Brooklyn Body Burn (http://www.brooklynbodyburn.com/). And many, many more. There are also special places in Manhattan, offering free one-hour sessions in the open air. I will keep you posted on those.
Staying healthy is one thing, but in NY something else is important, possibly even more than one’s health – you’ve got to have something to show off. Bodies are not simply displayed here are carefully presented. It amounts to asserting your status: “I take care of myself, so I am good enough for this city”. I have to say that just observing how people look here is enough of a motivation to start or finish my day with a workout. And this is something I really love about New York.