Sunday, August 31, 2008

Breezy Sunday In The City

When you live in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, you tend to place a high premium on the oases where you can enjoy a respite from all the hustle and bustle. Today, I tried out two recreational venues on the Upper East Side -- Asphalt Green and Carl Schurz Park.

A five-and-a-half-acre sports and fitness facility boasting Olympic-size indoor and outdoor pools, Asphalt Green offered a free community swim this afternoon. Given that day passes for local private pools can cost as much as $100, I happily chose this complimentary alternative -- until I got there and was reminded that you get what you pay for.

It wasn’t until after I was in the pool that one of the lifeguards informed me I needed a swim cap, and would have to keep my head above water since I wasn’t wearing one. I attempted to enjoy the water anyway, but a rambunctious crowd of all ages, and signage stating “no lounging or sunbathing” prevented me from chilling out.

Fortunately, I was much more successful at my second destination, Carl Schurz Park. The picturesque park offers winding paths and flowerbeds and a broad promenade with panoramic views of the East River.

My last visit here was back in ‘04, when I attempted to break up with my clingy then-boyfriend. As I settled myself on a grassy knoll to do some people watching, I couldn’t help thinking about how much I’ve grown since that ill-fated romance and those which followed it. I’ve finally reached that wonderful confluence of believing Mr. Right is out there while being completely happy that I’m single. Because, when you’ve got the city of New York to keep you company, you’re never really alone.

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