My run in with the Obamas

I did it! I walked 10 miles yesterday throughout New York City–mainly around Union Square, the East Village, Midtown and Upper East Side. I took the train into the City and found myself sandwiched between three gossipy ladies and some kind of elite-ish art couple. The ladies spent the entire hour and a half debating who was at fault in the Jon and Kate marital drama. It was clear that they had absorbed every tabloid story so they could become armchair therapists contemplating the story. The husband part of the art couple talked incessantly about his work while his wife seemed relatively unengaged. At one point, he asked her if she knew what a palindrome was and proceeded to explain how one of his mentors described his work like a palindome. He then became distracted by her purse and took it from her, inspecting the stitching, the contrasting fabrics on the outside versus inside of the bag, etc. Another group behind me loudly listed all the celebrities they’ve seen during their New York City visits. (I’ve been to NY dozens of times and have NEVER had a celebrity sighting, although my friend pointed out the actor from an old V-8 commercial once.) Needless to say, I had difficulty concentrating on my book.

When I arrived at Penn Station, I searched for a functioning bathroom with a line less than 20 people deep. Not easy, but finally did so at a Borders. And then I started walking. My first leg of the trip was a 3 mile walk south to Peanut Butter & Co. So many health/wellness bloggers adore their peanut butter. I’ve also developed a fondness for it, so I decided that was a good place for lunch. Besides, the trip was exactly three miles.

I should explain how I mapped out my walk. I know NYC fairly well enough to navigate by myself and feel comfortable wandering around, but I wanted to easily and accurately track my miles. Solution: use the Google Maps application on my Palm Centro. It did give me slightly longer routes since they were essentially driving directions–not pedestrian directions–but it was easy and quick.

This first leg of the trip was brisk. I was hungry and needed the leg stretch after the train ride. I got to PB&Co within an hour and ordered The Elvis on wheat: grilled peanut butter, honey and banana. It was served with a 1/2oz bag of potato chips and three little carrot sticks. I also drank some of the water I brought in my Nalgene, had a Stewart’s Diet Cream soda and a peanut butter cookie. The sandwich was perfectly grilled with NO greasiness and the best wheat bread I’ve ever eaten.



While I was eating my lunch, two young women came in and got the peanut butter sampler–a platter with carrots, celery, crackers, apple slices and small containers (maybe 2 TBS each) with each of the different types of peanut butter the company makes. I found myself wishing I had ordered that instead… maybe next time! I did buy two jars of peanut butter though: The Bees Knees (PB blended with honey) and The Heat is On (flavored with fiery spices–would make a great dipping sauce for chicken skewers).

I was definitely full after that. In fact, I didn’t get really hungry again for 6 or 7 hours. The weather was perfect–warm but not hot, a cool breeze, low humidity. I was comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. The next two miles of my trip was more of a stroll through various shops and bookstores and more bookstores then I took a break at a Starbucks for a water refill and iced coffee before headed to the Upper East Side to go to Argosy, a book store that supposedly has a fantastic collection of books and a great $1 sale. That walk started off much more briskly until I ran into a street fair that was a little crowded. That leg of the trip was about 2 miles. Unfortunately, the store was closed by the time I got there, so I started off on my final leg of the trip, back to Penn Station. I was on 6th Ave, attempting to go my final two blocks to the train station when I saw a ton of gawkers with their cameras out. The police were out in full force and had blocked off several streets. Helicopters hovered above. No one was moving. I really didn’t feel the need to gawk at what I assumed was just an arrest or maybe funeral services for the cop that was accidentally killed by another cop. I just wanted to get home at that point. My feet hurt.

When I got home, I went online and saw the following headline:


Of course, we were on the corner of 6th Ave. and 34th Street. The theater is about 10 blocks up, so if you ask me, people were a little overexcited for a whole lot of nothing. But, hey, that’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to a celebrity in NYC, if politicians count. Perhaps my oblivion is why I never spot anyone. I did see a Woody Allen lookalike and Sarah Jessica Parker doppelganger.

Overall, the walk was good. I found myself more energized during the last half. My body felt good, but my feet (especially my heels and ankles) were definitely sore by the end of the day and again this morning. I stretched last night, took an anti-inflamatory and will likely do yoga this afternoon. Fortunately, as the day has progressed, I’ve felt more comfortable.


5 responses to “My run in with the Obamas

  1. They have you walking 10 miles already? Or are you doing more then their walking plan?

    My celebrity NY sighting was seeing the midget from Jackass…

  2. Sounds like a fun trip!
    Oh my, did you do all that walking in heels??

  3. With only a few exceptions, I’d be more excited about going to PB&Co than about seeing a celebrity. It sounds like you had a great day, and kudos on all of the walking!!

  4. Linda–Definitely not! As much as I’d love to be Carrie Bradshaw, you will not find my feet meandering around Manhattan in heels unless the commute is under a mile. I was all about the New Balance sneakers that day! 🙂

  5. Pingback: 60 miles « Downsized!

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