From Park Ave. to a Day at the Beach

A day at the beach...with sunglasses 5 times the size of my face.

It took a week in Nebraska to remind me of how important it is to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer. As long as I’m living in the greatest city in the world, I might as well enjoy it. I may very well get back to O-Town one of these days, but in the meantime, I must “carpe diem” my days in NYC.

And while morning workouts at the gym, runs around Central Park, and frequent trips to 16 Handles and Dunkin’ Donuts are a huge part of what I love about NYC, these mundane activities certainly don’t qualify as “taking advantage of New York City.” Sometimes, I need to remind myself to break out of the old Sometimes Healthy routine. After a long week at work, it’s tempting to lay out on the rooftop and read gossip magazines all weekend. The view may be spectacular, but traveling 30 stories up on an elevator to lay on a chair for 3 hours and listen to country music is not my idea of adventure.

Tempting indeed...but I can do this anywhere.

I decided this weekend was going to be a little different…

Just a Day, Just an Ordinary Day

The day started out like most Saturdays – quick walk to Dunkin’ Donuts for some coffee and breakfast. Per usual, I enjoyed my muffin and iced coffee in front of the computer while catching up on my fave blogs.

Muffin, coffee and Hungry Runner Girl - the perfect start to my Saturday!

Next up was a my usual Saturday morning run, where I had an opportunity to change things up a bit. Instead of running around Central Park, I ran down the middle of Park Ave.

Now this is what I call scenery!

Now, this was something different. Every year, for three Saturdays in August, Summer Streets closes Park Avenue and connecting streets from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to cars and opens it up to runners, bikers and anyone else looking to roam the streets of NYC on three consecutive Saturdays in August.

This + Country Music = Urban Bliss

There is a certain rush to running down the middle of a major New York street. I had experienced Summer Streets last year and couldn’t wait to do it again. It’s not quite the same adrenaline rush as I felt running through Times Square in the NYC Half Marathon, but nonetheless, it’s a pretty special feeling. Again, I prefer to experience this type of thing while listening to country music. What can I say? I like the contrast of being smack dab in center of a concrete jungle while Jason Aldean blasts in my ear about “chillin’ on a dirt road.”

I was just getting into my Jamie-zone when a figure in pink shorts came up behind me and grabbed my shoulders.

Who is that cutie in the pink shorts???

My good friend, Anjelica, had also decided to give Summer Streets a whirl and spotted me in the crowd all the way from the other side of Park Ave. That’s the great thing about Summer Streets: We become accustomed to traveling in huge crowds in NYC – even Central Park is usually packed during the summer – but Summer Streets are wide open. Even though there are lots of people, it’s very spread out. Thus, Anjelica easily found me.

We ran together from around 65th and Park to 23rd at a very comfortable pace, which allowed us to chat easily. Before we parted ways, we were able to get a little picture together.

You don't have to tell me how cute I look after running 5 miles...I already know.

From there, I ran a few more minutes before turning around. I had tentative plans for 10:30 and needed to get back to allow myself a few minutes to get ready…

Overall, the run was just about perfect. Great weather, ample space and beautiful views of NYC. I didn’t run too fast, because my foot still isn’t quite right, but speed wasn’t really on my mind during this run. While I truly treasure my Saturday runs in Central Park, it’s always nice to switch up the routine every now and then. Plus, Park Ave. doesn’t have quite as many hills as Central Park…

A Last-Minute Day at the Beach

On Friday, my good friend Molly asked me if I might like to go to the Hamptons with her for the day on Saturday. We didn’t make definite plans and decided to play it by ear on Saturday. Well, Saturday morning, during my run, I texted Molly, and we decided to give it a go! Look at this Sometimes Healthy Girl “flying by the seat of her pants.” I arrived back from my run at 10:00, which gave me just enough time to take a quick shower and throw on some beach clothes. Would have liked to beautify a bit more, but the run took priority, per usual 😉

Back in the day, during my first summer in NYC, I actually had a Hamptons share in Southampton. This meant, I shared a house with a bunch of young people for every other weekend throughout the summer. The summer involved a lot of laying by the pool, eating by the pool and drinking by the pool. I enjoyed my little summer in the Hamptons, but in the end, I decided it just wasn’t for me. As you know, I can throw em’ back every now and then, but partying on a consistent basis just isn’t for this Sometimes Healthy Girl. If you’re really curious about what a summer share in the Hamptons is like, read How the Other Half Hamptons. It’s the perfect beach read and actually a pretty accurate portrayal of a typical Hamptons share.

You'd think this is what a Hamptons share is like...let me assure you, it is not.

Anyway, back to the impromptu beach day. We caught the 11:00 Hampton Jitney and settled in for a 2 and half hour bus ride. The train’s a bit cheaper, but the Jitney is oh-so-fun and convenient, as there is a stop right by my apartment.

It doubles as a Zico Coconut Water advertisement and a luxury bus. How convenient!

The name “Jitney” makes it sound a bit uppity…and it sort of is (there’s a Sex and the City episode about it). But, the roomy seats and free coconut water make it totally worth it. The Jitney always has a sponsorship with hip new food products. When I had a share in 2009, it was PopChips, so every ride involved unlimited PopChips – now that’s what I call more bang for your buck!

Treats on the Jitney - Chocolate Zico and pretzels. Good way to start the trip.

When we got to the Hamptons, there was a ton of traffic, per usual. We were over-eager to get out of the bus, so decided to get off at a stop a bit earlier than the East Hampton stop. Little did we know, we were nowhere near our destination. Oooops.

Waiit a second. Did the Jitney just magically transport me back to Nebraska?!

So we walked along the road for a bit to find a place to grab some food and regroup. The sights along our walk reminded us we were certainly worlds away from NYC…

Molly told me I couldn't go on the pony ride...

I asked if she'd reconsider for a donkey ride...

Finally, we found a cute shop to enjoy some coffee and figure out our next move.

Looks like a place worth checking out...

The cafe also happened to have Soft Serve Frozen Fruit…of course, we couldn’t resist getting in on this action.

Yes please! (I promise I didn't cut the kids in line).

We shared the mango and banana flavors and topped it off with graham crackers and granola. It was no 16 Handles, but it hit the spot.

Digging the scenery and the fro yo.

I also had a coffee with a low-fat apple-cinnamon muffin. Muffin #2 for the day. The cafe’s backyard seating was adorable and very picturesque, but we were itching to get to the beach.

Muffin #2 on a picnic table.

Unfortunately, our over-eagerness had resulted in us being at $60 cab ride away from our chosen beach destination. So, we decided to head to another beach in Southampton, Cooper’s Beach.

As it turned out, this was a smart decision, as the scenery did not disappoint. Cooper’s Beach is a rustic beach, nestled in the middle of lots of greenery and a whole lot of gigantic houses. I always wonder what greatness resides in those houses…

Perfection

The weather was very mild and perfect for laying out on our blankets and catching up. Molly and I have a lot in common.We’re both from Nebraska, went to Northwestern and majored in journalism. It’s always good to connect because we share a lot of the same views of New York City and our career goals. One thing we talked about a lot on Saturday was how life seems like a never-ending and sometimes exhausting “hamster wheel” in NYC, and we wonder how much the wheel would slow down if we lived somewhere else.

Worlds away from a concrete jungle.

We also were paid a visit by a very aggressive seagull, who stole Molly’s coffee!

World's most aggressive seagull!

This seagull had no shame, and he posed away as we laughed and snapped photos.

We also played a bit in the water.

Splish splash!

And snapped a couple of scenic photos.

She wasn't interested in the pic...but I WAS!hmmm...thanks for the warning?

When the clouds started to roll in, we decided to pack it up and head to the beach snack bar for some candy and iced coffee.

Time to pack it up!

Now, this is the life.

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

From the beach, our evening took an interesting turn. We strolled around downtown Southampton for a bit before heading to a classy establishment to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine.

The picturesque streets of Southampton

Classy glasses of house vino from Paul's Italian Restaurant, Southampton's Finest. Can't you tell from the decor?

Molly ordered a slice of pizza, while I was craving some veggies and got the veggie salad.

Not bad for a bit of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant.

It wasn’t too shabby, considering the quality of the restaurant. My small gripe was that all of the vegetables were drenched in oil. I never understand why restaurants completely cancel out the healthy value of a salad by covering it in unhealthy toppings. I know that it’s supposed to taste good, but I firmly believe salads can taste just fine without 3 gallons of oil ;-). That’s my Sometimes Healthy belief, and I’m stickin’ to it.

Anyway, one glass turned into 2, and all of a sudden it “seemed like a good idea at the time” to head over to my favorite bar from the summer share days, the Talkhouse.

The Talkhouse is a bar in East Hampton with a laid-back vibe, live music and a good crowd. I’ve never been one for the whole “club scene” so this little gem is right up my alley. We got there early enough to avoid the big crowd, but by the time we left, the line was around the block.

This is what it looked like when we got there...

It was nice to hang out at a place that holds so many memories, especially since it was relatively empty.

We took pictures with the bar owner while we had some time to kill. Why not?

After a couple of these, we decided it was time to head back to the city!

By the time we left, the Talkhouse was a "zoo"...

(There may have been some unintentionally long cab rides, random snacks including Bugles and Peanut M&M’s and notable interactions somewhere in between the bar and the return to the big city…but those things just didn’t make the cut. Suffice it to say our trip home was certainly an adventure ;-))

Our day at the beach turned into a night in the Hamptons, and while we probably should have could have headed back a bit earlier, it was nice to let our “beach hair” down and get a little crazy in the Hamptons. It doesn’t get much more New York than that!

Sometimes a Sometimes Healthy Girl's gotta have a little fun.

The beach trip was so refreshing that I’m actually happy to be back to the grind. And with that, I’m off to check a world of things off my Monday to-do list!

Question:

What was the last spontaneous trip that you took?

How do you feel about salads? Do you ever get slightly annoyed when all of the ingredients are de-healthified or am I alone in this random thought?

16 Thoughts on “From Park Ave. to a Day at the Beach

  1. A couple months ago I had a really awful week and one of my best girlfriends whisked me off to Santa Barbara (about 2 1/2 hours north of me) for the weekend. We went for a hike, dranks lots of wine and went paddle boarding. Unexpected trips are the most satisfying!

    And I’m with you there! Why ruin something that’s already healthy and delicious?

  2. Hmm…I am not a very spontaneous kinda girl (sadly). As for salads…I love ’em, but I agree with you…it’s annoying how restaurants load ’em up with crazy amounts of unhealthy ingredients. It’s also a pet peeve of mine when people are just like, “oh, it’s salad, it’s healthy,” without a second thought, no matter what’s on top…I mean, really?!?

  3. I’m such a planner when it comes it to trips, especially because nothing is really close to Vegas. I’ve been thinking about just picking up and driving to palm springs just to get away for a couple days, but my current unemployed situation makes it difficult to afford that.

    It drives me crazy when restaurants add all the crazy unhealthy stuff, or when people get a healthy salad and then cover it in the most unhealthy dressing. It totally defeats the purpose of eating the salad to be healthy.

  4. that looks so fun! I’ve actually never gone to the Hamptons, and I’ve lived here for 5 years. Totally agree with you, the partying just isn’t for me. But, that beach looks so gorgeous and empty! I may need to make some plans this month (or be spontaneous). I never fly by the seat of my pants – I’m way too much of a control freak :)

    I am with you 100% on the salads!

  5. Ahh what a funnn weekend! I am so proud of you for changing things up and being spontaneous! I feel the need to control every situation I am no matter what, but i am so attempting to let this go. This is something I really need to work on and you are are inspiring me to give it a try :) Thank you for that lady!
    Definitely get annoyed when salads come out like that! If I wanted something swimming in oil I would have asked for it.

  6. The fact that you can read magazines on your room makes me extremely jealous!
    I also hate hate hhateeeee when restaurants dip all their veggies in crap. If I order a salad, I want it to be fresh and clean.
    Looks like SUCH a fun weekend, it makes me feel the need to be spontaneous for a weekend.

  7. What an awesome weekend- so nice to let loose & explore new parts of your city 😀
    Those seagulls can be SO annoying- I totally agree! I always have to shoo them away.
    & South Hampton looks SO SO nice!!

  8. I just tried that coconut water yesterday and I LOVE IT! So delicious and tasty after a workout!

  9. Kathryn on 9 August, 2011 at 3:35 pm said:

    Sounds like a fun day to me!!

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  11. UM, catching up on your hampton’s post RIGHT THIS MINUTE. anddddd… free coconut water on the jitney?! why have I been thinking the hampton’s was in possible all these months?! AH!!!

  12. ahh sounds so fun! i went to coney island a couple weekends ago…not quite the hamptons, but not too shabby either! coconut water is definite incentive for me to do a daytrip to the hamptons before summer ends!

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