Friday, February 24, 2017

Deep thoughts about why i want a sauna. Or not.


I covet a sauna.

I like a sauna all right. I like the rocks and the earthy smell of your hair smoldering. But then, a couple days ago, I read about the fantastic health benefits of sauna-ing. I began to covet a sauna. 

Our friend Guy has a sauna in his basement. His very own sauna. It is electric powered, but an all-wood and glass real-deal. It kind of looks like a small woodland-style enclosed porch. When Guy's daughter was little, she had a playhouse (aka the box their new washing machine came in) positioned right next to the sauna. It was like father-daughter tiny neighborhood. Seriously, I wanted in.

But the YMCA has a sauna. Any day of the week, I can go over to the YMCA and sit in the sauna. 

So I did. 


I was sitting in the sauna, not staring at my phone. Phones fry in saunas. As do Apple Watches. I stared at the wall thinking deep thoughts.

This whole sitting-in-the-sauna-at-the-YMCA experience was pretty much exactly the same experience I would be having had I purchased a sauna all for myself. I mean, really, how much better could sauna time possibly be just because I owned the damn sauna? 

I had to admit, the sauna experience is the same regardless of sauna ownership. Especially because there's never anyone else in the sauna at the YMCA. Therefore, I should rejoice in the YMCA sauna as much I would rejoice in any at-home sauna solution. 

True, maybe it would be more convenient if I had a sauna directly underfoot. But the gym is like 10 minutes away. If I can’t manage to roust myself for a 10-minute journey, how much do I really want a sauna? 

Furthermore, if I need to undertake the ritual of getting myself to the sauna location, maybe it’s a more luminous experience worthy of even greater existential appreciation. 

I am no weak-kneed consumer desperate to acquire unnecessary worldly goods that wind up as non-biodegradable rubble polluting the ocean!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Something -> Dinner -> Dessert -> Drinks = A Decent New York City Night Out

Something -> Dinner -> Dessert -> Drinks

Last Friday night, it was Dinner -> Dinner -> Dinner. Mainly because Tom, in a failed attempt to take his cholesterol medicine, popped a sleeping pill by accident at 2:30 PM. He began walking into walls about 3. He drank 2 pots of coffee and a large Dunkin' Donuts Columbia Blend and managed to remain upright. Of course, adult beverages were not an option for him. For safety reasons. Also because if he drank any more fluids he might have exploded his bladder.

But we were starving, so we had an early dinner. And then we went to a cabaret show that had a two item minimum. And Tom could’t drink, so he had another dinner. Then we met up with some friends who hadn’t eaten. So we had another dinner. Each successive dinner got smaller, however. I don’t want you to think we’re complete pigs.

Mostly, we do Something -> Dinner -> Dessert -> Drinks. I’m talking about your average Fridays and Saturdays and occasionally Thursdays. Evenings when I’m not in the helpin’ business anymore. I’m in the sit down and have people bring me things business.

It’s vital that each segment of the night out transpires at a separate and well-qualified establishment. What is the point of ordering gelato, for example, at a restaurant that just panfried your paella? If you want gelato, you go to a place that pours their heart and soul into their gelato. Unless you are overcome with laziness, which I would never disparage. 

It's best when the evening kicks off with "Something." "Something" meaning a dive jazz club or an off-broadway show or maybe stand-up or some museum open late. Then we walk to Dinner. Pay the check and head out to source Dessert. Followed by Drinks, preferably in a place with lounge chairs in a back room and a fireplace. Hot toddies with Tullamore Dew are a nice option.

Ok let me be more upfront. “Something” might be a code word for “Happy Hour.” And “Dessert" could certainly swap out for “That first bar where we were brutalized by B&T's shrieking words like 'Chanel' and wearing sunglasses so we left.”


If I had to select a short list of what I love about New York City, it would be that evenings such as these are possible. And if I had to select a short list of what I love about life in general, it’s that we have friends with whom to share such evenings. 

Last Saturday, we went out with Dave and Linda and in a freakishly all-star twist of fate, ran into Darcey and Kent at Bell Book and Candle, so we finished up the evening as a team.  The next morning, I went somewhere and listened to some people drone on and on about themselves for literally three hours non-stop. It gave me plenty of time to endlessly appreciate our friends, and the soul-freshening times and conversations we've shared.