Fit in the City
By Deborah S. Nelson, Author/Publisher VRTG
As an author, when I think of New York City, the first thing that comes to mind is the fictional character, Carrie Bradshaw in the well-known TV series Sex and the City. Images of her wearing $500 designer heels strutting down the streets of NYC had me wondering. Does she have some kind of shoe secret? Or, maybe she knows of a 100-year old shoe shop she keeps on retainer, hidden in some dark alleyway off 5th Avenue. I wondered, do the stiletto heels jar her spinal cord on those hard, concrete surfaces? Or, was she just born with super-feet?
Silly me! I wanted to know her shoe secrets. I also wanted to know, How does one get fit in the City? So armed (or footed) with my new Danscos and Tommy Hilfiger boots, my feet dragged me in search of comfort and ways to stay fit in this concrete jungle.
Shades of White
My apartment at The Mercedes House 966, located in Midtown Manhattan overlooking the Hudson River, was the ultimate in clean, sleek, and functional design. Taking its namesake from the automobile, Mercedes-Benz, the apartment is detailed with high-quality metallic trim, quiet elegance, a high level of function, and crafted excellence. The walls, counters, and white glass cupboard doors bring together stunning shades of white with silver trimmings. The soft white leather, fold-out couch promises a comfortable ride when sitting or sleeping. The only contrast to the elegant shades of white and silver is the super-light oak flooring and doors which bring a lovely tone of golden warmth to the entire home.
From white as a stunning decorator color, a new color scheme emerges. With one entire wall of windows, the scene shifts from white to transparent. At once, I was struck by the impact of a great glass home, suspended in the clouds, high above a neighborhood sports arena in the foreground with the Hudson River in the background!
The cloudy winter skies, punctuated with weather-worn New York City high-rise buildings, provide a stark contrast to the clean white elements inside the Mercedes House. Shades of white with silver trim become a visual symphony next to austere monotones of grays and browns framed by the living room’s picture window. The clean color scene offers peace and serenity from the chaos, clamor, and clutter of the concrete jungle below.
The terrace is a stunning addition to this apartment and adds a feeling of spaciousness in a crowded skyline — such a luxury where space is at a premium.
From the terrace, the view gives rise to a spectacular sea of life — that of the Hudson River. On the other side of the river is New Jersey. My daughter’s home across the Hudson is only six miles away as the crow flies, but one and a half hours by subway. The river itself is teaming with movement and sound. A cruise ship sat at the dock. Ferries were scurrying back and forth. From time to time ship’s horns were warning each other of their presence. The whole scene reminded me of a Where’s Waldo painting! However, at evening time, as the sun sets, all grows quiet. The sky, silently and suddenly, bursts into an array of effervescent color, saturating the horizon for a few precious moments.
The Best or Nothing
The Mercedes showroom on the ground floor proudly displays a slogan that reads, “The Best or Nothing.” Apartment 966 is comparable in function, elegance, and spaciousness to the sleek, white SUV Mercedes that sits on the showroom floor below. Both this Mercedes SUV and Apartment 966 are meant for the type of family who appreciates the meaning of “The Best or Nothing.”
The 966’s master bedroom includes its own separate bathroom, a widescreen TV, and a partial view of the unit’s massive terrace. Having a second bedroom afforded my daughter the opportunity to stay a few days for some shoe and boot shopping. It felt like such a luxury to enjoy separate bathrooms. A family of five or six could stay comfortably in this apartment.
Both of us enjoyed the lovely design lines and fixtures, including the delicate whitish glass tiles on the bathroom floors. The bathtub faucet ejects a smooth tube of water, which looks stationary — a magic trick of well-crafted faucets. My daughter, a fashion and beauty photographer for both national and international magazines, has a highly trained eye for such things. She clearly appreciated the design and décor of 966. The minimalist contemporary design, function, and elegance of 966 won a hearty approval from her.
Local Food Stores
Often I get on a roll when I am writing, and do not want to take the time and effort to go out to eat. Therefore, I found that cooking in the kitchen here was an absolute joy. Since my goal is to be healthy and stay Fit in the City, I often like to buy organic, fresh food and cook my own meals. That’s why I recommend D’Agostino at 815 10th Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, it is located two and a half blocks from The Mercedes House. D’Agostino offers many nutritious food options including good, organic produce. Don’t miss this store for its high quality food. If you are walking, you’ll need to go every few days because it might be too much to carry all at once. The Whole Foods Market, at 59th Street and 10th Avenue, is a bit further away, but also great for a quick meal at their food bar or deli.
Restaurants & Delis & Pubs
Staying and getting Fit in the City has a lot to do with the food you eat. A great little deli, called Westside Market, is just one block over on 11th Avenue on the ground floor of the Clinton Building. Run by a local family, who are warm and welcoming, their breakfast is a bargain. Alphie’s is an authentic Irish Pub complete with waitresses fresh from Ireland. This is a real neighborhood pub hangout with all the good games on big screen TVs. After trekking one day from 33rd and Broadway to 77th street, then back to 53rd Street, all the while being soaked in rain, I felt I couldn’t go one more block. I stopped at Alphie’s on the corner of 53rd Street and 9th Avenue. It was warm and cozy inside as I drank a glass of wine. They have a good fish and chips dinner as well. I met an off-duty New York Police officer who stopped in to have a drink, before going home. His wife teaches at a local Yoga studio which I was able to track down right there in the neighborhood.
View for Sports and Fitness
I looked out my picture window on this cold, February day to the field below and witnessed many teams as they came and went all afternoon and evening. I heard the tones of laughter and cheers, and sometimes, friendly disagreements, that often come with a healthy dose of competition. It brought to mind that New York City has a history of sports teams, the Yankees being the most famous. New Yorkers love their sports. If you live in the concrete jungle, playing a team sport would be one fun way to get Fit in the City.
Mercedes House Gym
Staying fit in the city was easier than I thought. On the 4th floor is the Mercedes Gym! With ample space, plus an indoor and outdoor pool, staying fit in the winter is a breeze. This club includes a beautiful outdoor rooftop area with a swimming pool and sunny outdoor patio. The gym has plenty of windows which allow an abundance of sunlight throughout the club. Even in winter, the outdoor pool is functioning, however, if you strictly want to do laps there is an indoor lap pool. I love the generous rows of running tracks, Stairmasters, and other equipment. In other gyms there is often a waiting line for this equipment. That is certainly not the case in this gym. There is a putter’s green and a few other AstroTurf courts outside for anyone who wants to hone their skills. You just have to put on your tennis shoes and head on over to the Mercedes gym to stay active and fit in the Big Apple during winter time.
Not to be Missed
Speaking of shoes; I put on my dance-style, baby doll Danjos, (certainly not the designer heels Carrie Bradshaw would wear to a NYC event) and ambled over to Broadway to see “Motown” just before ending my stay in the Mercedes House. Unlike the Carrie Bradshaw character, I have not seen one Broadway play. I imagine that she had seen hundreds of them; and been invited to fashion shows, art events, and exclusive parties with celebrities in attendance, to boot!
However, to see just one Broadway play in New York City was on my important things to do before I die list. If you have good walking shoes, and you want to get Fit in the City, the Broadway area is within walking distance from the Mercedes House. My date and I thoroughly enjoyed the walk to 46th Street to the little boutique theatre. We were impressed with its rich décor and antique chandeliers, and our seats were great. The walk on the way over was entertainment of its own brand. We stopped to ask a fresh-flower vendor to snap a photo of us in our Broadway attire. It was an extra treat when my date bought me flowers — just $10 for a dozen fresh, white roses!
If you do not want to walk, hop into a cab for about eight to ten blocks to Broadway. Shop for tickets online to make it easy — my date purchased our tickets online and we were all set in advance. This is an experience of a lifetime and one not to be missed. The play was spectacular in every way, a dream come true to see American entertainment at its best.
Lauren Berger, who heads up the Lauren Berger Collection, is the probably the most hospitable person on the planet. She is there when you need her, yet keeps a polite distance when you do not. There is a fine art to hospitality; she lives and breathes it. Her properties are elegant, tasteful, and top-notch. If you think for a second that you might feel a tad uncomfortable, forget about it! Lauren always makes my daughter and I feel loved and right at home. I suppose that is the true art of hospitality. Lauren exudes these qualities. When you stay with The Lauren Berger Collection you will experience this level of comfort also. The slogan for the Lauren Berger Collection is “Never Leave Home.” It is absolutely true. With Lauren, you are home.
Mercedes House 966 is placed in Vacation Rentals for the Sports Enthusiast. It is also suitable for Ultra Luxurious and Outstandingly Located. If you are a sports enthusiast in New York City at the right time, you will want to see a Yankees Game. Or, if you simply love to walk, the Mercedes House is within walking distance from many sites, such as Time Square, Broadway, and even Central Park if you are an enthusiastic power walker. Lastly, though, the Mercedes House has its own spectacular gym and no matter what the weather, you can get and stay fit in the city at the Mercedes House. For availability and reservations at Lauren Berger Collection you may call her at (888) 522-1099, (239) 671-2920 or (646) 629-9669.
RELATED LOCATIONS: for more vacation rental options in this general area, check the article recently written about Manhattan, New York.
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