Thursday, March 11, 2010

Before the city that never sleeps gets up...

I like New York City best between 4:00am and 7:00am for two very different reasons.

I like that at 4:30am I can mosey my way over to the counter at Artichoke Pizza in the East Village and (after waiting in the inevitable 5-10 person line) bite into a gooey fresh gourmet slice. Forget the amateur after-bar food of your respective college towns. This city delivers (literally) the best, and any food at all hours of the night.

I'm not ashamed to reveal that ridiculously gluttonous truth about me because my second reason for liking this city in the wee hours of the morning has to do with my early spinning class.

Well, it's not exactly the spinning class I love at 6:00am. It's the 8-block walk to my gym in a version of the city that seems to only exist before 7:00am. No honking cabs (or at least very few) fill the streets. No throngs of aggressive power walkers throwing elbows on the sidewalks. No hubbub.

Without these noisy distractions, I can enjoy the backdrop I usually rush past: the gorgeous historical brownstones, the red brick buildings, the groomed storefronts and the charming wide stoops that made me want to live in the Village in the first place. This morning, I noticed the gardens that wrap around St. Luke's Episcopal Parish, built in 1820. Even full of winter's bare branches and brown bushes, in the early morning light, it felt like a little secret between New York City and me.

This city may never sleep, but if you wake up early enough you can catch it with it's feet up.

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