First leg: NYC

This trip includes two days in New York City before boarding the plane for Zurich tomorrow night. A few people hinted that I was being overly cautious by leaving two days early to catch my flight but last night left me feeling confident about my planning. After a 6.5 hour delay leaving Halifax for Newark due to snow and scheduling issues at Newark, I finally arrived at my hotel exhausted but relieved to have completed the first leg of the trip.

Today was great. The weather was crisp but perfect for walking around the city in January. The hotel – Astor on the Park – leaves much to be desired but the price is right and it’s right across the street from Central Park on the Upper West side. Looking on the bright side, this two-star joint may help with the transition from the full comforts of home to my unheated, straw hut in India. The area is residential so it was a bit of a jaunt to find a cup of coffee. However, this is New York so a Starbucks is never too far away. Warmed by a much needed Americano I set off in search of a yoga studio about 10 blocks south.

Tucked in to a small spot on West 83rd between Columbus and Amsterdam Ave is NY Loves Yoga. Having researched studios in advance, I had high hopes for this place. It didn’t disappoint. The studio is small but very welcoming. It possesses many of the qualities that I love about my studio in Halifax – friendly staff; a cozy, serene space; and an unpretentious atmosphere. It’s great for visitors who need to rent a mat and just want to drop-in without registering in advance. The teacher, Will, was great. Thanks to his guidance and assistance, I successfully (and confidently) did Ardha Chandrasana (half moon) and a few other poses I hadn’t tried before. I left limber and light and ready to explore NYC for the afternoon.

It was only a short walk from the studio to the 81st entrance to Central Park.  Today’s destination was the Alice in Wonderland Statue on the east side of the park near 76th St.  After a few pics with Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Rabbit I was off to the Met. Personal favourites included the incredible installation of a ceiling from a ceremonial house of the Kwoma people in New Guinea; the Buddhism Along the Silk Road exhibition (a wonderful collection of 5th to 8th century statues and artifacts from Japan, Nepal, Tibet and China); the modern art exhibit including Georgia O’Keeffe’s Black Abstraction; and the Autumn Landscape stained glass window in the American Decorative Arts gallery.  It would take days to fully explore and  appreciate everything the museum has to offer. I hope to be back one day soon.

All in all, a wonderful day spent strolling around this great city. Time to dream about what tomorrow may bring.

P.S. I’ll add pictures when I get a chance to upload them to Flickr