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“What are your Friday plans?”

“Why?”  My eyes narrowed.  “You’re thinking of something…”

“Well… I think it would be a perfect day for Spa Castle.”

Spa Castle!  I had almost forgot it was on my list of things to do on a Friday.  Spa Castle, for the uninitiated, is a 5-story, 100,000 sq ft theme park of a spa located in College Point, a quiet residential Queens neighborhood.

After a looong 7 train + bus ride, we finally spotted a terracotta monolith rising above the squat houses.  $35 gets you access to the full facility on weekdays ($45 on weekends).  I found it surprisingly crowded for a Friday afternoon — a diverse mix of men and women of every shape, size and background.

You really need to experience Spa Castle first hand to fully appreciate it, but my highlights were Sauna Valley, a series of igloo-shaped themed saunas, and the all-season rooftop Bade Pools, with aquajets that soothe and massage and blast from out of nowhere.

After a couple of hours we were relaxed enough to brave the “No bathing suits” indoor bathhouse, with chilled plunge pools and even more aquajets to be doused by.

Highly recommended!

Pages of The Power Broker read: 5
Total pages: 224

I found myself watching the Winter Olympics quite a bit this year.  Maybe because it’s been so snowy here in the northeast, or because I’ve been invigorated by our winter hikes, or because I spend too much time in bars with TVs and there’s no baseball on yet.  For two weeks I was mesmerized by obscure sports like curling and biathlon, held my breath watching ski jumps, and was (surprisingly) floored by figure skating.  Historically I’ve not found watching figure skating all that interesting, with its tinny soundtracks and theatricality.  But this time I focused on the skates.  Wow.  It dawned on me that the costumes and music are just a bit of watch-the-birdy, when the real action is where blade meets ice.

So when Michelle took the day off to go skating at Sky Rink, I invited myself along, hoping to (albeit awkwardly) experience some of that same exhilaration of being out on the ice.  The weather played along, and despite 8+ inches of snow I easily made my way to Chelsea Piers, thanks to the MTA.  It was my first visit to the “new” Sky Rink — as a kid I’d been to the original location on W. 33rd Street, and remember the novelty of skating 16 floors above the street.  The old Sky Rink closed in the 1990s, and was reincarnated much closer to the ground at the sprawling Chelsea Piers Sports Complex shortly afterwards.

I laced up my ill-fitting rental skates and stepped gingerly on to the smooth surface.  Michelle patiently guided me through the basics, and soon I had mastered enough to take off on my own, slowly circling around the rink.  It was tough on my legs, still recovering from kettlebell the night before, but I got enough out of my few spins around to be satisfied, and happily watched Michelle zip around the rink and really enjoy herself.

With the close of the winter games I’m ready for Spring, but a Friday afternoon at Sky Rink was a great way to end the season.

Pages of The Power Broker read: 5
Total pages: 224

About me

In 2006 I purchased The Power Broker, the biography of Robert Moses, which weighs in at 1162 pages not including notes, index and bibliography.

I got to page 219.

In January 2010 I downsized myself to a 4-day work week. Objective: regain some of the time I've lost, and maybe discover something new about myself.

And finish reading The Power Broker.

March 2010
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