Two Birds In One Sale-Strewn Stone

by CLAIRE WILLETT · February 15, 2008


Loathe to drop 250 euro a month on Club Med's outdated treadmills and power plates, I started running in Paris. Initially hesitant, I quickly came to love it, more for the scenery than for the bread-binging benefits. Paris' streets are crowded, yes, but mostly with window-shoppers in 6 inch Balenciaga's; winding around them is an amusing, if unchallenging, diversion. In New York, people move faster, and they are more likely to be annoyed than impressed by your athletic prowess. Granted, they are less likely to stare, or give you thumbs up, or briefly pantomime following you before their nicotine-laden lungs cry aidez-moi, batards-stupides!

If you're interested, or trying to be, in maintaining that wishful little res, I'd recommend hitting the streets, my sweets, and soon. What better way to stay abreast of the sale season? Cabs move far too quickly, and walking just doesn't have that sweaty intimidation factor. I like to target American Appareled clusters and bulldoze through, spewing irritated mumbles. I don't recommend bringing your credit card though; just because it's trapeze doesn't mean you can buy sans dressing rooms.

I want to like running on the Hudson, but the highway's a hassle and there's little in the way of scenery, save for the UnderArmored masses and warehouses. Sometimes you can catch a gem; today's was at least eighty, and had topped her purple spandex with a leopard fur chubby and matching hat. Still, in general you're better off sticking to the sidewalks. Stop at the first interesting coffee shop you see after your legs go from squeaking to squawking. If this happens to be near Thompson and Broome, try the nascent City Girl Cafe before it becomes too crowded with semi-illustrious denizens of Soho's bug brigade. Ahh, the first sip of smug satisfaction...