What a great Saturday! While today started off less than stellar, it quickly turned itself around! I woke up around 5:30 because I was quite simply too hot to do anything, including sleeping. I decided I might as well get up and do something, so I went to the gym downstairs (I did NOT go for a run outside, as the heat just made that too unpalatable to consider).
Then I joined some friends for the farmer’s market! While our favorite spinach vendor was sadly out today, I stocked up on some kale, radishes, tomatoes, and apples, all for a grand total of $8.50! I also treated myself to a refreshing cup of apple cider, and a strawberry rhubarb coffee cake – all quite delectable.
After dropping off our purchases, most of our SURP group headed off for a scavenger hunt near the High Line. Between the time we got to the High Line and the time the hunt started, our group explored Chelsea Market, where I got an iced drinking hot chocolate from Lilac Chocolates. Highly, highly recommended! The idea of drinking chocolate in an iced form greatly intrigued me, and I was not disappointed! Basically, it’s like chocolate milk, only way, way better, because it’s made with really good chocolate and has real chocolate shavings in it. An oddly refreshing form of chocolate, if you ever have the chance to try it, I recommend that you do!
As for the scavenger hunt, what a blast! We were divided up into groups of 4-5, and spent the next 90 minutes running around the neighborhood trying to find answer to tricky landmark-related questions! Considering that today’s high was 93ºF, it was a hot day for such an activity. But it was so much fun! By the end we were all sweaty and happy (and we’d walked about 20,000 steps already, even though it was only 2 pm).
Promptly after the scavenger hunt, we headed off for ice cream! Specifically, we went to Ample Hill Creamery – a place I had heard GREAT things about. It did not disappoint. I got a salted hazelnut flavor with rainbow sunflower seeds in it, as well as a sweet-and-salty munchies flavor (pretzel-infused, containing pretzel and potato chip bits – sounds weird but was really good!). All of the flavors looked really interesting, and of the 5 or so I sampled, i can say they were all great! We walked to a set of steps near a park to enjoy our ice cream, after which I was very thirsty. Luckily, I convinced a really nice guy in the restaurant next to Ample Hills to give me a mason jar and a pitcher of water, which greatly aided in rehydrating our group.
Then we set off to look for a pool! One of my friends recently mentioned an interest in visiting the NYC public pools – a feature of NYC I was not aware of. We first tried one near the High Line, but it was closed for cleaning. We headed back to our home base (Gramercy Green Residence Hall) in Midtown to chill for a little while, but then tried the public pool just a few blocks away. After a short wait, it opened! On such an incredibly hot day, in which we walked a pretty incredible number of miles, the pool was perfect. The temperature was lovely, the pool itself was very nice – if a rather incongruous element in the midst of the city scenery – and we had a great time just relaxing in the refreshing water.
By the time we were ready to emerge from the pool, it was about dinner time. Off we headed to a place called “Dig Inn,” highly recommended by my foodie friend, Anita! It was delicious! Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of my food, but I promise it was beautiful and delicious. It’s a build-your-own-bowl type of restaurant, where you choose a base (greens, quinoa, or rice), a few veggie sides, and a protein. I got greens with sweet potatoes, roasted broccoli, and meat balls – with pesto and garlic aioli sauces on the side – and it was delicious! It was also quite nutritious – a nice antidote to my otherwise sugar-dominant diet of the day! As a bonus, I had been craving lemonade for about the previous seven hours, and Dig Inn offers not just plain lemonade, but Ginger Mint Lemonade! Delightful and refreshing, it really hit the spot on this hot day (and I did remember to take a picture of that!).
All in all, it was a lovely day with wonderful people, good fun, and delicious food!