Until my left foot heals, I'm spending most of my time in the swimming pool, which hasn't been as bad as I'd feared. Unlike other gyms in Manhattan with their basement natatoriums--a term far too regal for those facilities--the JCC placed its pool at the top of its building and surrounded it with floor to ceiling windows, so that light spills in over the rooftops of 76th and Amsterdam. In the last few days I've finally reached a point in which swimming a mile doesn't end with me limping to the steam room in an oxygen-deprived haze, and I feel as though I've begun to achieve the swimming fitness I had when I was last on a swim team. Which was fifteen years ago. Should achieving the swimming fitness of my thirteen year-old self make me feel good or bad? I'm trying to lean towards the former.
Aside from aiming to swim faster than a middle-schooler, I've been ruminating over the fact that it's been nearly a year since I moved to New York. Instead of thinking about the larger picture, as reaching that twelve-month milestone will surely require, I'm going to list five things I've learned in the ten months since I first landed at JFK:
1) The best place to wait for the Brooklyn-bound B at the 81st Street stop, when one wants to get off at the 47th street Rockefeller Center station exit, is between the two halves of the Xiphactinus Audax fossil cast.
2) If one has been waiting for the 75th Street Fairway elevator for more than five minutes, one should fight past the express checkout and get to the staircase, because the elevator will not be coming. Fairway also has the best house-made sourdough bread this side of San Francisco.
3) McCann's steel-cut oats can be found most cheaply at the following three stores, in descending order: Fairway, Whole Foods, Food Emporium.
4) The best independent bookstore on the West Side is Book Culture on 112th Street.
5) Despite lots of sunlight and proper amounts of watering, my olive plant is not doing well.
Who knows what the next ten months might bring?