This photo was taken from the roof of my gym, which is, at any particular time, a very interesting place.
In the winter, we used to run up to the roof with my boot camp class, emerging gasping for air and happy for the cool breeze. Those of us near the front would be able to sneak in maybe 30 seconds of rest, before our instructor would appear, and yell for us to do squats (seemingly her exercise of choice after stair running). Those nights the roof would be deserted, and we would feel like naughty children entering someplace where we weren’t sure we were allowed.
Now, heading up to the roof on a sunny Saturday, I feel out of place in my work-out clothes: like I’ve decided to wear sweats to a Jersey Shore pool party. The roof is filled with bikini clad ladies, often without the top, toasting their already sun-wrinkled skin. The beauty cycle for these ladies appears to be tan, wrinkle, face-lift, repeat. There are also the men, men I have never seen in the actual gym, with beer (more likely wine) bellies and hair plugs. This is the older generation. The younger generation still sports happy looking skin, although this can’t be for long. They drink beer (the roof now has a liquor license) and read magazines. I have headed up here a few weekends, to eat my lunch outdoors after my morning work-out. There is a grill on the roof, and tables. What there isn’t, is shade. The roof should be named a tanning parlor, as that is the primary purpose of all who go there. I huddle in the corner, catching what shade I can, or lie down to nap, covered with a towel.
Monday night, before my yoga class, I headed up there again to snap a picture. It was once again deserted, the lawn chairs pushed to the sides. Here I felt at home, breathing in some of the fresh moist evening, before heading back indoors. This wasn’t the NY-State outdoor air that I ran through all weekend, but here in NYC it would have to do.