Posts Tagged ‘Times Square’

Chapter Two: So Much Food!

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Comedy is not my only comfort mechanism. When faced with the plethora of dining options in college, I wanted to make the most of the novelty of a new city’s foods and not deny myself options. I have always loved food, and turn(ed) to it out of a sense of anticipatory anxiety toward social situations– a not uncommon behavior. In sophomore year, I lived in the Greenwich Residence Hall, which meant I was walking daily through streets lined with shops for baked goods, donuts, cheese, wine, and everything else I love to indulge in. 

Murray’s Cheese on Bleecker Street

Amy’s Bakery on Bleecker Street (now permanently closed) was one of my favorite bakeries to visit. Every other Friday, I would go in and buy a soft and sweet loaf of challah bread, presented with a braided design. Of course, no one intends for a loaf of bread to be dinner, but nonetheless, that’s what it was to me on Friday night. While I enjoyed eating challah for dinner, I knew it wasn’t providing me with adequate nutrition. Since I was a college student who walked everywhere, I should have been more mindful of meeting my nutritional needs so that both my brain and body felt energized. 

As I continue to reminisce about what not to do, I recall that another one of my favorite ill-advised things to eat was what I called “waffle salad,” which was a waffle torn into pieces smothered by nutella in a bowl. I do still encourage you to try whatever you want, whether you are in the presence of company or not. Discovering foods you like and spending time with yourself can be a meditative experience, as it is for me. 

DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

Conversely, food is known to be a great way to bond with people. My aforementioned roommate, Anna, and I were roommates by choice in sophomore year and we would get food together, from cookie dough to nutella beignets (the latter being a more sophisticated version of my waffle salad). 

Nutella beignets at Cafe Marie

San Marzano, a cheap and delicious Italian restaurant near Washington Square Park, became the first go-to place that I often went to with girls I met on a staircase to Drag Bingo. This dinner cemented our relationship into a close friendship and we would frequently go back throughout the years. 

Bagel Belly near Union Square

Getting to know people over food can also help with awkwardness and avoiding hyper-awareness of the space your body is taking up. We’ve all heard the classic adage, “what do I do with my hands?!” 

One of my Drag Bingo best friends and I absolutely love Times Square, despite the perpetuated “stigma” of it being a tourist-infested “not really that cool” place to see if you consider yourself a true New Yorker. To that we say: we don’t care; we like it so we’re going. That’s the American way, after all. 

Just as mesmerized as I am by the sight of New York’s nighttime skyline from an airplane, I am in awe from the ground of Times Square at night (when you can’t see a lot of the grime, though the layers do add character). To go full tourist mode, my friend and I even got Cold Stone ice cream, which was delicious.

My friend and I enjoying Times Square 🙂

Whether it’s a basic touristy- moment you’re having in Times Square or a local specialty, food is a wonderful way to connect yourself to people and the community itself. Don’t be too afraid to go up to a pop-up food truck: you might just get to try pistachio ice cream with crickets on top at no cost! Because when else could you be convinced to try something like that? 

Cricket ice cream I got from a pop-up truck near Union Square.

While you traverse the world’s culinary options and discover new foods with the same jubilance as a toddler (ideally), remember that balance is important and to listen to what your body needs. I gained a lot of weight during my first year of college, which is fairly common, but it still wore on me psychologically. It took me a number of trials to find a routine that worked for me, and to identify how I can exert control over my life while indulging in the pleasures. I had to reach the point of wanting to have control in the first place, rather than continuing to do what felt like blindly throwing darts at a wall listing restaurants and going to all of them anyway regardless of where the darts landed. 

I stopped enjoying eating because it began to feel like a burden every time I did. Eventually, I realized I can take my time and not beeline like Pacman (or insert your more contemporary reference here) through all of the restaurants and food stands in New York. 

In order to make balanced dietary choices in college (which includes fun choices too!): 

  • Try novel foods!
  • Maybe even the waffle salad, just once?
  • Explore your local shops and become an infamous “regular” with a “usual”
  • You will change in college (and you can still make jokes about the “you’ve really changed in college, man” memes) — what you liked in Year One may no longer be the case in Year Two… don’t force yourself to be someone you don’t feel like anymore
  • If your comfort mechanisms change, that’s intimidating to confront (because what can you turn to now?) but you can always discover new activities. Always. 
  • You have to want to change your tendencies that you no longer enjoy.

By: Anna Matefy

Anna Matefy recently graduated from NYU with a Bachelor’s in Media, Culture, and Communication. She has been working in politics for the past few years, and wants to transition into a career in media entertainment/comedy. She will be attending NYU as a graduate student in Media beginning in 2021.

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Inner Peace at the Crossroads of the World

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Mind Over Madness Yoga

Yoga lovers exercise in the middle of Times Square

For the residents and tourists of New York who have been to Times Square, you know how busy it can be. Or rather, how busy it always is. The bright lights, the honking of horns, the crowd, the noise… you get the picture. But what if you could be in the middle of Times Square amidst the noise and commotion, yet be completely separate and away from it at the same time? That is the mission that three yoga instructors set out to accomplish during this year’s summer solstice.

On Tuesday June 21st, Mind Over Madness Yoga will commence in between 45th and 47th Streets in the pedestrian plaza along Broadway. Nicole Nichols, Patrick Lynch and Douglass Stewart, three yoga instructors from local yoga studios, will lead an all-day yoga exercise event (separated into different sessions) in the middle of Times Square. This will be the 10th annual Mind Over Madness celebration welcoming the solstice.

All levels of yoga students are encouraged to come take part in this incredible event. If you want to be a part of Mind Over Madness, you do have to register by clicking here. Spots are limited and participants are limited to one session for the day, so those who are interested in participating should check it out now. There are four different sessions that run starting at 7:30 A.M. and ending at 7:30 P.M. Check-in for these sessions is located at Broadway and 48th Street (remember, register first!). Admission for the sessions is free.

As for those of us who don’t participate in yoga, if you are interested in seeing it in full force in the world’s busiest intersection, I recommend a visit to Times Square this Tuesday to check out the festivities. Take photos, watch the participants and instructors, and take an interest in what they are striving for on the longest day of the year.

The summer solstice is an event regarded in many different cultures as a period of rebirth or renewal for one’s body and one’s mind. Interestingly enough, the word “solstice” is derived from two Latin words, each meaning “sun” and “to stand still.” So, seeing yoga lovers come together in one of the world’s busiest commercial regions in an attempt to bring calmness and stillness to themselves and those around them under the lengthy gaze of our sun should be a spectacle to behold.

–Christopher Cusack, Hofstra University

Photo Credit: Adam Pantozzi

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