This is a phrase a massage therapist I know uses to describe the human body: a very cool piece of equipment. When I first heard it, I was skeptical. My body felt more like a site of small disasters. Tight hips, bad balance, a non-negotiable need for eight hours of sleep every night, and a propensity towards sinus infections — these all made me feel a bit like a failure, physically. Like my body was not up to snuff in its capabilities.
Then I read this beautiful piece, in which a father highlights for his young daughter all the things her little body is capable of doing — running, thinking, hugging, smelling flowers. The piece itself is wonderfully written and touching, worth reading on its own merits. But the concept inside it signaled to me a simple, yet massive shift in thought. I was so used to thinking about what my body couldn’t do that I had long stopped being grateful for what it can.
Shortly in the wake of my body-acceptance lighting revolution, an awesome friend who happens to have an awesome car took me to Spa Castle. For those who have not heard of it, much less had the good fortune to go (those not in NYC, or those in NYC with no car, i.e. most people), Spa Castle is a pool/sauna/baths/treatments/Korean food complex in Queens. It is four floors. It has a roof deck. The roof deck has pools on it, and these pools are lined with jets that target different muscles. Stiff neck? There’s a station for that. Tight hamstrings? Check. There is also a lazy river. And a hot tub. Just on the roof.
Inside, there are saunas of varying temperatures and interior decor. There’s a restaurant with delicious bulgogi. There’s a cocktail stand that makes very strong rum cocktails. There’s a fancy spa where you can get private mud wraps. And there are the gender-segregated areas where you can get a body scrub. Right out in the open, with other women getting the same scrub done on a table right next to you. While the entire place is obviously a wonderland, the women’s-only baths, surprisingly, turned out to be my favorite part.
Hi Gagglites! I haven’t seen you in so long! It’s because I was moving to a new apartment — packing up six years worth of accumulated books and objects and clothes (and probably too many kitchen appliances) and unpacking them, with great attempt at design and organization, in the new space. As we settled in, I noticed two things. First, the new apartment has way more storage space than the last one (“I can breathe!” said my standing mixer) and second, it has way, way better lighting.
Of course we knew about the lighting going in. The big ol’ windows were one of the apartment’s best selling points (or “renting points,” I suppose). The plentitude of windows was so convincing that we gave up having a dishwasher so we could bask in the diffuse mid-day light, a decision I have shockingly not regretted once.
But I did not uncover the real treat of the new apartment windows until after my first shower.
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