This afternoon I made the decision to pay a visit to the Manhattan Costco. That decision came about due to me being right smack dab in the middle of the Body For Life program, and making great progress - that and the fact that the hotel had upgraded me to a suite, complete with a little kitchen, which of course meant I could store and prepare my own food.
And if I was going to get the results I was shooting for from the program, I was going to have to stick to the program, which meant I would have to avoid the fast foods I usually eat when I'm on the road, and pick-up the foods I've included in my BFL diet plan that are at Costco.
The bong attached to the gas mask...that's hardcore
Costco closes at 8:30 on Fridays, no matter where you are. Our store closed at 6:00. That gave me 2 & 1/2 hours to get back to my hotel on 31st and 7th (from 25th and 7th), grab some cash, dart across the street to Penn Station, catch the E train to 53rd & Lexington, transfer there to the 6 train that stops at East 116th and Lexington, walk one block over to East 117th, and then walk another half mile down to 1st and East 117th to the Costco. I was pretty sure I could make it.
It being just after six when I left the store, I had to wade through a lot of people heading for the trains and subway just to get to the hotel. It had snowed more than a foot just the day before, but now the sidewalks were fairly clear. There were even a few sidewalk vendors back out and busy hawking their wares.
The subway was as jammed as it always is during the rush hour, which put my schedule back a little. I had to wait on a second train as the first one that came in to Penn was stuffed to the gills with commuters.
Just walk about a half mile down East 117th street...
All told, I spent about 30 minutes on the Subway, arriving at the East 116th & Lexington street stop around 7:00pm. After getting my bearings I walked one block to East 117th and then headed North towards 1st . The city hadn't done much to rid the sidewalks (or streets) of snow in this area of Manhattan, but enough residents and businesses had done so to make the walk fairly obstacle free. Saw a big New York City rat on my journey, always a plus.
Odd street shrine seen on 2nd and East 117th.
Now, at this point some of you may be wondering what the hell is wrong with my white ass, walking through East Harlem by myself late in the evening. Well, It's not like you see in the movies or on TV. It's probably safer than most major cities - people are fairly friendly. I'd rather walk through East Harlem than MacArthur Park in LA, I'll tell you that.
Just like home!
I made it to Costco in plenty of time, about 7:25pm. Know what's different about the East Harlem Costco? Absolutely nothing. I bought a bag of turkey meatballs for $10.99, a rotisserie chicken for $4.99, and a bag of mini cheese wheels (light) for $8.99 - same prices as the Costco near my home in Colorado or any other Costco I've ever been too.
I retraced my steps to the Subway and made my way back to the hotel by 9:00pm. Not bad time, and now I have enough good (for me) food to last through Monday.