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Posts Tagged ‘Walking’

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This week’s cover of Time Out New York caught my eye. “Great Walks, the city’s best strolls,” it boasts.  Inside, the magazine outlines 12 NYC walking routes, that are sure to tickle your calves, your tummy (a lot of them include snack stops), and your cosmopolitan fancy.  Some of the walks include “The Romantic Walk,” “The Dude Walk,” “The Chinatown Eating Walk,” and “The Lesbian Walk.”  My personal favorite is “The Top of the Park Walk,” which begins at Central Park’s beautiful conservatory garden at 5th Avenue and 105th street.  Timeout compares Central Park’s manicured garden to the Garden of Eden.  Personally, it’s always reminded me of The Secret Garden.

conserv-gardenThe walk continues through the north side of the park and out into East Harlem, with stops for some fresh fish, fried chicken, and red velvet cupcakes. The walk ends conveniently in Morningside Heights at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Enjoy, and check out TONY for other springtime strolls in the city.

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Did you know that: 90% of undergraduate college women who have been sexually assaulted knew the perpetrator, and that fewer than 5% of completed or attempted rapes are reported to law enforcement? (Fisher, Bonnie S. “The Sexual Victimization of College Women.” National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice. December 2000.) This is only one of the many shocking statistics that can be found on posters and flyers leading up to Take Back the Night. I’ve decided to interview Jen Levinson, a sophomore at Barnard College and one of the Co-coordinators of Take Back the Night to learn more about this event.

BB: What is take back the night?

Jen: Take Back the Night is an international movement that works to end sexual assault. At Columbia there is a student group called Take Back the Night that plans the annual Take Back The Night march, Sexhibition, and other events throughout the year.

BB: What happens during the march at Columbia?

Jen: Before the march starts we have a pre-march rally outside of Barnard Hall, and after that the women-led march walks all around campus and the general area for about an hour and a half reclaiming the streets and turning them into a safe space. In the middle of the march we meet for a moment of silence at the sundial before continuing on. Following the march, in LeFrak Gym (Barnard Hall), Take Back The Night conducts a speak-out where survivors, co-survivors, allies, and anyone else can share their experiences or thoughts [concering sexual violence and assualt]. Peer Counselors are available to talk to anyone who would like to (in person or on the phone) and Nightline extends their hours until 5 am that day.

BB: What do you mean by a women-led march?

Jen: With respect to the history of the movement, and by acknowledging the gendered nature of sexual assault, the Take Back the Night March is led by a section of those identifying as women–to create a safe and comfortable space as well as make clear that this is a women’s initiative. Following the women-led section the rest of the march is co-gendered.

BB: That sounds great! When is the march?
Jen:
The march is Thursday April 16th at 9pm at the Barnard Gates, the speak out begins in LeFrak Gym at 11:00 pm.

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As someone who exercises most every day, I often reach a burnout point with cardio equipment, weight training routines, and too-often jogged paths. This New Years, I made a fitness resolution not to increase my workouts, but instead to find ways to build exercise into my day in a way that engages not only my muscles but my mind. I’ve incorporated new dance and aerobics classes into my weekly mix of workouts, because the choreography requires me to stay present and mindful of my body. Instead of pushing myself to go harder or farther, I challenge myself to commit a new skill to muscle memory. I also eliminated one standard gym workout per week. Rather than plateau, or worse, frustrate myself into avoiding exercise altogether, I try to find an activity every weekend where I can both move and see new things. One weekend I walked from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Midtown with a friend, window shopping and running errands. Another week, I just took the stairs everywhere that day, and did some pushups and ab workouts in my room. Anything to be outside the gym, without the stress of changing clothes or the annoyance of having forgotten socks, a magazine, or deodorant.

So, as part of my resolution, I’ve discovered the Upcoming Events calendar on the website of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Many of the parks offer walking tours, which are both educational and active. The park rangers lead historical and nature-oriented programming, including activities like birdwatching and winter hikes. This weekend, I’m thinking about joining up with their walking tour of Union Square. Check out the offerings and find a way to incorporate a low-stress, informative, and engaging activity into your day that still allows you to break a sweat.

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