Thursday, November 8, 2007

My NYSC: Through Good Times and in Bad

My NYSC on Commerce St. used to be a ratty gym full of tough guys. You felt like a badass by proxy when you went back to the free weights section. Yeah, I'm doing bent-over rows too, and chest presses, big guy.
The NYSC got completely redone a couple of years ago and now has squash courts and a pool. It's packed at 530 am with high-powered NYC types, pounding away at the treadmill before hopping on the train to NYC or heading over to the hedge fund. I do like that jolt of energy when I go there at 6am (this rarely happens). The Moms take over at 9 am, with yoga and cardio. The gym is almost all women at that point. I'll admit, it's kind of pleasant and mellow.

The place looks great, and the feel of the gym has totally changed. There are good and bad parts to that.
: top-notch machines and at long-last, a towel service. There are no men there who look the scary kind of tough.
Bad: The front desk guy and/or trainers used to get to pick the radio stations, so you didn't have to work out to the generic NYSC soundtrack, which consists mostly of Elton John tunes. How does that make you want to lift weights or do one more set of sit ups? No, sweaty men make you want to do that, and I miss them.
I concede: The generic mix did introduce me to Jojo ("Too Little Too Late"), so the Elton John crap is not a total loss. The pleasant smorgasbord of pre-renovation crowd still comes in around 5, so I see some familiar faces and get to exchange pleasantries, like in the old days when people actually talked to one another. One is a postman and he is so damn cool, and a couple of the other guys are contractors/builders. A couple are from Stamford, and a couple from Greenwich.

The new gym is impeccable, clean and has more energy, but I'm a little nostalgic. No relaxed chatting at the front desk; the gym now has a rushed clinical feel as the front desk people check you in without a glance. If you're interested, I'd try sneaking in. They're usually talking to each other or on the phone, so go for it. I do like my gym better in many ways, but not feeling welcome makes me want to go to the gym less, because there's no one to ask me where I've been if I've been slacking.


Anonymous said...

Sounds interesting. How are they cost wise?

Stamford Talk said...

I confess I was grandfathered in at a great rate since I stayed with the Commerce St. NYSC and went to other NYSCs while they remodeled. Newbie rates are 80 ish I think, but I bet a smooth talker could strike a deal of some sort. There's also a joining rate of 1 or 200 $, but if the facility is convenient for you, the gym is worth the price. Loads of cardio machines, great weight equipment in two spacious areas, squash courts, pool, a basketball court, and loads of yuppies whose energy will inspire you too to run your ass off.