NEW YORK -- All I had in mind was ice cream.
This is not an uncommon thought for me, really. Ice cream is among the world's most perfect foods, after all, and constitutes more of my diet than I should admit. But I couldn't exactly justify ice cream alone -- not after the Poutine-Fest-and-BeaverTails combination in Ottawa last week -- without a little bit of exercise.
Enter the High Line.
It starts about 10 blocks from my Times Square hotel, making it the perfect distance for a stroll on a sunlit New York afternoon after the Ottawa Senators had media access in their hotel. Plus it ends at the Whitney, not far from an outpost of Big Gay Ice Cream, and a vanilla cone with chocolate dip and salted dulce de leche sounded drool-worthy.
(I swear, I turned down Shake Shack in favor of a quinoa salad for lunch. I do have some limits.)
So off I set, bound and determined to conquer the High Line, which I had never been to, in all my travels to New York. The High Line, for those uninitiated, is a park built on an unused elevated railway line on the West side of the city. I picked it up at 30th and 11th, delighted to see the greenery planted around the old rail lines, with flowers starting to pop up now that it has finally hit May.
It was packed in places, full of people taking selfies and marveling in the stretch of green space above the city. It felt, in some ways, like I wasn't in the city at all, especially in the Chelsea Thicket. That's a two-block portion of the High Line with trees that stretch overhead, bringing shade and privacy -- well, except for the dozens of others taking their constitutionals beside you -- and a sense of out-of-place-ness that belies the location.
But with all that walking, it was time to put up my feet, snagging one of the last lounge chairs available in the sun at the Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck. Every single one was crowded with singles and couples taking in some much-needed Vitamin D and lolling in the remaining rays of the afternoon sun.
I couldn't stay too long, however. There were friends to meet for dinner and, eventually, the ultimate reward for the day: that cool, creamy treat.
So, just after 9 p.m., we headed over to the West Village, to the place that had been the destination all along, after I had first tried the East Village outpost two summers ago. And though maybe I couldn't quite justify the calories based on a 1.45 walk along the High Line, I was more than happy to dig into that sweet-and-salty ice cream cone nonetheless.
I'll admit, though, that it might now be time to slow down on my Stanley Cup Playoffs-consumption of calories. Good thing I have much healthier plans in mind for the afternoon before Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round between the New York Rangers and the Senators at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).
Anyone else up for bagels?