August in NYC. A typical morning generally starts with stepping into a 95F degree steam room commonly known as the outside world, rivers of sweat running down my back. Navigating across street barricades, since 1st Ave has been clogged for days by construction trucks pouring hot tar, I carry on while deafening sirens pass. Engulfed in the foul smell of rotten garbage piles, I wrestle through the ant hill a.k.a Union Square, determined to refuel at the Coffeeshop’s fresh pressed juice bar. My face wet, pearls of water on my forehead, I wait patiently for my orange-lime protein juice. Business men dressed in slacks and ties waiting by subway tracks… I do not envy their wet pants after emerging from steamy undergrounds, grasping for oxygen. I continue my path towards work in the cast shadows of tall buildings, while making sure to only take the breeziest of streets. When reaching for the glass door to my agency’s lobby, my dress drenched, I curse the heat, commiserate with the doorman and step into the cool humming of air-conditioned office space, already planning my next escape.
We all love New York City for its colorful flow of ethnicities, artistic and musical vibrance, street crazies, golden opportunities, and stereotypical characters. However, the broiling summers are hardly bearable in the congested smog of the city and demand frequent escapes. Always on the look-out for new experiences to spice up my life, I came across 2 companies with the simple concept of offering adventurous get-aways to the tortured city soul.
I have used Urban Sherpa for some snowboarding excursions to Hunter mountain before and can say the tour was very successful and perfectly organized. We met at 6am sharp at the Walgreens by Union Square and 60 half-asleep people in snow gear tottered on board. While our guide explained the tour, many eyes fell back shut, including mine, until the smell of fresh bagels passed around tickled my nose. A strong start into a fun-filled day in the snow was guaranteed. At arrival we were handed out our ski-and-rental gear passes, plus lesson vouchers or whatever one has signed up for. After quickly going through the 3 check-in steps at Hunter we were at the slopes in no time just before the crowds arrived.
I also really love the guys at Urban Escapes! The groups are small — about 7 – 12 people — and the trips I took (snowtubing, hiking, skydiving) were well organized and sometimes even included a yummy AND healthy lunch. Fun is guaranteed and new friends are easily made. The guides were very down-to-earth, yet upbeat and super friendly. People and guides, all in all an interesting bunch, from entrepreneurial spirits, over neuroscientists to a Wallstreet broker. The small groups allow for an intimate experience, not to mention the fantastic opportunity of connecting with people from other boroughs, countries or walks of life.
I wish I would have agreed to the videographing on the jump itself…but here a taste of the landing.
Options to consider are:
- White water rafting
- Rock climbing
- Fruit Picking
- Go-Kart Racing
- Hang gliding
- River tubing
- Stunt Class
- and a few more
Get out of your daily rutt and you will most likely come back for more! ;-)