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Running the NYC Marathon

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Sometimes, in NYC, it feels like you’re running a marathon:

  • Catch a train to Union Street, here. Take a tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, there.
  • Visit the Natural History Museum here, the MoMa there.
  • Find your way to Times Square for your Broadway show at 8.
  • Quickly stop by the East Village to stock up on some vegan cheesecake cupcakes.


Above, one of last year’s vegan Cheesecake Cupcakes.


My first full day in NYC started with running for real.

I called the concierge the night before, inquiring about running routes. She gave me directions up to Central Park. “You can run forever in there,” she said. So, the next morning, I set out in search of Central Park. Running the 15 blocks to the park was a bit annoying; I had to keep going down side streets in order to stay moving during red lights. But once I found my way to the park, it was G-l-o-r-i-o-u-s! (If ya got lost with all those hyphens, the word I was going for was “glorious.”) The weather was perfect: a little cloudy/misty (it would rain later in the day), and in the 70s.

When you’re in NYC, there’s no need to play this game: Running and Imagination.

After breakfast and a shower, it was time for more exploring. I took it a little slower this time, walking instead of running. We walked around for awhile, people-watching and taking in the fast-paced NYC happenings.


Then we parted ways, and I ambled over to the Lifethyme Cafe.

On the menu for lunch: Pumpkin Lasagna! Ingredients: chard, red peppers, carrot, zucchini, tofu, olive oil, chia seeds, and pumpkin (Below, deconstructed on a bed of mixed greens)


Their lasagna was even better than last year’s Spinach-Quinoa Quiche.

Question of the Day:

Have you ever people-watched?

I love “people watching” no matter where I am: stores, restaurants, out running, etc. Especially when on vacation, I see the strangest sights! In Austin, we once saw a naked bike ride. In Barcelona, my family was unfortunate enough to view a very old man wearing nothing at all (except tattoos all over his body… yes, even there!). And today, we witnessed a man running down the street with a gas mask, black gloves, and patriotic spandex shorts.

Look out; Scary Spandex Man has a twin! 😕 Yipes..

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Christin L. says:

    There was another naked bike ride here in Austin a couple weeks ago! :)

  2. That looks so yummy! How was the moma? My dad went last year, and loved it!

    And yes, I always people watch! I love watching how people interact-especially when someone is angry…funny! In the airport, it is very entertaining

  3. Marilou says:

    I spend my LIFE watching people … so much that the boyfriend keep telling me to stop … oops!

    I’m the worst car passenger too because I love to watch people in their car .. especially those who sings hehe … and I don’t keep the conversation because of that

  4. I loved the Museum of Natural History! My fam and I went to see every single exhibit hahaha it was wondrous.

    I people watch a lot. It’s very entertaining when you make up a story about a guy or create your version of a conversation between two people hahaha

  5. Glad you enjoyed running in central park! It’s one of my favorite places. I live here in the city and one of my favorite things about it is the constant ability to people watch! There are so many interesting people here and I always wonder what their story is. One of these days I’m going to go up to one of them and ask them!

    I’ve never been to lifethyme cafe, so I’ll have to check it out! Enjoy your visit!

  6. Ilana says:

    Isn’t New York the BEST place to people watch? People going about their private lives in such close proximity to everyone else going about their private lives… Who needs television when you have PEOPLE?!

    And yes some days it does seem like a marathon. I’m so used to the commuting and the trains that it’s like second nature to me but it’s so crazy sometimes. If I weren’t used to it I’d be totally intimidated by the system.

    Central Park <3 <3 <3 … so m uch to see and do!!

  7. Jessica says:

    I people watch, always! Sometimes I have to watch my thoughts, because I’ll find myself judging people in my head. But honestly, it’s hard not to judge naked bike riders…right? :)

  8. katie says:

    haha strange people in nyc! where are you staying?xoxoo

  9. spoonfulofsugarfree,
    I actually haven’t gone to the MoMa yet on this trip. Hopefully in a few weeks! We tried to go last year but discovered it was closed on Tuesdays, so we went next door to a cute Folk Art museum instead. But I’ve gone in years past and liked it :).

  10. Jessica,
    Haha yeah, one’s judgment is definitely… umm clouded at times like that! 😉

  11. Erika says:

    Whoa! You have definitely seen many “sights” in your travels.

  12. Meg says:

    Wow, that cupcake looks so good! And pumpkin lasagna- yum!
    NYC is so great for running, and people watching! Hopefully I’ll be living there someday :) Seems like you’re having a great trip!

  13. Run Sarah says:

    Wow, that pumpkin lasagna looks great! I can’t wait to run in Central Park one day – looks like so much fun.

  14. Katie says:

    There is a man in my neighborhood who juggles while running. I saw him once at night and the balls he was juggling were glow in the dark. Very interesting sight to see and gosh he has a lot of coordination to do all that at once!


    1. Katie,
      Wow, consider me jealous of that guy. I can’t even juggle more than two balls at a time standing STILL!

  15. I LOVE people watching. People are just so interesting, especially in NYC. haha! That’s too funy.

  16. BroccoliHut says:

    Pumpkin lasagna??! Genius!
    I people watch ALL the time–I’m kind of doing it right now as a read my favorite blogs in the student center of my former university. I did a post a while back about people watching. Airports and libraries are the best for such activities:)

  17. That lasagna looks so delicious! OMG! I do love people watching, but I bet its far more entertaining in NYC!

  18. Renée says:

    People watching is my not-so-secret favourite pasttime.
    My friend and I often sit in coffee shops and just watch people walking by.
    It’s also fun to put words in their mouths and recite what we feel like they might be saying 😀

  19. VEGirl says:

    Pumpkin lasagna? Sounds yummy to me! BTW I’m gonna make a breakfast Sundae today for breakfast!

  20. Pumpkin lasagne looks amazing! Will have to visit the cafe next time I am on holiday in new york!

  21. Caroline says:

    Wow Katie,

    I think your pumpkin lasagna looks better than omni lasagnas. People don’t think about how vegetables, when done well, are so much more flavorful than piles of meat and cheese. And they’re good for you! Pretty convenient, isn’t it?

    And cheesecake cupcakes…great for your soul, by the looks of it!

  22. I agree “people-watching” is interesting. That cheesecake cupcake looks great, and the lasagne looks nice as well.

  23. So jealous of your New York trip! My husband proposed to me there a couple years ago, and he said he was thinking of doing it at the Natural History Museum since we loved it so much! (he ended up doing it at Wollman Rink in Central Park, which was just as wonderful!)

    Living in Los Angeles, you end up people-watching all the time! (and people are watching you all the time, too!) Everyone wants to spot a celebrity, I guess. :)

  24. Marianne says:

    People watching can definitely be entertaining. I often do so when I’m on transit, because really, what else is there to do on transit? LOL

  25. Justine says:

    People watching on vacation is one of my favourite ‘activities’. There are always interesting people/happenings to witness in new cities.

    (thank you for visiting the other day!)

    1. Justine,
      Aww thank YOU for visiting almost EVERY day! You’re so sweet! :)

  26. mapledreams says:

    I love people watching!!! It’s my favourite hobby! I could do it for hours!!!xx

  27. I want a cheesecake cupcake! That looks so good :)

  28. Ah, I love people watching! I did that A LOT in France and Germany – it’s much more fun when you’re not at home 😀

  29. Leslie says:

    People watching? Meh, I’ll take CUPCAKE watching, myself ;).

  30. I love to people watch. In fact, I miss my old front porch a lot because it was just nice to hang out there and see what’s going on (turns out it’s a LOT!).

    All these restaurants you visit make me want to visit NYC someday!

  31. I love people watching. Especially around never know what you’ll see! It’s kind of funny to just be sitting there and then seeing Aubie (our tiger mascot) riding around in the back of a golf cart jammin’ to rap music. And then walk down the concourse to see some type of rally going on. It’s always something different 😛

  32. Katie says:

    People watching is so fun! I love eating somewhere really nice outdorrs on a pretty day and people watching, sometimes there are some really funny people that stand out!

    LOVE that pumpkin lasagna, I need some! Looks to die for!!!

    Love ya girl! Love NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Quix says:

    I love people watching! I especially love seeing how other people dress – it gives me ideas…

    And NYC is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit! Someday… hope you’re having a blast!

  34. you must be in a whirlwind right now, spinning around racing from place to place not to miss a moment! wow exhilirating to say the least!

    the lasagna is absolutely incredible!!!

    enjoy the sights and sounds and tastes and smells


  35. Anna says:

    I think I people watch a little bit too much. I’m an avid “starer” to point that I don’t realize I’m staring and look like a complete creeper. My friends always tell me I have a problem haha What can I say, I’m into my surroundings!! People do funny things and I don’t wanna miss out on it. If you trip and fall flat on your face, you can bet I’ll be the one person to have seen it happen 😉

  36. Michal says:

    Ahh so jealous! Of your central park running experience and your yummy pumpkin lasagna. And I love people watching, i love going to borders or something and just being around people. Im a definite people person, I could be a social butterfly all day long.

  37. jamie says:

    love love love people watching – i lived in nyc for 8 years and it doesn’t get better than that! watching all those people who let their freak flags fly helped me be waaaaay less self-conscious.

    btw, thanks for your site – i stumbled on it the other day and it has changed my life :)
    i now cover my diet in chocolate and i’m happier for it.
    i found this and had it for breakfast this morning; if you haven’t, i am stridently urging you to try it (i halved the recipe and added soy milk instead of regular and used raw sugar instead of brown; it tasted like a chocolate milkshake for reals. if there weren’t the danger of slicing my tongue i would have licked the blender clean):

    1. jamie,
      8 years in NYC?! That sounds like an absolute dream come true! Lucky!! And thanks for the link too. Anything chocolate and I’m sold :).

  38. I love people watching! But then, I’m from New York, and then I spent a whole lot of years working in a grocery store, so I had LOTS of opportunities.

    Man, the things I’ve seen….

    1. wendy,
      Haha maybe you should write a book! I bet it would be hilarious!

  39. Rachael says:

    Running in Central Park is definitely one of those “must do” life things – glad you got the chance.
    People watching is my past-time of choice, wherever I am. I also admit to a little bit of eavesdropping, on occasion. There’s just something magical about seeing a little glimpse of someone else’s life and day that is grounding and has perspective-altering abilities…it can be funny, sad, intense or what-have-you, but for a brief moment in time, you’re out of your own life!
    (I acknowledge this might be a tad creepy :)

  40. Wow that pumpkin lasagna looks amazing :) Yes I people watch, I think we all do, haha. When I was in Paris recently they are huge people watchers, it is funny to watch what people will do sometimes.

  41. jodye717 says:

    I love people watching, too, I just can’t help it! Where else do you plan to eat in NYC? I can never choose! There are just too many delicious vegan restaurants!

    1. jodye,
      I already left, but I’m going back, and Hangawi is on the agenda. I’m also intrigued by Josie’s vegetarian loaf. Josie’s isn’t 100% veg, but I figure it’d be a good place for EVERYone in my family to get something he/she wants.
      I agree completely about not knowing where to eat. It’s overwhelming!

  42. Claire says:

    OMG just used my Magic Bullet for the first time! Well, twice… stewed rhubarb, blueberry and soya smoothie then a bit of blended oatmeal with rhubarb and raspberries. AMAZING. So quick! So easy!!!

    1. Claire,
      Hahaha you’re hooked! 😉

  43. Jennifer says:

    Backing up a post or two or more…just made the banana butter! It is so yummy!!

    1. Yayyayyay! I’m so glad you made it! (And even more happy that you liked it)

  44. I people watch at the gym ALL the time..haha some people just crack me up!!

  45. Danielle says:

    I think that people-watching is one of the most important activities to do while traveling! That’s how you really get a feel for a place. And it sounds like your NYC people watching lived up to the reputation of the city!

  46. I love people watching and I love NY! My husband is an illustrator and works on some comics too. We go to the conventions from time to time and seriously, that is some great people watching! Enjoy your day!

  47. I haven’t been to NYC in YEARS! I was just telling my husband that we need to go there (among 50 other places, LOL). What was the deal with the guy and the gas mask? That’s kind of scary! I people watch all of the time. My mindset right now is all about health and nutrition, so I’m frequently wondering what people are eating and what they’re feeding their kids. Crazy! Especially in closed spaces, like airports, and restaurants (where wondering something like that would actually make sense). Glad you’re having a good time…it sounds like super fun!

  48. Kristie says:

    People watching is great but I rarely see such exciting sights as you do. I think I need to switch up my people watching locations a bit and venture to new areas to find the more interesting characters out there!

  49. People watching is my favorite activity, are you kidding! Hehehe

  50. There is a man who rides around the city where I live dressed in a full batman costume on a bike that he made look like the batmobile! I can’t help but laugh everytime I see him!

  51. Nora says:

    I love people-watching. it’s one of the reasons I’m saving up for the Canon 70-200mm lens. Please don’t think I’m a creepy peeper, haha, I just like getting good shots of cute little kids and stuff without being in their face.

    1. Haha no I think that’s genius! There are so many cute babies/puppies/etc. I’d love to take photos but am too shy to ask :).

  52. Babette says:

    Your lasagna and cupcake look terrific!

  53. k says:

    try to make this yourself just reconstruct it so i can make ittttt