Summer Solstice Yoga in Times Square ..

Or for you social media people out there #SolsticeTSq . Friday, June 21 was the summer solstice. As we all know the summer solstice is the day that we have the longest period of sunlight of the year.  Now every day until December 21 (or so) the sunlight portion of the day will be less.  The science lesson is now over. See the internet for more information (or not). This year was the 11 th annual Summer Solstice in Time Square. The first year they had three people doing yoga in Time Square. This year split among five different classes during the day they had over 16,000 people participate. That is crazy! We were there.  Here is a link to their website.

Our class was the last one of the day, 7:45 pm to 9 pm. Yoga through the sunset and the onset of the night.  It was not dark after the sun went down. There are so many electronic billboards and signs that it is never dark in Time Square. Our day started out with driving 85 miles to Secaucus to take the train into New York’s Penn Station. We arrived in Penn Station around 5:30 pm. We were like salmon swimming upstream since the end of the day commute was in full swing and we were headed the opposite direction as the commuters.  We walked up 7 th Ave to 44 th Street  and found a Summer Solstice Yoga class in progress. I shot some pictures of this class and then we went to find a sandwich to eat while we waited for our class to start. We ate our dinner sitting on our rolled up yoga mats on the sidewalk of 44 th street.

Our yoga class got loaded into the penned off area around 7 pm and we all got lined up. In our section we had over 600 people. We sat and talked, looked around, took pictures and marveled at being in Time Square. Our space was right next to the Armed Forces recruiting center. If we turned around we could see the post where the ball drops on New Years Eve.  All during the next two hours we were part of the side-show that is Times Square.  People would lean on the barricades and take pictures and talk in dozens of different languages.

At 7:45 pm our class started. We started out on our backs, looking up at the sky.  Talk about way cool!. Over the next 75 minutes the instructor took us through various yoga posses. He was in a different area of Time Square but we could hear him and they had instructors and spotters to keep you on track if you lost your way. In several quiet moments of meditation you could hear the sirens  and the other noises of the city. At other times, I did not hear the noise or notice the lights. I heard the voice of the instructor and followed the instructors in our area. Then the instruction was given to go back onto our backs for the final pose. I leaned over to my DW and asked what time it was. She said it was 8:55 pm. Five more minutes to go. Where did the time go?  Talk about getting lost in your yoga head space..  We finished up, took some more pictures and left our yoga pen to walk around Time Square.

We walked back down 7 th Ave to Madison Square Garden. New York’s Penn Station is under the garden. We walked to the NJ Transit section and waited for the next train to New Jersey.  20 minutes later we were in Secaucus and heading home. We stopped at Rutt’s Hut for a few hot dogs on our way.  That visit is detailed in a different blog post.

An outstanding night, for sure. If possible, we will go back again next year.

Pictures, here are a few.  This link will take you to the Drop Box folder containing all the pictures.  Also, two Vine video’s can be found here and here.


Cultural Icon or late night dive..

That is the question.  Maybe the title should have been “You are here for the relish”. Either way, this is not the definitive blog about Rutt’s Hut.  Far more information can be found searching on the web. Here is a link to the Wiki page for Rutt’s Hut. This blog will walk you through a Friday night visit and the mighty “Ripper”.   The hot dogs that they sell are called “Rippers” since the skin rips during the cooking (deep-frying) process.  The hot dogs come either plain or with cheese. That is it. They have containers of their special relish and brown mustard on the counter so you can top your Ripper whichever way you want.

We walked in this past Friday night on our way home from doing yoga in Time Square. That topic will get its own blog entry.   We (DW and I) pulled into the dimly lit parking lot, not exactly sure if the business was open. The attached bar had lights on and the entrance to the hot dog section also seemed to have lights.  In the parking  lot there were a few couples smoking and auditioning for a part in a rendezvous later in the evening. I’m sure you get the picture.

We walked into the brightly lit hot dog stand and were greeted by the counter man. There were counters to lean on and eat.  No chairs or tables. There were only two other customers when we walked in. “What will you have tonight?” was the counter man’s question. I said one dog with chili and cheese. He looked at me and said “We don’t put chili on the hot dogs. I can sell you some on the side and you can add it to your hot dog.” Hmm, I said to myself. Then he continued, “You are here for the relish” and he pointed to the metal containers sunk in the counter. I opened one of the containers to see the relish.  Ok, then give me one with just cheese.

The counter man asked my DW “And for you?”  She replied one dog with sauerkraut.  He got that same look on his face and said “We don’t put sauerkraut on our hot dogs, I can sell you some on the side. You can get sauerkraut anywhere, you come here for the relish”.  I looked at my DW, she said ok, then one plain? We got our two dogs and a bottle of water. The counter man asked “First time here?” I told him that the last time I was there I was probably 19 or 20 years old. And I did not really remember the visit. He said “Drunk that night, were you?” I said, just a little bit, bet you have seen that before and we both had a good laugh.

We ate our dogs and watch more experienced customers come in and order their dogs correctly. I went back for a second dog, this time plain. I wanted to taste the relish without the cheese sauce. We took three dogs home for the boys and a coffee cup of relish to go with.

And yes, you do go there for the relish.

Here are a few pictures I grabbed off the web. I was wrapped up in ordering and such and missed taking pictures.  Enjoy!