had a birthday. And she had a gathering of friends – slash – party –
slash – jaunt out to deepest Queens to the most amazing spa place in the world.
But before that, there was pie.
whole group of us got together at Grand Central Terminal for dinner,
and in the lower depths of the facility there is this food court, and
in the food court is a place that makes pies and cakes. Josh and I spied the pie and mulled over whether key lime or mud was the better option and of course went with key lime.
dinner, as the pie sat between us at the table, Josh noted that we
should eat it on the subway. "Train pie!" either he or Rose cried, and
so train pie was born.
Look, if Improv Everywhere can take off
their pants on the subway, we can all share a pie. It was very
communal, as well as being very yummy.
But all of this was mere
prelude to the evening, and why we were on the subway in the first
place: We were taking the 7 train to the Q25 so that we could disembark
and walk into the formerly named InSpa World — now called Spa Castle, clearly after the many whirlpools and hot tubs available back in medieval times.
might sound a little dodgy, but this brand-spanking-new building looks
like a 5-star hotel. You walk in, fork over $35 and can stay all day
(we were just going for about four hours, until midnight). You get a
uniform of unfortunate pink and orange if you're a woman (gray and blue
for the menfolks) in the locker room, and a wristband that resembles a
watch with a number on it (and an RIFD chip to access your locker). You
leave everything but your bathing suit and the uniform in your locker,
including shoes, and the place is yours. Anything else you buy — from
massages to scrubs to slushies — gets rung up on your number and you
check out later and settle the bill.
We hit the pools. You have
to hit the pools. On the roof of the building are these large,
elongated outdoor swimming pools with spray jets and massage hoses and
a little flume area that makes you feel like you're rushing down a
river, there's a hot tub alongside the main pool, there's a hotter hot
tub on the far end made of cedar (aka "the lobster pot"), there's a
kiddie pool (no funny animals, just a lovely shallow reflecting pool),
there's a sauna. There's a food area, and a place where you can buy
whipped or fruity drinks and drink them while still inside the pool.You
can sign up for massages but by the time we got there they were all
full up so I can't report on that.
Inside the locker rooms there
are mineral (allegedly) baths if you don't mind getting nekkid in front
of everyone else — these went from 102 degrees to 109 and let me tell
you, those 7 degrees do make a difference; there are also two
water" pools of 77 … and 54. You go get in the 54 degree pool and
tell me if you don't feel it for the next hour. There are steam rooms
and more saunas (I don't know why I love a steam room, but it's 133
degrees and you can barely breathe and I can only stay for about 5
minutes but there's something glorious about it. You activate a lot of
the jets and such by touching a little pad in or near the pool area;
there was a similar pad between the steam and sauna rooms so like a
moron I touched it and — got drenched in cool water by a shower head I
hadn't even seen right above me.
By the end of the night prunes
and raisins had nothing on us for wrinkles, and we were tired but happy
as if we'd done some kind of major workout. I am absolutely, totally
going back there again. Sooner rather than later.