The weekend in New York City turned out to be pretty fun and action-packed. I’ve only been to the city once before and never to Central Park, so it was all new to me. We spent the first day in the park for Adventures NYC Day. The event was full of activities encouraging outdoor participation, environmental awareness, and healthy lifestyles. There were musical performances, bike rentals, kayaking, climbing walls, yoga clinics, and several more activities, all free to the public.
Matt and I worked with Tim Kemple and Hennie Van Jaarsveld in the video booth, which involved interviewing people on camera about how they enjoy the outdoors and their favorite outdoor activities. The final product will be a cool video montage highlighting the event.
The following day we attended the Outdoor Nation Youth Summit, where 500 youth delegates from all 50 states participated in a conference dedicated to creating a youth-driven movement centered around championing the outdoors. They discussed strategies and priorities in order to generate a national agenda to encourage America’s Youth to get outside. I was impressed at the level of enthusiasm and determination these kids had. Many of them were from urban areas, where access to parks/outdoor recreation areas is extremely limited, poorly maintained, or nonexistent all together. They were all motivated to make changes, and create a better outdoor environment for their own generation and the future.
Our last and final day in New York was spent touring around the city doing a daypack photo shoot for The North Face. First we went back to Central Park to sample a little bit of the bouldering there. Despite the heat and humid conditions, I had a great time. Outdoor bouldering in the middle of the city creates a pretty unique atmosphere. There were all kinds of people out and about, which was cool to see considering the reason we went in the first place was to encourage people to be active and embrace the outdoors, even in urban environments. We saw other climbers, kids practicing parkour, families picnicking, musicians, etc.
We ventured to Brooklyn that afternoon to visit the newly opened bouldering gym Brooklyn Boulders, one of the coolest gyms I’ve ever been to. Not only was it huge, with really nice terrain and fun boulder problems, but there was graffiti art and huge murals all over the place (Joe Kinder just collaborated on a mural there with Joe Iurato, see here), creating a very urban vibe and a really fun environment to climb in.
New York City is lively and energetic, with alot to offer in terms of culture, art, music, and even outdoor activities. I would definitely not consider myself a city person, but NYC is pretty special place and one that I would love to visit again.