WHY I LOVE A GOOD SCHVITZ
The Russian Turkish Baths have been in the East Village for over 100 years - if you're in the area and need a reboot, please indulge. You'll thank me.
- •I was formally introduced to the baths a few months ago by @tothemaxxx and have gone back at least 3-4 times a month since then. It's my official time to myself, to my friends, and to relax and rehabilitate after a big night.
- •On 10th St. btwn 1st Ave and Ave A, it's accessible no matter where you are.
- •It used to be men only, but now it's coed. So it's social, as well as detoxifying.
- •It's a bit grimy, which could be a turnoff to you germy people, but to me is part of the charm. It's also a great filter for overcrowding.
- •The variety of people is fantastic. Young, old, fat, skinny, Jew, Gentile, Russian, you name it. It feels not hipstery because the regulars that are there have been doing it their whole lives. Yet youth is represented.
- •The outdoor patio. Post-schvitz, you're gonna need to take a load off and the patio is the best place to do it. Smoke some pot, drink some Turkish grapefuit beer, chat with your schvitzing partner - enjoy life.
- •The Greekness of it all is an aphrodisiac to me. I don't want to sound weird, but it's all a bit of a turn on. The judgement-free, let it all hang out (even though nobody is fully nude during coed hours), bathing in lifeness of it all is relaxing and stimulating at the same time.
- •Even though schvitzing has been a tradition passed down generationally for thousands of years, there's still something secretive and arcane about it. I feel like I'm privy to a life secret and that I'm part of an ancient society.
- •When finished, go around the corner and get yourself some bone broth - this is the cherry on top. A nice cup of broth on a brisk day after a good schvitz and you're doing something right.
- •Get a Platza (also known as Jewish acupuncture). Viktor or Boris will take you in the hottest room, the Turkish stone room, and scrub and stretch and whack the shit out of you with leaves. Every time you feel that your body is about to burst into flames, they douse you with freezing cold water. Very good for the circulation. The hot, the cold...Suggested by @tothemaxxx
- •Odds are good you'll run into Jonathan Ames there.Suggested by @tothemaxxx