Saturday, October 2, 2010

Russian And Turkish Bathhouse in East Village

    Today I, along with my best friend and her boy friend, my roomies, rode our bikes to a Russian bathhouse in East Village, on 268 East 10th Street in New York, the place is called the Russian and Turkish Bathhouse and it's the oldest Manhattan bathhouse in the area, it was established in 1892 by Jewish immigrants.
     We locked our bikes outside, checked our belongings and stripped into our bathing suits. Outside the locker rooms there are shelves with stacked towels and robes which you may use and replace several times over. As we descend the long staircase to the main heat rooms women and men pass us by covered in mud.

    We started in one of the steam rooms where you can put eucalyptus and various other oils in to mix with the steam of the room. After that we went into the 'Turkish Sauna" which provided more of a dry heat and a little shower at the door used for cooling down in the middle of session if you get too hot. We followed that with the 'Russian Room' which was pretty amazing. It's a room of hot stone, as if you were in a little human oven but inside theres a large wood enclosed pool with extremely cool running water and buckets which you fill with the water once you feel you've gotten too toasty, the contrast of temperature is amazing, it leaves you with an almost euphoric feeling.
     Inside these rooms some people chatted, some stretched and did yoga, and I actually heard a few doing some meditative chanting which sounded rather soothing. We ended the evening with some peppermint tea on the sun deck, where we stretched out and looked at the stars. 

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