Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Philly beer week, I love you, and a question

Philly beer week was fabulous. Next year we will definitely try to talk as many friends as possible into going with us. The saddest part was that we had to miss the vast majority of the events taking place in Philly during the work week.

As soon as we arrived, we went straight to a tasting lunch with Stone and Dogfish Head beers to drink and brewers in attendance. How often does the CEO of Stone Brewing sit at your table, with just you and your husband, to chat about beer and such? I will tell you: not very often.

After lunch, I'm a little embarressed to admit, we took a nap.

The only other official event we attended was the jazz happy hour at TIME restaurant. There was nothing that made it seem like an event, unless the place is normally empty on a Saturday night (unlikely). And the kids we saw playing New Orleans-style jazz on the street were way more fun than the jazz being played at the restaurant.

We went to Zot for dinner, a Belgian restaurant we noticed in the old town the last time we were visiting. There was no official event going on, but we wanted to check it out. They serve mussels with 50-some varities of sauces and they have a fabulous selection of beers. The end of beer week coincides with foie gras week, so I made the questionable decision to have two of the foie gras appetizers for my meal. It was, I believe, due to this divinely delicious but incredibly heavy meal that I was barely able to move after dinner and we had to forego any more beer week activities for the evening.

For brunch on Sunday we went to one of our new faves, the Belgian Cafe. The eggs Benedict on a Belgian waffle was truly inspired.

And now, a question.

Last night I went to a pilates class at a tiny studio in Jersey City. I have been searching for just such a class in just such an environment for years. They also offer yoga and various other classes. I was pretty sure going into last night's class that unless there was something really horrible about it, I would be joining this ... what do you call it exactly? Hold on, that's not the real question.

The more you pay for at once, the less you pay per class. The pilates classes are $12 each and the yoga are $18. If I buy a 10 pack of each, I pay $10 and $15 per class, respectively. So, if I take one of each per week, that's $25. Or, I could pay $99 for an unlimited monthly membership. OR, I could pay $269 and get 3 months of unlimited. (Or I could pay $719 for a year of unlimited, but that seems really crazy at this juncture.) This seems a little nuts, taking one class, and then handing over $269, but it's not that unreasonable, is it? Hold on, that's not the actual question either.

It's not that I can't afford this. I totally can. It's just that gyms don't typically cost $88 a month and only include classes. Although, to be fair, Maximum Motion does include a few classes per week that involve weight use. But the other thing is that I don't like gyms and so if I join one, I'm unlikely to ever go to it. If I work out, I run. But I would really like to be able to do pilates and yoga and maybe another class now and then. Is it ridiculous to pay that much for a few classes per week? (That's the real question.) I should note that because of the studio being small, everyone gets personal attention and is on a first-name basis. The instructor told me that yoga on Thursdays usually only has 2-3 people in attendance.

My mind is pretty much made up. I'm just curious what others think.


jen said...

if it's something you enjoy and will go to, it is definitely worth it! as long as you are having fun, you will be motivated to go.

Jen Anderson said...

I'm thinking you should pay per class for a couple of weeks, to make sure you like both their yoga and their pilates and then buy the 10 class packages. If the pre-paid classes expire, you'll have to keep an eye on that, but otherwise, you won't end up paying for a gym you don't use.

I used ot belong to NYSC and there were many stretches where I was still paying for it, but was too sick or injured to go.

alena said...

I agree with Jen. Pay per class or in smaller increments for at least a month to make sure you really like it and you'll actually go. It's easy to feel motivated after a good class but see if you'll actually like the schedule and be able to stick with it before you spend too much.

Rick Pali said...

Me? I'd buy a book and try it on your own.

That's precisely what I did, and it's working out better than I could've imagined.

I guess it depends on whether the whole 'experience' is something you're looking for. For me, going to a gym and having to interact with others was not an incentive. :-)

Kathryn said...

First, I'm embarrassed that I have never been to any of the places that you visited in Philly. You know my town better than I.

I also agree with most of the folks on not buying unlimited passes. At my favorite studio, I only commit to the 5-class card, and I am always surprised how quickly the 3 month expiration approaches, even though it feels like I go almost every week. (Clearly, I do not)

I love being in class, with people and a great teacher who actually teaches new things every time, so books are not for me.

alyce said...

I'll chime in and vote for smaller prepaid package to start and then larger package if you're digging it.

Also... I would worry in this economy that a studio that has classes with only 2-3 in attendance wouldn't be in business for long. Perhaps the prepaid is a bargain if you go a lot during the coming year, not a bargain if they go bankrupt next month.