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Where is it socially acceptable to wear running clothes in NYC?

This is what’s driving us bonkers in NYC right now and making us (almost) want to move

By Will Gleason

Like a police uniform or an Elmo costume, running shorts are an article of clothing that’s only acceptable to wear around New York if you’re engaging in a specific pursuit. In this case, that activity isn’t patrolling the streets or posing for tourists but exercising. But when your run is finished and you’re still out in the city, a problem arises: Where can you go while still clad in mesh? The answer is murky.

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I live on the East Side and often finish my runs on the West Side. After that, I’m constantly made to face a moral quandry. Can I stop at my local bodega on the way home? Yes. My fave bookstore? No. Will I feel comfortable strolling into a dive bar? Sure. A restaurant for brunch? No, probably not. It might help if local businesses put up a little decal in their windows—perhaps a tiny sneaker—signifying that New Yorkers who’ve just taken their constitutional are welcome and that their attire will not be met with sneering condescension. This is a safe space. Go ahead, bring your Gatorade!

Not even the sidewalks are safe from judgment for post-run walkers. We’re often having to saunter with an extra pep in our steps or wipe a phantom bead of sweat from our foreheads as if to say, yes, I really did just finish a run and was not just too lazy to get properly dressed for a schlep to Duane Reade. Please, please, don’t judge me.

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