Best Place to Work Out (2002)
For sheer size and variety--and that friendly YMCA atmosphere--it's impossible to beat the big Y, which at one time not long ago billed itself as the biggest Y on the planet. There's a pool, indoor track, squash courts, racquetball courts, hoops courts and machines of every description: rowers, cycles, runners, weights and stairs. Combine that with all the classes, and pretty soon you'll be what our old Y instructor said we should be, back when it might have been true. As he put it: "Be proud of your body." An Observer staffer who belongs said make sure to mention the covered smoking area outside--but we won't.