On New Morning Habits

Julio Vincent Gambuto
4 min readJun 23, 2022
The High Line in New York City

This summer has brought great changes to our home life, most notably I have been forced to become a morning person. I fucking loathe mornings. I don’t thrive in the morning. I can’t think straight for hours. I have tried for years to be the guy who is at the gym at 6am. I can do it for about two days and then every cell in my body rebels. Who are these people who can make that work? God bless them. I am just not one of them. I have spent most of my adult life as an independent artist— a writer, a filmmaker, a stage performer — and we’re not really morning people. We’re really circus people at our core. We prefer a late night, a cocktail, and as late a rise as possible. For the weeks we are “in production,” it is an early rise for sure, but those are the exception not the rule.

But my boyfriend has been working from home for the last few weeks, and his day begins, full bore, at 8am. Since we live in about 450 square feet on Manhattan’s West Side, there is no sleeping when the shower’s running, the phone is ringing, and the keyboard’s keys are being pecked. So I have embraced a new, daily early-bird practice: walking 10,000 steps. Yes, I have become that person. I grab a cup of coffee. I put my Nikes on. And I get out of the apartment.

My favorite destination: New York’s High Line park, a landscape architectural masterpiece that transformed the old Central Railroad into a 1.5-mile urban trail. Every morning, I stroll, I amble, I tread. And I check my progress on my phone. The leafy walk ends at Hudson Yards — the $25-billion-dollar development that — post-Covid — feels like a museum of capitalism. I go in. I pass the empty Louis Vuitton store. I cruise by Coach and Cartier. I stride by Sunglass Hut. Yes, I am now an old lady with a fanny pack “powerwalking” at the mall.

My new morning has transformed my day. Usually, I start by hitting the alarm snooze 14 times, crawling to my Keurig, and “reading the news,” which during Covid — and ever since — became a recipe for disaster. No one should consume that…

Julio Vincent Gambuto

Author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!” from Avid Reader Press at Simon & Schuster // Now available in US and UK // juliovincent.com