Mr. Keyloun added: “Everyone’s on the street now. I almost forget what the winter was like.”
In recent weeks, he has been out in the neighborhood more, and his list of favorite spots is growing — Café Integral, Spring Lounge, Café Habana — but it was 218 Restaurant, his local Chinese food spot on Grand Street, that got him through the pandemic.
It remains his primary go-to. “It’s my chicken-and-rice place,” he said, “and they know me by name now.”
Sometimes he picks up an order for Mr. Craven, too: “I love that when I walk in, the woman there recognizes me, and she just looks up and asks, ‘One or two?’”
It’s a 13-minute walk to Union Square CrossFit, where Mr. Keyloun works. “Everyone calls me coach Chris on the street. I’m friends with all my gym boys. The running joke is that I’m the mayor of the gay mafia,” he said, laughing before adding under his breath, “I think it’s true.”
He said that knowing each person well makes him a better coach. “I see you on the street, I know what you’ve been through at work, I know what you’re bringing into class. And it’s not just the physical, it’s also what’s on your mind, what you’re dealing with. You’re sometimes someone’s therapist. There’s a whole lot of trust in my job — and I love that.”
He also loves that he doesn’t have to sit in an office and that he gets to wear gym clothes — although working out all day does mean endless laundry. Mr. Keyloun has little use for some of the practical amenities in the apartment. (“There’s an oven, which we rarely use but, hey, it’s there.”) The one feature he would never give up is the in-unit, stacked washer and dryer. “I go through a lot of clothes,” he said. “At least three outfit changes a day.”