Best Gym for Real People

Embarcadero YMCA

The Embarcadero YMCA is located in a fancy part of Downtown, and the surrounding area swarms with uniformly groomed thirtysomethings sucking down specialty cocktails at 6:30 on a Wednesday evening. The building itself is also grand — huge, with heavy glass double doors. But inside, members say, are the People. You know, the ones who deserve the Power. All ages, races, and socioeconomic strata gather here to work out at the well-appointed facilities. Indeed, the feeling here is one of regular folk trying to get healthier, to encourage blood flow and all its attendant benefits rather than to lose weight or gain tone. For some of us, the tone thing is never going to happen anyway, and gyms that make sagging seem like a moral flaw are just demoralizing. So hear ye, vox populi: It's fun to go to the Y-M-C-A.

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