Sunday, May 16, 2010

Days 3 + 4: To New York and Back

So, first of all, let me apologize for not blogging--and therefore, on the apparent level, not following my commitment(!)--yesterday.  Yesterday morning I left on a bus at 9 AM for New York City, and despite lugging the laptop along with me (Alex carried it all over NYC in his backpack, bless him!), I didn't really have an opportune time to sit down and use it until the 1:30 AM that night. . . I did actually try to log into the website repeatedly with my smartphone on the bus, and that didn't really work out.  Ah, well.

Anyways, I DID actually still honor my meditation and writing commitment yesterday, though, by engaging in both during the bus trip.  So, let me start out my typing up the poem that I wrote on the bus yesterday, despite my small reservation at the fact that it could use some heavy editing/fleshing out, etc.  No matter, honoring the writing commitment is the important thing, not perfection (right?), so here goes:

New York (Inside and Out)

As I see the skyscrapers
looming up ahead of me,
I feel my breath catch, and
my teenage self revive.

At 17, I could feel the pulse
of each bright light as it
zoomed through my big-eyed,
small-town veins,
shot after shot of pure adrenaline.

At 20, then, it made perfect sense
to drop my small school and small life
and to move to the Big Apple--
to pursue freedom and good fortune
in a big way.

I lasted 3 weeks.
Then came crawling back to the
safety of the little school,
the familiar faces,
the controlled routine.

Oh New York,
despite our sordid history,
I love you still.
I love your mischief, your glamour,
your hundred ways to cook,
your thousand ways to entertain.

I love you because
my ever-restless mind
does need a place to flit to,
to dance with,
to play in--
every now and again--
before returning to the snug security
of home.

**Admission: I did allow myself a little "fly-by" editing as I typed up the poem.  So, it's not in the exact format that I wrote up yesterday, despite my above intention.  Ah, well.  I forgive myself. ;-)**

So, moving past the poem, the NYC experience was also nice.  What made it especially enjoyable was the beautiful mid-70s weather, especially in contrast to the last two chilly December visits I made (2009, and before that, 2006).  I can't remember the last spring visit I made to NYC, so that was great.

Also, I was a little nervous about being "chained" to another couple for the weekend, but I needn't have worried.  Tiffani and Dave were great, and I think we all managed to have a great time and not get on each others' nerves.  Go us! :-)

Wait, you want to hear about what we actually did? Figures. ;-P

Here goes. . .

The ride up was a bit lengthy, so we didn't arrive in central Manhattan (around Penn Station) until about 1:15.  Upon arrival, we made a beeline for Greenwich Village--mostly b/c Alex and I both adore the village!--and ate at a unique, but very small, vegetarian spot called "The Hummus Place".  Then we went shopping, picking up some clothes/jewelry from a Tibetan shop, some fancy soap from another shop, and some amazing chocolate--mine was dark chocolate with almonds + cherries--from a specialty shop called Pure Dark.  We then picked up some lattes (tea, coffee and yerbamate, depending on the drinker) from a cool coffee shop called Grounded and headed back towards our Marriott Hotel in Brooklyn.

When we arrived at the Marriott, they were not ready for us to check in--despite the fact that it was nearly 5 PM at this point.  So, we checked our backpacks that we had been lugging around--our backs were getting sore!--and once again hit the subway back to Manhattan.

Our next destination was Central Park, where we simply took a leisurely, relatively undirected stroll for about an hour.  Then on to Max Brenner, an amazing dinner spot that specializes in all things chocolate (gifts, entrees, desserts, drinks, you name it), and also just has an amazing presentation to everything they serve.  Alex and I make a point of visiting Max Brenner during every NYC trip now, and we felt compelled to share the experience with Tiffani and Dave.  Needless to say--1) We all love chocolate. (You may have noticed this theme.) Therefore, 2) We all loved our dinner and 3) left with slimmer wallets and expanded waistlines.

Shortly after leaving dinner, while sitting in a nearby park, Tiffani made a rather embarrassing and costly discovery: She had accidentally bought tickets leaving from Baltimore to NYC for the next evening.  So, we had no way back home.  The next 20/25 minutes were spent in a semi-panicked scramble to evaluate our options and secure new tickets (from a different busline, since all the Bolt bus tickets for the next day were sold out.) Pro: We managed it! :-) Con: It cost Tiffani a bit of money to buy 4 new tickets. :-(

After navigating that rather startling situation, we went to a late-night (11 PM) show called "Stuffed and Unstrung"   It's by Henson Alternative productions, and is basically adult-oriented improv using Henson puppets--hilarious! Alex's biggest interest in visiting NYC was to see this show, and I have to say, it was well worth it.  But it was also quite late when we arrived back to the hotel, and after 2 AM when we finally all got to sleep.

Speaking of sleep, it sounds like a good idea.  So, let me describe today's experiences as briefly as possible.  The highlights of today were two-fold:

Firstly, visiting the Brooklyn Museum of Art and viewing some amazing exhibits, especially their feminist collection and stylistic retrospective of American dress styles from the 1850s to modern times.  Fascinating to see, and to read descriptions of, the evolving American dress styles through different cultural eras.

Secondly--we met up with our friend Greg and ate a late lunch (3 pm-ish) at wonderful Ethiopian restaurant (a first for Greg), before heading back towards the Penn Station area to catch our 5 pm bus.  It was wonderful to see and catch with him.  We have a common interest in health food issues, and I may actually end up doing a (weekalong?) juice fast with him! We're going to be following up with each other about that, so I'll let you know more details if it ends up happening.

So, I've rambled on for an hour now, and, though I feel my descriptions could have been more in-depth, personalized and evocative--oh well.  That's quite enough typing for one night! Suffice to say, we crammed a lot into our little trip--and a lot of yummy goodness into our little tummies--without feeling rushed or over-whelmed.  Yay! So, NYC was  a wonderful experience. :-)

More--and back to "normal" life--tomorrow!

No comments:

Post a Comment