Sunday, May 17, 2009

She took the midnight train going anywhere...

I have a love-hate relationship with the metro.  Love it because it is cheap (in one fell swoop I've taken care of most of my transportation needs for this whole trip) and hate it because OMG-WTF why am I in Brooklyn?  Right.  If I had known to read that flier I would know that the R (for rickety) wouldn't be stopping at Rector.  Or that the 2 and 3 line wouldn't be running during the weekend.  It's a good thing cab fare is cheaper in NYC than in Juneau because for the time I spent in that cab trying to explain to the cabby where on Wall Street before giving up and requesting that he drop me right there, I would have paid at least 50% more in Juneau.  Of course Juneau doesn't have traffic and it's pretty much impossible to not know where things are.  In Juneau I would say, "I live by the governor's mansion." and in NYC I get to say, "You know, the New York Stock Exchange?  The Trump building? WALL STREET?!?!?"

Friday I slept in, getting used to East Coast time.  I actually awoke at a reasonable time but then fell asleep again.  I then got to see Mr. D's office, the place that pays him enough to afford the apartment that costs more a month than I make.  We sat on the rooftop in the rooftop garden in the sunshine with a view of the tops of skyscrapers.  After that, I went to Greenwich village (again) and wandered.  I thought about going to a cute cafe, but it was too hot, then I went into a vintage clothing shop and looked at every dress that existed in the store.  While here, I got a call from Liebling inviting me to a happy hour at some place in the West Village.  I responded that I was close and to let me know when they were near and I'd meet them.  Then I realized I was in Greenwich Village and worried that I was not actually in the West Village and then walked and walked and walked and eventually ended up at the same place I started and discovered I really was pretty close.  I had to call and ask for the name of the place and its location again (just one block up and a few over from where I was) and still didn't know what it was actually called until I arrived.  Good thing happy hour meant margaritas and champagne and tequila with hibiscus!  After happy hour I went back to Liebling's place where we ordered in sushi and tried to watch a movie, but fell asleep.  She did, at least.  

Saturday morning Liebling and I made pancakes with another visitor to the apartment, Miss Taller A's friend Miss E.  After pancakes we went our separate ways, though Miss TA, Miss E and I were to meet up later.  We met at Ground Zero - which is really hard to see and to be depressed by since it is all blocked off with colorful vinyl.  We then went and walked halfway to Brooklyn.  On the bridge.  On the way back I ran into the groomsman I walked with at Miss MM's wedding in Wisconsin!  In a city of 8 or 9 million, what are the odds, right?  Wait - I just laid down the odds.  Something like 1 in 8 or 9 million.  I guess not quite that since we're all hanging out in Manhattan, not Queens or something, but still sort of crazy.  Miss E and I watched more breakdancing (crazy tiny child spinning on his head and stuff) before the three of us headed to midtown to hit up the H&M before party time.

Now, I got sort of lost on the way to La Palapa, and that was just on foot.  Imagine how bad it can be when one combines weekend train schedules with my knack for getting lost along with a time to meet people, be it flexible.  I managed to wander around downtown Manhattan until well past my deadline to meet people, they then told me to meet them at Canal instead of Times Square.  I hopped on the 4 or the 5 but it only hits Canal late nights, apparently.  Then I was at Grand Central and had to shuttle to Times Square (why couldn't I have found that 30 minutes earlier?) and get on another train, this time guided strictly by Liebling and Miss TA.  I finally made it to Canal and Miss TA instructed me to stay where I was and she came and got me.  We had dinner in Little Italy, drinking sangria and eating heavy carbs, delish.  But then I had a massive food baby and barely had room for the Jameson and High Life I ordered at the Whiskey Tavern.  I wished for the food to digest while I sipped on the cheapest beer on the menu ($3 in NYC!!!) and wished that I could get drunk in a more efficient manner.  Can't beat that beer and shot special, though.  After another of these and prompted by some Neil Diamond, all four of us girls found ourselves perched upon the back of our booth seating belting out Sweet Caroline, beer in hand.  We were almost as ridiculous as the bachelorette party.  After the hits started dying down, we determined it would be time to attend the official birthday party of the girl whose happy hour we attended (I swear she looks just like Natalie Portman) and we hailed a couple cabs to take us to the Bowery.  The B Bar, where we met her, was enormous and had a pretty decent atmosphere but outrageously expensive drinks.  A double vodka soda with lime should never be $18, not unless someone declared prohibition all over again.  Or maybe if that vodka was amazing vodka distilled from potatoes or grapes or whatever that were fertilized with the manure of Kentucky Derby winners, distilled in golden casks, and blessed by the motha' effin' pope or Elton John or someone equally important.  Funny story though, at the B Bar I ran into another person I knew.  This girl I met visiting Miss L in Nante during my time abroad - we met again right when I turned 21 while she was visiting Miss L in Oregon.  In a city of 8 or 9 million, odds are 1 in that many(ish, and I meet TWO people I know.  Anyway, three overpriced drinks later, after some dancing in some side room and seeing two people all but going at it in a booth, we decided to head home.  Since I was nearer downtown than uptown, it was determined that it would be best for me to go to Mr. D's Wall Street place.  Liebling convinced me to get a cab, something for which I ought to thank her, since the weekend schedule makes all the routes go all funny.  Imagine if I were to end up in Brooklyn at 4:30 in the morning... Oh dear.

Today I slept sort of late and then decided to get out of Mr. D's hair.  I grabbed the loaner laptop (so much nicer than my own laptop) and wandered around.  I wandered past Ground Zero again (getting a slightly better glimpse) and then found myself in the World Financial Center or whatever, laughing because of the state of our world financiers, and trying to get out of there ASAP lest their awful luck rub off on me (because huge bonuses and Manhattan penthouses are awful luck).  I then discovered Battery Park and had some zen time, minus the sneezing, contemplating the Atlantic and literally thinking to myself that I liked the Pacific better.  After that I went to hunt down some free wifi, eventually giving in and going into a Starbucks only to find that their free wifi is only free once you've purchased the free wifi card (does that count as free?).  Whatever.  Jerks.  I gave up on that and found myself in SoHo (note how I find myself places and do not actually go to places) where I gazed at shops and eventually gave in and went into TopShop, feeling nostalgic for the time I accidentally spent $70 on a pair of shoes because of the friggin' British Pound.  I grew dismayed when there was an abundance of size 2 clothing and the largest size was an American 12 (UK 16, EU 44 - just to remind Americans that we're fat and in denial) but luckily the US 12 was just what I needed and I walked out with a sassy dress to wear for Liebling's birthday this coming weekend.  Even though I had to purchase the absolute largest size in the store, I was thankful that the store at least had that size and that I can continue to shop at NOT plus size stores.  Not sure why it even matters.  After that I decided I would walk until I found a train that hit Rector (since Wall is out of commission) and hopped on the R heading to downtown and Brooklyn, except it skipped downtown.  I noticed this when after Canal it didn't stop again, and how it got light and how I was looking at the friggin' Atlantic Ocean from the SUBWAY train.  So I went to Brooklyn.  Then I was distraught and got on the Q going to Manhattan, worried that I'd accidentally end up in Queens if I got on some of the other trains.  Then I ended up taking the Q all the way to Times Square because pretty much all the trains go there and I'd certainly find the right one.  But then not even the 1 train was running so I ended up getting back on the R heading to Brooklyn, planning to get off at Canal and walk the rest of the way back to Wall Street.  But then this train conductor/person/announcer announced that the R would hit all the stops headed to Manhattan and that if we took the train to De Kalb we could hop on the Manhattan bound and hit stops like South Ferry and Rector.  Better option.  

Finally, I made it home, having forgotten to eat and with sore feet.  But I made it.  Take that, MTA!  I did manage to catch a sunset going over the Manhattan bridge.  It was a lot of nice colors beyond those skyscrapers.  I wondered to myself if the jewel tone sunset might have something to do with the ridiculous air pollution.  Industry improving on nature?  Just kidding.

Tomorrow I'm meeting with a friend from college whom I visited last time I was in NYC.  Then I'm going to take a bus to DC on Tuesday, hopefully, and return by Thursday so I can go to a party hosted by a guy with whom I went to high school.  And then Friday ought to be another happy hour.  Then Saturday is Liebling's party.  Then Eventually I have to leave the East Coast.  I'll probably get to really liking it just in time to leave.

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