Monday, June 28, 2010

Central Park!

Rowing in Central Park
My absolute favorite thing that we did was visiting Central Park, and renting rowboats for the Central Park lake. What a fricking steal at $12 for an hour! Plus, we got to interact with the surly boat dude! In all honesty, I was bowled over by the verdant scenery and the skyline and it was so peaceful and ohmygah. Clarence's idea and an excellent one at that. We stayed and dined at a little cafe in the Park for dinner.

Times Square!
I've never been. It was exactly as I thought. We also stopped in the M&Ms store to look at overpriced product. As Clarence so aptly put it (paraphrasing), "I don't know whether I should be proud or ashamed of being American for all of this branding and consumerism prowess."

Sunday morning we spent in Clarence's neighborhood (the Columbia U area) where we brunched, ate gelato, and ogled pastries before heading to Times Square.

Grace hooked it up for Sunday. She scored us tickets to Human Rights Watch's screening of "Restrepo" where the filmmakers were there for a question an answer afterward. The film was excellent and although we got some stank eye for using George's saved space in line for seating, all turned out well. The movie was excellent. It was also my first time seeing the Lincoln Center, where the film was shown. After the film, we took some photos on the heightened grass lawn area in the Lincoln Center.

Walking Across the Brooklyn Bridge

From Coney Island, on Saturday, Clarence suggested to make our way to be able to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. We did so at dusk, and it was positively lovely. Clarence, his brother Clint, Todd, Grace and I made our way. Afterwards, we found a Chinese restaurant in the East Village and ate a whole bunch of g.d. Chinese food.

Um Yeah

I realize that I had made a resolution to blog more and then *did not touch the blog for six months.* Lame. This past work year has been brutal and demanding, though, and the last thing I wanted to do was to get online and blog during my free time.

Now, however, it is summer and I have plenty of free time. I'm working a couple of hours weekly these next couple of months, but it's mostly going to be relaxing, working out, cooking and basically finding time to catch up.

I am also hoping to start a Saturday Night Project, in which I post photos of my Saturday night activities every week. It's a good way to record my life and remember what was going on at whatever time.

But, first, I should talk about NY. We arranged the trip to visit Grace and Clarence and planned to leave on my last day of work for a long weekend. There was a monstrous storm in Chicago right before we got on the El to O'Hare, but we sailed through security and boarded the plane with no delay which was shocking. This was all to sit on the runway for two hours, though, since there was a back up of flights taking off. We got into LaGuardia at around midnight and took a short 20 cab ride to Grace's East Village studio where she generously offered up her bed to us.

New York was great. It's such a frenetic city, but each time I visit, I like it a little more. This time, I liked it the most. Some highlights of the visit by time line:

1. Saturday we took the train to Coney Island to meet up with Jenny and Jay for Coney Island's famed Mermaid Parade. It was...something. The pros: experiencing and seeing the breeze and sights on Coney Island's boardwalk, seeing Jenny and Jay again, and the sunny weather. Cons: the crowd. Oh lord, was it crowded. Like, confusingly and outrageouously crowded. The parade was charming (mermaid costumes...anyone can enter...lots of BP themes), but it did not warrant the packed crowds that it produced in my opinion. We spent a good portion of the time trying to get through the crowd, and it was a little untenable. Overall, it was a equal parts interesting, annoying, and comical. We managed to squeeze into some tables at Nathan's Hot Dogs afterwards, where Todd tried his first Coney Island dog and I sipped a gargantuan diet coke.