The big City! Lights, camera, action, etc, etc. And so it goes…
After Joe had fully recovered with nearly 12 hours of sleep post-drunken wedding debacle (see yesterday’s post) he was up way before me, much to my annoyance. He likes to talk loud and poke me, because he’s an asshole. We had tickets for a 9 am train to Penn Station, so we headed to the incredibly quaint and adorable Poughkeepsie Amtrak station. Apparently upstate NY is a beacon of quaint/adorable/lovely decor, at least according to my descriptions. I need to learn some new adjectives.
I loved the train ride-beautiful scenery lazily floating by for an hour and a half….Ohio, listen up! Get on that train-building stat! It would truly be amazing if central Ohio built some train tracks, but I digress.
Since we arrived on Memorial Day, it was sort of crazy. Like I said, both Joe and I have been to New York before, so our trip was more about chilling out and enjoying our time in the city, but we also had to avoid some of the more obvious crowds on Monday. First, we strolled down to Battery Park and put Joe’s parents on a boat out to see the Statue of Liberty. The line for the regular ferry was over 2 hours long(!) so we were NOT down for that one, although I would have enjoyed a sunshiney ride. Later we made our way uptown, hung out in Harlem where my dear friend Staci (we met in the islands) lives, chilled in Central Park, and ate some badass Thai food. Ah yes, and drank some sangria at a Beer Garden in Queens. Yay for holidays!
So, Staci is a wonderful young lady whom I love and who lived across the path from me back when we both taught in the Marshall Islands. Back then we both looked like this :
Now she, at least, looks like this:
And you all know what I look like 🙂
It’s so strange and yet comfortable to spend time with old friends that you haven’t seen in awhile. While Staci and I were drinking our sangria and chatting it up at the beer garden, it was brought up that neither of us had ever even spoken to each other since we’ve both been on American soil-Staci stayed another year in the RMI after I left, so we’ve mostly just corresponded via email/facebook and sending each other boxes to South Korea and the Islands, respectively. Not to mention the fact that we’d never hung out while wearing our normal, shoulder-baring, free-spirit American lady clothes! (Those Marshallese are pretty modest, if you can’t tell by our garb from the photos). Strange, strange strange. But great, and warm-fuzzy feeling inducing. I love reunions with awesome people!
Tuesday was just as nice, but slightly less sunny. Good for my already sunburnt skin though, and ripe for more city wandering. We spent some more time in Central Park and I finally got around to seeing Strawberry Fields, the memorial to John Lennon. It’s located right across the street from the Dakota, the building where John and Yoko lived, and in front of which John was murdered. It’s a very cool building, coincidentally.
After the bit of Central Park, which is how we started the day, we began a long, LONG trek of walking all around the damn city. See, Joe had suggested that we go see the Flatiron Building, which I was totally down for because it’s awesome. But Joe had no idea where it was. And didn’t tell me that until after we’d gotten off the subway on Canal Street and just started walking. The dude is terrible with directions to begin with, let alone when he isn’t even trying. There was a tiff, I assure you. But it was all alright, and we stopped to take silly pictures at different points, and if you can’t fight with a best friend because he doesn’t know how to read a map, well then who can you fight with?
The biggest “NYC” type of thing we did on this trip was catch a show on Broadway. And it was a big ‘un too! We saw West Side Story at the Palace Theater, and the show was pretty great. The cast was great-Anita and Bernardo were my favorite, as they’ve always been in the movie-and the girl playing Maria was only 21 years old! Stuff like that makes me feel old. And unaccomplished. But all of the actors playing the Puerto Ricans were native Spanish speaking, most of them Venezuelan, so there was a ton of lines spoken in Spanish, and half of Maria’s “I feel pretty” was sung in Spanish as well. It was a wonderful show. And then afterwards I picked up a dancing Statue of Liberty for the bf-ya know, like any good girlfriend would.
And then, unfortunately Wednesday was time for another long drive home. It went quickly, with plenty of mix tapes and red bull to keep the party going.
Now, again, I’m packing my things up for a summer abroad. Or rather I SHOULD be packing my things, but I haven’t begun yet. Flight to the UK on Tuesday. Friends and mother popping by to visit and say goodbye for a few months over the weekend. And then-reunion with my man! Hope he likes his dancing Statue of Liberty…