Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New York, New York (and Long Island)

Where do I start to describe New York? Well no one pooped in the street, so it has that up on San Francisco.

I left Philly at 4ish, and drove towards New Jersey. Crossed the border and gas dropped a quarter, so I filled up and continued on a scenic route towards Atlantic City. Not much of a drive, about an hour tops. It really isn't a big state. I parked near the boardwalk (for free, points to Atlantic City) and strolled up and down it. There was a triathlon finishing up and there were some tired sweaty athletes, and lots of cheering families with sponsor logo cowbells that they jangled in support. It was hard to find a neon sign at the Trump Palace Whatever that didn't had a letter burned out. Lots of the neon was partially burned out. I recently heard a story that Showboat had closed down suddenly. I guess Atlantic City isn't doing so well.

After dark, I cruised up the Garden State Parkway, which was a toll road but the tolls ranged from seventy five cents to a buck fifty, which isn't bad at all compared to some that are six bucks for an hours worth of driving. Then BAM bridge toll into New York: $13!! Dang! And I got turned around and hit another bridge toll (there was construction on one bridge) (and it was actually the Holland tunnel, not a bridge, and I was deposited into New York, but it was 2:30am so it was mostly vacant streets and I just wanted to get outta there, but I got onto the Queens Bridge or something like that) and just all of it was bridges bridges bridges. When you go to an island, you gotta cross a bridge. But no more tolls! Hurray! I camped out in a Wal Mart and then in the morning I went to Carly's house (after dropping off my parking fee from Philly). Carly, like many, lives with her parents. But her ma Jeanette and pa Jim were very nice. Jeanette treated us to diner food even! I gobbled down some eggs benedict. Carly took me to Sunken Meadow State Beach Park Place Thingy and we walked along the beach and boardwalk. Then there was much lounging at the house and watching TV. Tomorrow we went into THE CITY. NEW YORK CITY. THE BIG APPLE PLACE.

8:30 get out of bed to get to the train station for the 9:30 into the city. It is a longish train ride on the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road), with a transfer in Huntington. They need a bullet train. And to think many people make this ride every day as their commute! But I drove from San Francisco to Santa Cruz for a few weeks....but that was until I moved. Most can't move into New York.

So! New York! We arrived at Penn Station, and it was hustling, but Carly lead the way and we met up with her friend Thomas who then lead the way. And being lead around New York is great, because people generally know where they are going and then you aren't just standing and looking at a map and wondering and trying to figure stuff out. A sense of purpose goes a long way. So we were lead onto the street, and in describing New York I can only really say it was a big city. Big buildings, lots of cars, lots of people. We went through a bit of Chinatown and there was a fishmonger with live crabs getting shuffled about in their basket, and a live lobster too, but not in a tank. And people selling toys from stalls, and souvenirs, and fashionable people were everywhere! Lots of ladies in dresses and men in suits. I was wearing my Arizona necklace (this nice one I got from a stand on the side of the road in Arizona), and a black tank and a bit of makeup, so I wasn't totally a ruffian, but still way outdressed by the hoi polloi.

We met up with a fourth friend, Denise, and we all went to Joe's Shanghai. Though there was some subway taking. Down into the subway! Metro card purchasing! Going through the turn thingy and going on one train then transferring! How exciting. And easy because Thomas knew where we were going. Joe's Shanghai was a crowded place and our six person table had two more people added to it, but that is fine. We ordered dumplings and some noodles and food and gobbled the tasty dumplings down. I burned my mouth only a little bit. The restaurant had photos of the owner with famous people who had eaten there: Jake Gyllenhaall, Jessie Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Michael Cera. A very nummy experience. Juice was procured, though I opted out. We stood in Jamba Juice for a while enjoying the A/C. New York was hot today. High 80's. Though not as bad as Florida. Nothing will ever be as bad as Florida's heat. How can people stand it? My bug bites are still healing, but are almost gone.

Denise was walked to work and then we parted ways. One more subway later and we were at The Met! Which is an awesome museum because hey: suggested donation admittance! We each paid a buck and that was that. Oh what a museum! Thomas left at 3:30ish and Carly and I were ushered out at 5:15 at closing time.

I saw George Washington Crossing the Delaware, more Eakins and Homer, more Van Gogh, Matisse, Sargent, I discovered the work of Lilly Martin Spencer. Yay for a new lady in an art museum on top of the old regulars. We also saw some funny ugly renaissance babies. The Garry Winogrand exhibit was happening, and I saw the art book from the exhibit at Wilson's, so that is another example of repetition and foreshadowing in this journey of mine. It's building upon itself! The museum was even bigger than the Philadelphia Museum of Art, but with cheap admittance one could easily return many times...provided they live in New York. But yeah! I was happy I got to see that.

We got some snacks and walked around. Went into Cental Park for a bit and I was all "I'm in Central Park!" Though it didn't really hit me all the way that I'm in New York. Maybe because I was visiting with the confidence of my companions, so that it didn't feel so daunting and huge. It was still huge. I'll be back, but hopefully when I'm famous and invited to a convention or something.

On the way back both our phones died, but we knew enough to know where to get to a subway station and based on a map which routes to take, and then we undertook the 9 block hot trot to the LIRR station from Times Square. The train back left every hour on the :20 and last time we checked a clock was a while ago, so we weren't sure if we were going to miss it, or if we had half an hour. So yeah, we did a medium job to the station and arrived sweaty and hot and frazzled and it was 8 o'clock! And the train was delayed till 8:40! So we had plenty of time to catch our breath, grab some food at the station, and then call home via payphone to let Jeanette know what train we will be on. Trial and tribulations and it all worked out, hurray!

At home we sat and sat and then slept and slept. Jeanette went to a bakery and brought back this chocolate epic chocolate thing for me! I just said surprise me when she was making the order and she sure did. Later on we got McDonald's. Now Carly and I are going to drive out to Montauk and see whats up with there. It's a nice day for a bit of a drive. I'll be seeing Elnora soon. There might be some camping tonight. Or some sleeping in car... either way, I'll figure it out.

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