So exactly one week after I left San Francisco, I found myself in New York City… again, for exactly one-and-a-half days. You know, these short-short vacations are exhausting… what am I doing to myself???? Specifically, I went to NYC because I had longstanding tickets to the Jon Stewart Show, and I wasn’t going to skip out of this occasion because of some measly trip across campus… And it gave yet another excuse to punish my cat (and the cat-sitter) for existing in the first place.
(I’m not going to write about my experiences at the Jon Stewart show today… It deserves another blog posting.)
So I didn’t bother to unpack between trips. A set of clothes were stuffed into a backpack along with my toiletries. I left early Monday morning, boarding the Bolt Bus to NYC… a luxurious 4 1/2 hour bus ride. Unfortunately, my seat partner was an African who erroneously decided to bring his breakfast on board… I wasn’t ready to smell his spicy pita-ish concoction at 9 in the morning… it would be like me bringing curry on board. And oops! He accidently spilled some on the floor… It stunk up the entire bus… the ENTIRE duration of our ride.
Otherwise, it was an uneventful trip. We arrived in New York at 1:15, and I immediately caught a cab to the Jon Stewart Show studio to stand in line on one of the hottest days of the year thus far. After an hour or so of cursing and sweating, I received my golden ticket, and we were let go to cruise around town until show time. I was quite excited to finally eat lunch at my favorite sushi place in NYC and then check into my hotel before coming back.
So I ended up eating lunch next door. After I ordered, I noticed that their A/C wasn’t working. *Sigh* Sweat has permeated through my clothes by the time I left for the hotel.
I was relieved when I walked into my hotel… it was (very) air conditioned. I checked in quickly, fully expecting that I would receive a standard NYC sized room for the Priceline price that I paid… a closet with a view of the bricks of the next building.
I wanted to spend more time in the marbled-tiled abode that was bigger than my living and dining room combined… alas, my date with Jon Stewart called. I stood in line again on one of the hottest days of the year, but it was worth it. After the show, utterly exhausted from hurrying up, waiting and sweating, I walked straight to my hotel room and lounged… and promptly went to bed on my 3,000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets.
As soon as I woke up, I turned on the Weather Channel. Unfortunately, the weather was going to stay the same. Welcome to Summer on the East Coast! Knowing that I would be walking all day before I got on the bus to go home, I sighed, got ready and checked out of my palace… making sure that my deodorant was close by for *ahem* ‘touchups’.’
Like San Francisco, I had no formal agenda planned. I have been to NYC so many times that touristy sites had no interest for me. My goal was to meet a friend for lunch, and then… shop… clothing, clothing, clothing! I love going to SoHo and picking out my wardrobe for the next season… there are garments there that you won’t find anywhere else in the Nation. It’s not like I’ll be walking out the door one day and encounter somebody with the same outfit as me.
And sadly, I wanted to hit K-Mart too. As someone who chooses to be carless, a Target run takes a full half day in DC with the buses/subways, etc. If I can buy my supplies in NYC in 15 minutes or less, it’s well worth the $30 bus fare in itself.
I was forced *sigh* to walk through Times Square, on my way to meet a friend for lunch Midtown. On one corner, I saw at least 50-75 people in line… a line that was winding its way onto one of the side streets. Thinking this must be a super duper tourist attraction, I looked up.
At the end of Times Square, another line was slowly winding itself down the block. A bit more jaded, I looked up again…
Afterwards, I launched my adventure. I walked from Times Square to Midtown, where I joined up with my friend and caught up. Afterwards, I subway-ed into Chinatown for my cheap $2 nightshirts (I Love NYC, ya’ll!) and meandered my way up to Midtown for my bus home, stopping into boutiques along the way to shop and/or to cool down. And I’m happy to report that I did buy some very cute clothes to show off at my next grand outing.
But before I end my travel journal, a trip to NYC is never complete without a stop at Union Square. You hit it after SoHo/NoHo, walking towards Midtown. It is a true microcosm of New York freakiness: colorful, amusing homeless people, ne’er to do kids with absolutely nothing to do but lob water balloons at unsuspecting loungers (I would have welcomed a water balloon splashed on me that day, but it was not to be…), and work-a-day grunts that bought take-out from Whole Foods across the street. Everybody mingles together, out of some “We are the World” video… not like everywhere else, where the homeless talks to themselves and/or yells at you, the kids talk smack… well they’re the same… and everyone else stares at both in horror. No, in Manhattan, and particularly in Union Square more than any other part of town I’ve encountered, everybody’s chill. I felt sad about leaving my little utopia, but on my way out, I was high-fived my a homeless guy wearing every set of clothes that he owns, riding a tricycle. That gave me hope for the world…
Like San Francisco, I could really see myself living in NYC at some point in the future. As I said before will see…