Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adventures in NYC

Last weekend I packed a backpack and headed off to NYC to play. Usually I drive to Brooklyn, but because I was meeting a friend near Grand Central and almost killed myself and everyone on the road last time I drove, I decided to take the train in.

The LIRR is an experience, to say the least. If you ever take the 2am train, which I did not this time thank goodness, it is full of drunk messes heading back to the suburbs. One time I was riding home a girl (woman?) peed herself because she was so drunk, making a nice yellow puddle on the train floor that slowly headed in my direction. It takes me 2 hours to take the train from Port Jefferson to Penn Station, though driving the same distance takes an hour and a half. As I've made a pact never to drive in NYC proper, this train ride is not so bad. I get a lot of reading done, homework, whatever. The most frustrating part is that the train goes so slow until I get to Huntington and change that a person on a bike could probably overtake it. I'm still not sure why that is, after 20+ years of riding this train. I'm going to assume it has to do with the fact that the train crosses so many roads that it's not allowed to speed up less it hits someone.

After arriving in Penn Station, I was greeted by the familiar mob of people running rapidly towards me. This would be overwhelming if I wasn't used to it: Penn Station is rather small for the number of people filtering through it each day and when that track number goes up on the timetable, they are OFF. Never mind that the train will sit there for 15 minutes before leaving, bitches want a good seat. New Yorkers like running, why else do you think they wear those Nike's with their business suits?

A really bad picture of outside Grand Central Station. It was really weird carrying a camera around when I'm not a tourist. Shall I say, a bit embarrassing? Whatever, I'm documenting!

The first thing I did in NYC, of course, was grab some Starbucks to caffeinate myself and then made the 20 minute walk to Grand Central Station. Starbucks in NYC is like McDonalds in the suburbs. It is not uncustomary to find two Starbucks exactly opposite each other on the same street. Clearly, it is too much work to beat it to the crosswalk to get your fix. before you judge me for not supporting my local coffee shop, hear this: On Long Island, where I live, there are no independent coffee shops. There are no independent anythings, except Italian restaurants. So, as I have loyally refilled my Rewards card to get free soymilk, ordering from Starbucks is virtually free. Well, free in that I have already paid for the drink by putting money on my card, so the lack of money exchange made it feel free. This is why I should never get a credit card, friends.

I met up with my friend Cobby from university, whom I met before I even arrived at Smith College 5 years ago. I hadn't seen her since my junior year, when we met up during my breakup-induced alcoholism. Needless to say, there was a lot of catching up to do. After a stint at a fancy, expensive place filled with business people, Cobby brought us over to a much less classy establishment (and better) establishment called Tequilaville, where we proceeded to get crunk on margaritas and munch on chips. We then took our respective commutes home, hers on the Metro North and mine on the subway to Brian's in Brooklyn. I made the mistake of buying beer in Brooklyn just because it had piggies on it and tried to convince Brian to go to a queer party in Williamsburg. It tasted like ass. And I failed.

The blurriness of this picture of Cobby and me is proportional to the amount of margarita in my body. American-sized portions for the win in this case!

Inside of Grand Central Station. I hope you've all seen this flashmob video that took place in GC station.

When my drunk ass got to Brian's, he fed us pickles! One benefit of NY pickles is that they're sour, not sweet like all the gross pickles I ate in Europe. I remember Colleen and I trying to decipher pickle jars for 15 minutes in Tesco in the CZ in hopes of finding sour ones. Fail.

Nick was really excited about his pickle.

Saturday, Brian, his friend Nick and I headed to their local coffee shop, Outpost, to which I already have a half-full frequent buyers card. Next it was off to Manhattan proper to go kayaking in the Hudson river for free! This was quite the adventure as it was relatively wavy for the little kayak (and I had only ever been canoeing before), but super fun! The downside is that I had to walk around Manhattan looking like I'd peed myself for several hours afterwards. Thus, not only was I walking around being judged by the hipsters in my baggy t-shirt and gym shorts, I was walking around with a wet ass. I did tempt fate though and brought my camera on ship to record our voyage as such:

Nick, braving the Hudson.

Brian and me. Shutup, the waves may not look big, but every time a boat went past we were attacked by its wake! Also, I am aware that sitting cross-legged is not proper Kayaking technique. Shh.

In an effort to dry my ass, I sat on the wooden bench hoping it would soak up remnants of the Hudson. I made my mark!

Nick pointing out that his ass mark has a penis.

Saturday night Dana was having a belated housewarming party, DJ'd by her awesome Australian friend Nat who she met in Australia, but has since moved to NYC. So we headed up and across to Harlem to check it out. The weird part, is that I'm pretty sure I drunkenly attended another party in NYC last summer in the exact same building that she lives in as the sense of deja vu I got while walking in was astounding. Strange. I spent the night hanging out, trying to figure out how to be a DJ and saving the lesbians (myself included) from Brian, who prefers boys but tends to turn to lesbians when drunk. I've never quite figured this out, but it proved an endless source of entertainment. By the end of the night I had had my share of Bucket, a mystery drink of Dana's that tastes like magic, but will have you shwasted and lives in a giant, you guessed it, Bucket. Thus, it was off to Brooklyn again to sleep!

Sarah and Dana

DJ Nat

On the way home, someone clearly got murdered against the subway wall at 145th Street.

Brian wasn't a fan of me taking awkward pictures late at night in the subway.

Sunday I was supposed to go to a German language meet-up in Alphabet City through couchsurfing, but it ended up not working out so I just got more coffee with Brian and helped him pot his plants. There was a tornado warning in effect all day, of all things, so I stalled a bit as my Mom frantically sent me text messages about my impending doom, before heading off to the train again in what turned out to be only a slight wind storm. However exciting a tornado would be, I'll take a wind storm over that every day. Have y'all seen Twister? That shit's fucked up.

Lolz. I found Germany.


  1. SOOOO FUNNY! I was at that Harlem party with you last summer! It was mucho fun :)... it was at that girl from Tyler's apt... the redhead.

  2. The train is diesel till H-town. They haven't electrified the lines east of there. I guess the diesel trains are just old technology, and slow.

  3. Oh and I watched a German movie today. Well, ~30 minutes of it - it was pretty boring.