Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lightship Frying Pan

Oh the joys of a Holiday weekend. One where I didn't have to beg, borrow and steal to get free time is even better! Laura and my good friend Prospect from our RC days came to visit all the way from Ohio and we have been very busy. Friday we intended to go see the Statue of Liberty, but when we got there the weather was gross and the line was very very long. There was a street show nearby and Laura got roped into being jumped over by street performers so that was pretty terrific. We will try again for Lady Liberty on Monday morning.
Laura, about to be jumped, in the street show.

We decided to head to midtown instead, to see Laura's friend Jessica, also from RC, who recently moved to the city. Jessica's apartment has a terrific balcony and we sat out there all afternoon, drinking wine and watching the Sailors and Marines walk back and forth. It is Fleet Week in Manhattan. After drinking we went to Five Napkin Burger for supper, but I don't have eating out money so I just got an order of 'Tater Tots' which turned out to be some sort of potato fritter hushpuppy and nothing like the things you are thinking of.
Wine in the afternoon on Jessica and Peter's balcony

Afterward we headed home. Laura and Prospect went to 773 but I decided to go home as I don't have beer money either.

I had to work today, which was no fun. After that I felt gross and ugly but Laura was texting that she and Prospect were at a restaurant in Korea Town and headed to an explorable boat park. I didn't know we had a Korea Town here! I met them at the restaurant and we headed to 26th and 12th. This location was familiar to me, as you may remember, from Cinco De Mayo. Remember when I tried to meet Rachel at an address that turned out to be out in the Hudson River. I knew it was a bar but it turned out to be so much more!

The Lightship Frying Pan is a party boat, docked on the Hudson. Its a barge, a lightship and, right now, a fire boat, kind of hitched together and used as a bar. If you haven't yet you really should click the link and read about it because guess what: it USED to be SUNKEN and they pulled it back up and now its a bar! Go look! I'll wait. Ok welcome back. So the weird thing is there you are on a formerly sunken ship/rust bucket/bar which is just crazy but very cool, but everyone else acts like its totally normal. People all over the boats were just sitting, drinking, talking, being regular, but we were on a rusty creaky, creepy, formerly sunken boat. Laura, Prospect and I combed the whole place and it was really freaky and wonderful. A floating scary basement, and we all know how I feel about scary basements!
Scary jars with things suspended in liquids, for no reason evident to anybody

Of course, every formerly sunken boat bar needs a bootleg piano

...and a DJ booth!

...and a caboose?!?

After that we headed home to recoup before embarking on a totally AWESOME second half of Memorial Day Weekend by going down to Coney!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Elton John Was Wrong

"I thought I knew, but now I know that rose trees never grow in New York City."

Roses are EVERYWHERE in our beautiful neighborhood. I always thought roses were hard to keep so I wonder if they begin to thrive when they are older because these roses don't seem to need any help. They are huge and lush and busting all over with fat blooms. Its late May so it shouldn't be any surprise that things are feeling summery. It really seems like summer has been holding out on us this year though, so the warm sunshine I saw today on my walk to the liquor store and drug store was lovely and welcome.

Does anyone out there know what the kids do in NYC when the weather gets hot? So far we have the park, the beaches at Coney Island and I guess a fire hydrant if Sesame Street is any indication. Anyone know of pools you could go to? Anyone know anyone with a roof? We're definitely accepting any tips.

Today, once I finish my pitcher of iced tea, I'm going to make my first pitcher of sangria. Cointreau is expensive so it better be amazing. I'll report back.

Concert List

Because I was talking about this with Jake last night, and because Gmail is an imperfect place to store such information: Here is a list of all the acts I've seen in concert over the years.

Ricky Scaggs
Kenny Chesney
Moxy Fruvous
Barenaked Ladies
Guster (x3)
Carbon Leaf (x6)
Ben Folds (x3)
Weezer (x2)
Tenacious D (x2)
Jimmy Eat World
Dashboard Confessional
Pete Yorn
Remy Zero
311 (x2)
Nappy Roots
2 Skinnee J's (x2)
Something Corporate (x2)
Bacon Brothers
Har Mar Superstar
Bowling For Soup
33 West
All American Rejects
The Ataris
Simon and Garfunkel
Phantom Planet
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Less Than Jake
The Virginia Coalition
Counting Crows
John Mayer (x4)
G Love and the Special Sauce
Better Than Ezra
Jessica Simpson
Cyndi Lauper
Maroon 5
Trace Adkins
Dave Matthews Band
Sheryl Crow
Ben Lee
Jefferson Starship
Scythian (x4)
Flogging Molly
Fools and Horses
The Reflex (x?)
Cross Canadian Ragweed
Souled Out (x?)
Harper Simon
Michael Franti and Spearhead
The Roots
Talib Kweli
Naughty By Nature
John Legend

Sunday, May 23, 2010

So a Photographer Walks Into a Dentist's Office...

...and gets her filling replaced. Sorry, not a funny joke. A couple of nights ago I was flossing my teeth and popped one of my fillings out. At least I hoped it was a filling; it was tooth colored and alarmingly tooth-like but also a perfect little square and since my teeth didn't hurt or anything I assumed it was a filling. Anyway I grabbed a bus back to VA on Wednesday night to go see my cousin Heather and get that sucker fixed.

I saw Dr Heather on Thursday morning and then visited my old workplace for a little while. It was terrific seeing all the kids and my old coworkers again. Highlights were all the two year olds remembering me right away, Elaina telling me she loved me, and Ainsley spotting me down the hall and remembering me. Good to know they haven't all already forgotten who I was! Everything looked good there and most everyone was happy to see me. I missed my old boss Stacey so I called her on my way out and asked her to have drinks with me later that day.

Mom and Jake and I decided to have lunch at Cristina's Cafe in town. Our food was delicious and the owners; Wendy and Crissy stopped by our table to chat. We were all friends from my Koo Koo News days. After lunch Jake and I took a walk around town and then headed home to get ready for drinks with Stacey.

At 6:30 we met Stacey at Brewbakers where we were immediately treated to free beers from some Bud Light girls. Thanks! We sat and chatted for hours. It was great to catch up with Stacey and hear all about her new house and how things are going for her and tell her about life in NYC.

Friday morning I got up before Jake to make him his breakfast in bed. In case you hadn't heard already, I lost a bet with Jake and the stakes were breakfast in bed for the winner cooked by the loser. I lost and am here to tell you everybody does not like the Michael Jackson song 'Black or White' better than the song 'Smooth Criminal'. Anyway I had gotten a little grandiose with my menu planning as I was sure my victory was a lock. I had to make him stuffed french toast (with strawberries and cream cheese) and bacon. I got so wrapped up in the process of slicing and stuffing and frying I completely forgot to expect it to taste good. It was divine!! Everybody won in the end.

Finally it was back to the bus to get back to NYC and work on Saturday. I love being home in VA and miss everyone and everything very much. A little snafu occurred when my bus was an hour and half late to pick me up so I didn't get home until 4 in the morning, but I did get home.

Also, I've been entering photography contests lately. I entered four photos to one with a theme of 'Happiness' and am scouring my files for the perfect picture for a 'Baby' theme contest this week. The prizes for these contests will help me reach my goal of getting a digital SLR, the right camera to make my photography stand out when I'm not at work using proper equipment. None of my Happiness photos were chosen but I think they were great anyway and have gotten some feedback from other entrants in the contest. Wish me luck and if you happen to see any other contests feel free to let me know!

One of my 'Happiness' submissions

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Edgar Family Visits NYC

Amy and Jason and their two kids Easton and Bluebell came to NYC to see me this weekend. We had an absolute blast. I was amazed at how much the Edgar's were willing to do. They made a list and I was really looking forward to doing some of the things on it but I assumed that with two small kids we'd be lucky to do a couple touristy things each day of their visit. Not so. We did everything on the list. Here's the rundown:

Saturday Night the Edgar's arrived around supper time. I met them at their hotel here in Brooklyn, where they checked in and dropped off some stuff. They were ready to go even after a long car trip so we decided to take the subway back to my apartment and get some supper at Picket Fence. Picket Fence never disappoints and Amy and Jason loved the macaroni and loved Brooklyn Lager too. After supper I rode them back to their hotel on the subway so they could rest up for a day at Coney Island.

Sunday I met them at their hotel in time for free breakfast. We all ate together and then headed to Target to get a second umbrella stroller and then on the Coney Island Q by lunchtime. Easton and Bluebell loved the train ride and we were all cheerful and ready for a big day at Coney. As soon as we walked out of the subway Jason mentioned that he thought now was a good time for a hot dog. Nobody argued. We all got Nathan's and had a nice lunch at the outdoor tables in the sunshine. After hot dogs and corn dogs we walked toward the amusements and Amy and Jason took the kids on the carousel in the kiddie park. Then Easton rode a train ride by himself which he kind of liked, and a submarine ride with Bluebell which he did not like. We played some games and then Amy and I rode the Wonder Wheel.

Lunch at Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs

Amy on the Wonder Wheel

After rides and games we decided to walk along the boardwalk awhile and then out to the pier. On the boardwalk we stopped into a gift shop called Lola Star which had lots of really cool coney island stuff. I loved everything in there and then I found a floaty pen. I got so excited I bought four! I never want to be without one. It even had the Wonder Wheel on it. Floaty pen + Ferris Wheel = Happy Katy. The pier was bustling with locals fishing, sunning themselves and chatting in various accents. We even saw a couple and crew making some sort of wedding video on location. After all that sunshine we all decided we could go for a little ice cream. I thought the family must be getting tired so I was really surprised when they decided they were ready to take the train back to Manhattan and see the lights of Times Square!

Wonder Wheel Floaty Pen!

Bluebell looking cool at Coney

We took a nice long subway ride and I made sure we sat so we could see the Brooklyn bridge from the window as well as the Masstransiscope. We came out of the train in Times Square and there we were in the middle of everything. Amy and Jason really liked it. Times Square is something to see and if we weren't so hungry I don't know if Amy ever would have stopped walking and taking pictures. We stopped in Sephora for Amy and Toys R Us and a souvenir stand. Amy took pictures of horses and taxis and lights lights lights. The kids took it all in and I feel like the strollers kept the comedy show guys at bay. We didn't get one offer. After lots of walking and seeing we were all hungry, tired and kind of queasy. We decided to go to Ruby Tuesdays for salads and water and then back to Brooklyn for some much needed rest.

Jason and Amy in Times Square

Monday morning I met them for that free breakfast again and then we got everything together and headed to the Brooklyn Bridge. I was really excited because I have been wanting to walk across it for a while and had recently watched a documentary about how it was built. We started in Brooklyn and walked across, stopping often for this or that or to take pictures. I loved it. The bridge is lots of fun, with beautiful views and tons of people coming and going. It was beautiful weather. The kids were content and there was lots to see.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge

Once we got to Manhattan we took the 6 train to Midtown and stopped for lunch at Prime Burger. The price was right, especially for midtown, and the food was terrific. After lunch I took the Edgars to Rockefeller Center to see the Today Show window and NBC studios.

Outside the Today Show window

Next we walked further uptown to FAO Schwartz. Amy and Jason got Easton an NYC Taxi matchbox car and Bluebell an alphabet book of artwork from the Met. We spent a long time in the toy store browsing.

We were starting to fade, not to mention feeling some sore tired feet. We came out to go see the park but first stopped to drink some sodas on a bench. We were sitting right by the Plaza where the Central Park horse carriages wait for riders and Amy and Jason started discussing buying a carriage ride. We all thought it would be fun and a nice break to have a ride and I was very happy when they decided to go for it. Its definitely something I always wanted to do and never thought I'd be able to. The carriage ride was wonderful. We took a loop through the bottom part of the park and saw some of the sights of Central Park. The driver told us what different buildings were and what places were featured in the movies. My favorite part was when he pointed to the zoo and said the Central Park zoo was featured in the movie 'Madagascar'. We also rode past a huge corporate event hosted by the Fox network. We saw a paparazzi line and tons of camera flashes as Escalades pulled up to bring famous people to the network party.

Carriage Ride in Central Park

When the ride was over Amy and Jason wanted to walk in the park for a while so I took them back they way the carriage had gone so I could walk them up to the Bethesda Fountain. We walked by the Fox tents again but we still didn't see any famous people. The walk was beautiful as usual but the fountain was covered in scaffolding and drained. Yuck. Everything else was great though.

After all that we all decided we were ready to call it a day and go back to Brooklyn for pizza and beer at their hotel. We finished off their trip with Brooklyn Lager and New York pizza and Laura had a chance to stop by and see the babies too.

Amy and Jason were such great visitors and they have the best behaved kids around. They're all welcome to come back anytime. There must be something we haven't done yet, although I can't think of a thing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rain Boot Love

So awhile back I posted a blog that extolled my appreciation for my rain boots. The very next day they leaked while I was walking in a rain or snow storm. I was very sad and had very very wet socks. Then I began to search for awesome rain boots to rival the coolness of my old ones. That didn't happen so I got some plain ones. Here they are:

After that I took them to my friend Shannon at work. I asked her if she would like to graffiti them for me to make them unique and she told me to consider it done. I was so excited. I told Shannon she could honestly do whatever she liked but I wouldn't be sad if they said Brooklyn somewhere on them and that I love Ferris Wheels. She didn't disappoint. Today I got them and I'm crazy about them. I'll let the pictures tell the rest. After she gave them to me at today's staff meeting we did a little photo shoot for them and the pictures are so fun. They were taken in the studio where I work!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Katy and Katy take Manhattan (pt.1)

Today was my very dear friend Katy S's birthday! Her girlfriend Sam brought her to NYC for a semi-surprise birthday gift. I love visitors but I was crazy excited to see Katy as we are partners-in-crime at times and we always have a blast together. We met up yesterday evening and took a taxi (always a treat for me) downtown to go to a bar Katy had heard about called The Cubby Hole. The bar was a really fun lesbian bar with lots of kitsch on the ceiling and amazing drink specials. We sat around catching up for a bit and then went next door for a burger. I got the Bistro Burger at a place called Corner Bistro and was definitely one of the top five burgers I've ever eaten,. Wow! I have to make sure to go back there sometime. Plus: the burger was only like $6 and had bacon and cheese! What?!

After eating we headed back to The Cubby Hole and celebrated Katy's birthday until the early morning.

Katy wants to go to Coney Island and I insisted they come back for a visit over the summer when they can stay longer and we'll stay at my place and go to Coney. Can't WAIT!

Friday, May 7, 2010

I Was One of a Crowd

Something I surely inherited from my mother is a love for public broadcasting. If you know me and have spent any time with me I'm sure you've heard me quote NPR. I seem to do it every day. Since I've moved to New York I've been seeking out information and history about New York City everywhere and have found a lot of great documentaries done by PBS. I've been watching, and really enjoying, their New York series of eight documentaries especially. I've just finished watching Episode 2 which deals mostly about the 1863 Draft Riot. Something that really stood out to me from that episode was a poem written by Walk Whitman. Whitman was a native New Yorker, and witness to the city's early growth. He wrote this poem to future New Yorkers. A portion of the poem was read during the film but I looked it up and thought I'd share it with you.

Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Flood-tide below me! I see you face to face!
Clouds of the west--sun there half an hour high--I see you also face
to face.
Crowds of men and women attired in the usual costumes, how curious
you are to me!
On the ferry-boats the hundreds and hundreds that cross, returning
home, are more curious to me than you suppose,
And you that shall cross from shore to shore years hence are more
to me, and more in my meditations, than you might suppose.


The impalpable sustenance of me from all things at all hours of the day,
The simple, compact, well-join'd scheme, myself disintegrated, every
one disintegrated yet part of the scheme,
The similitudes of the past and those of the future,
The glories strung like beads on my smallest sights and hearings, on
the walk in the street and the passage over the river,
The current rushing so swiftly and swimming with me far away,
The others that are to follow me, the ties between me and them,
The certainty of others, the life, love, sight, hearing of others.

Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and the
heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence, others
will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the
falling-back to the sea of the ebb-tide.


It avails not, time nor place--distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so many
generations hence,
Just as you feel when you look on the river and sky, so I felt,
Just as any of you is one of a living crowd, I was one of a crowd,
Just as you are refresh'd by the gladness of the river and the
bright flow, I was refresh'd,
Just as you stand and lean on the rail, yet hurry with the swift
current, I stood yet was hurried,
Just as you look on the numberless masts of ships and the
thick-stemm'd pipes of steamboats, I look'd.

I too many and many a time cross'd the river of old,
Watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls, saw them high in the air
floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies,
Saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies and left
the rest in strong shadow,
Saw the slow-wheeling circles and the gradual edging toward the south,
Saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
Look'd at the fine centrifugal spokes of light round the shape of my
head in the sunlit water,
Look'd on the haze on the hills southward and south-westward,
Look'd on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
Look'd toward the lower bay to notice the vessels arriving,
Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops, saw the ships at anchor,
The sailors at work in the rigging or out astride the spars,
The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender
serpentine pennants,
The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilothouses,
The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels,
The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sunset,
The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the
frolic-some crests and glistening,
The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer, the gray walls of the
granite storehouses by the docks,
On the river the shadowy group, the big steam-tug closely flank'd on
each side by the barges, the hay-boat, the belated lighter,
On the neighboring shore the fires from the foundry chimneys burning
high and glaringly into the night,
Casting their flicker of black contrasted with wild red and yellow
light over the tops of houses, and down into the clefts of streets.


These and all else were to me the same as they are to you,
I loved well those cities, loved well the stately and rapid river,
The men and women I saw were all near to me,
Others the same--others who look back on me because I look'd forward
to them,
(The time will come, though I stop here to-day and to-night.)


What is it then between us?
What is the count of the scores or hundreds of years between us?

Whatever it is, it avails not--distance avails not, and place avails not,
I too lived, Brooklyn of ample hills was mine,
I too walk'd the streets of Manhattan island, and bathed in the
waters around it,
I too felt the curious abrupt questionings stir within me,
In the day among crowds of people sometimes they came upon me,
In my walks home late at night or as I lay in my bed they came upon me,
I too had been struck from the float forever held in solution,
I too had receiv'd identity by my body,
That I was I knew was of my body, and what I should be I knew I
should be of my body.


It is not upon you alone the dark patches fall,
The dark threw its patches down upon me also,
The best I had done seem'd to me blank and suspicious,
My great thoughts as I supposed them, were they not in reality meagre?
Nor is it you alone who know what it is to be evil,
I am he who knew what it was to be evil,
I too knitted the old knot of contrariety,
Blabb'd, blush'd, resented, lied, stole, grudg'd,
Had guile, anger, lust, hot wishes I dared not speak,
Was wayward, vain, greedy, shallow, sly, cowardly, malignant,
The wolf, the snake, the hog, not wanting in me.
The cheating look, the frivolous word, the adulterous wish, not wanting,

Refusals, hates, postponements, meanness, laziness, none of these wanting,
Was one with the rest, the days and haps of the rest,
Was call'd by my nighest name by clear loud voices of young men as
they saw me approaching or passing,
Felt their arms on my neck as I stood, or the negligent leaning of
their flesh against me as I sat,
Saw many I loved in the street or ferry-boat or public assembly, yet
never told them a word,
Lived the same life with the rest, the same old laughing, gnawing, sleeping,
Play'd the part that still looks back on the actor or actress,
The same old role, the role that is what we make it, as great as we like,
Or as small as we like, or both great and small.


Closer yet I approach you,
What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you--I laid in my
stores in advance,
I consider'd long and seriously of you before you were born.

Who was to know what should come home to me?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you
now, for all you cannot see me?


Ah, what can ever be more stately and admirable to me than
mast-hemm'd Manhattan?
River and sunset and scallop-edg'd waves of flood-tide?
The sea-gulls oscillating their bodies, the hay-boat in the
twilight, and the belated lighter?
What gods can exceed these that clasp me by the hand, and with voices I
love call me promptly and loudly by my nighest name as approach?
What is more subtle than this which ties me to the woman or man that
looks in my face?
Which fuses me into you now, and pours my meaning into you?

We understand then do we not?
What I promis'd without mentioning it, have you not accepted?
What the study could not teach--what the preaching could not
accomplish is accomplish'd, is it not?


Flow on, river! flow with the flood-tide, and ebb with the ebb-tide!
Frolic on, crested and scallop-edg'd waves!
Gorgeous clouds of the sunset! drench with your splendor me, or the
men and women generations after me!
Cross from shore to shore, countless crowds of passengers!
Stand up, tall masts of Mannahatta! stand up, beautiful hills of Brooklyn!
Throb, baffled and curious brain! throw out questions and answers!
Suspend here and everywhere, eternal float of solution!
Gaze, loving and thirsting eyes, in the house or street or public assembly!
Sound out, voices of young men! loudly and musically call me by my
nighest name!
Live, old life! play the part that looks back on the actor or actress!
Play the old role, the role that is great or small according as one
makes it!
Consider, you who peruse me, whether I may not in unknown ways be
looking upon you;
Be firm, rail over the river, to support those who lean idly, yet
haste with the hasting current;
Fly on, sea-birds! fly sideways, or wheel in large circles high in the air;
Receive the summer sky, you water, and faithfully hold it till all
downcast eyes have time to take it from you!
Diverge, fine spokes of light, from the shape of my head, or any
one's head, in the sunlit water!
Come on, ships from the lower bay! pass up or down, white-sail'd
schooners, sloops, lighters!
Flaunt away, flags of all nations! be duly lower'd at sunset!
Burn high your fires, foundry chimneys! cast black shadows at
nightfall! cast red and yellow light over the tops of the houses!
Appearances, now or henceforth, indicate what you are,
You necessary film, continue to envelop the soul,
About my body for me, and your body for you, be hung our divinest aromas,
Thrive, cities--bring your freight, bring your shows, ample and
sufficient rivers,
Expand, being than which none else is perhaps more spiritual,
Keep your places, objects than which none else is more lasting.

You have waited, you always wait, you dumb, beautiful ministers,
We receive you with free sense at last, and are insatiate henceforward,
Not you any more shall be able to foil us, or withhold yourselves from us,
We use you, and do not cast you aside--we plant you permanently within us,
We fathom you not--we love you--there is perfection in you also,
You furnish your parts toward eternity,
Great or small, you furnish your parts toward the soul.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cinco De Mayo

Yesterday after work at the studio I decided to have a walk. I got off the train at 72nd and Broadway and walked all the way to Times Square. I stopped and got a magazine and went to Ruby Tuesday because I've been dying for a salad bar for a long time and although there wasn't anyone around to eat with I was there and hungry. My salad bar dinner was delicious and not too expensive, especially considering I was in Times Square.

After I ate I walked to 34th st. I was about to get on the train and go home when I heard from Rachel that she was with some friends at 26th st and West End. I went down in the subway and tried to figure out what trains to take to get over there but it wasn't clear to me how to manage it and it looked so close on the map I decided I may as well just keep walking. I walked out to 11th Avenue on 34th st but things started to look a bit creepy and industrial. I backtracked to 10th Avenue and then walked down to 26th. Then I walked to 12th on 26th but that is turns out to be the Hudson. By now my feet hurt, and I was clearly at a river not a bar. I called Rachel and was about to just walk back toward midtown and find a subway but she and her friends came out to find me. The bar where they had been was on a pier. No wonder I couldn't find it! Anyway they had reservations at a Mexican restaurant for Cinco De Mayo and urged me to come with them. They grabbed a taxi and we headed to Dos Caminos at 14th and 9th. I was still very full from my huge salad dinner so I only had one margarita but the company was lovely and the restaurant was crowded and fancy.

After they ate Rachel and her friends decided to hit a bar across the street but I headed home. I had to walk two more avenues back to 7th to catch the 2 train to Brooklyn. In the end I walked about 4 and a half miles yesterday. Today my feet are very sore because I was wearing flip flops that rubbed me wrong. Time to go soak them in some cold water.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My First New York Street Fair

Today at work we had a booth set up at a street fair on Broadway. Mattie, my coworker, was born and raised in Manhattan and took me for a little walk on a quick break and gave me some NYC Street Fair pointers. Basically its like a midway, but there aren't rides, just vendors. They sell a variety of things; some on the hand-crafted side, others tacky. Mattie says all street fairs are exactly the same but that doesn't take away from how great they are. Street fairs also have fair food. New Yorkers love different fair food than I love. For one thing they all eat grilled corn on the cob. I'm not saying I don't love corn on the cob! Who doesn't!? But for every vendor of any kind in that fair, there was a second booth selling ears of grilled corn. Most of the people walking by were eating grilled corn. Mattie was very effusive about how great corn on the cob is and how exciting it is to have at street fairs and then bought an ear. I guess us southerners are just used to having corn on the cob all summer. It was kind of weird to me for sure. Mattie also got something from a pickle stand that was, allegedly, a 'New Pickle', but was in fact a cucumber with vinegar on it. Mattie said 'new pickles' are her favorite kind of pickle. Also New Yorkers are very excited about Zeppole, which is another kind of fried dough, but, as Mattie put it, so much more than fried dough. They have funnel cake and crepes too, but nobody was nearly as excited about that as zeppole. I heard about them all day. I had a corn dog. I wasn't feeling very adventurous. My mistake, as it wasn't nearly as good as Nathan's and I felt kinda gross after. The sun was very hot and the fair was crowded. I spent the rest of the day teaching little kids that wandered by the booth how to make a tissue paper flower.

Also today I noticed that New Yorkers all call those inflatable jumping structures 'Bouncy Houses' while I grew up calling them 'Moon Bounce'. I thought this was a regionalism but I'm not sure now. What do you call them?

One thing they didn't have at the street fair were fly swatters. I sure could use one! Its hot tonight and I have my windows open. There's a fly buzzing around my room. Earlier tonight I had my fire escape window open, with the curtain closed and someone went up the fire escape! That's not really allowed and I'm very curious as to what that person was up to. Shortly after I closed and locked the window whoever it was came back down. Weird! I have my hammer though.


The day finally arrived! Yesterday I got to ride the Wonder Wheel. It was no disappointment.

Laura, Rachel and I took the Q to Coney Island yesterday afternoon. The weather was beautiful and sunny and breezy when we stepped off the train. We headed straight for the Wonder Wheel. I have been waiting SO long to ride the most famous Ferris Wheel in the world. The Wonder Wheel has two kinds of cars on it: the white ones are stationary, as it were, and will give you a standard ferris wheel ride. The red and blue cars run along a track and rock and swing, like beads on a bicycle wheels spokes. Of course we got moving cars. It was so fun. The ride was so pleasant and the moving car was exciting but not scary. I am over the moon for that ride.

Laura and Rachel on their way in!

I have my ticket!


View from the Wonder Wheel

Afterward we headed to Nathan's for lunch and then to the Cyclone, Coney Island's other famous ride. The Cyclone is a 100 year old wooden coaster, but you wouldn't know it from the ride. It was 20 times smoother than the wooden coasters at Kings Dominion, and a more thrilling ride to boot. When you get to the end you don't have to get off if you want a second ride, you just hand them cash so we rode twice and both times were great fun.

Next we headed to the boardwalk for some cold beers. We walked along the boardwalk with our beer in cups and stopped to watch 'People Loving Music Loving People' which seemed promising at first as it was public dancing on the boardwalk, but upon closer inspection, was creepy middle-aged people dancing to techno in broad daylight. Then we went down to the shoreline so Rachel could put her toes in the ocean.

Toward late afternoon we decided to try and find a bar that had a television in it so we could watch the Kentucky Derby. None of the places on the boardwalk had tvs (there's no need at all, you must experience the people watching at Coney Island someday) so we headed inland a couple blocks trying to find a neighborhood place to watch. We didn't find any bars but we did see an off-track betting shop. I was nervous at first but Laura once worked at a betting shop in England and lead us in. What a terrific idea! What better place to cheer for your horse than the place where people REALLY care about the results. We all picked horses to win and stood among the various gamblers watching the beginnings of the race. I tried to sing My Old Kentucky Home but only know some parts, even though its my favorite part of the whole tradition. Then they were off and we were cheering and it was a lot of fun. None of us picked Super Saver so it was for the best that we hadn't bet in the heat of the moment there in the betting shop.

Now the sun had set and the ocean breezes were getting to be a bit much. We headed to a gift shop and all bought Brooklyn sweatshirts for the rest of the evening. We headed back to the boardwalk to check out some Coney Island microbrews at Beer Island. We sat in the outdoor sandbar at Beer Island drinking our Coney Island Lagers and enjoying the juke box until it was dark and all the lights of Coney Island were twinkling. We decided to head to 773 for the rest of the evening.

Reppin Brooklyn

I can't wait to go back and do it again. I'm so glad I live close by. I love Coney Island very much.