Gregory Pettigrew (etherial) wrote,
Gregory Pettigrew
etherial

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The best thing about New York City is...You and Me

I was worried about going to NYC. I feared it would be just like any other US city that I'd been to, and that the time and effort (and money) tpau put into the trip would be wasted. We rode the dog down into the Port Authority, and I was not exactly amused to note that the Chinatown Buses and Peter Pan I had ridden years ago were nicer. Still, the city lights were pretty as we got into town and rode the MTA over to doozer4200 and her beau's apartment. When asked what I thought of New York so far, my answer was "quiant". There were little fenced-in trees, buzzer doors, hideous tile, and an old-fashioned elevator. What other possible answer could I give?

Our hosts gave us food and drink and conversation, but eventually it was time for bed. We rose early the next morning because we had a need...a need for tea. We went to Alice's Tea Cup, a marvelous little gin joint tea house where we had delectable scones (which is to say they were almost but not quite entirely unlike any scones I had ever had before), froo-froo sandwiches (mine had chicken curry and granny smith apples), cookies, and, oh yeah, tea. So much tea that we got some to go, and got some to go home with us.

We then made our way South, having to exit the subway early (giving us opportunity to take dorktastic touristy pictures of Trinity Church's unfinished pyramid-like edifice), then wander on down to the pier where we would have our civil liberties violated so that we could see the building that people came to in droves in order to gain civil liberties. The irony was not lost on me. While we waited in line for a good hour and a half, I called up a guy I had played cards with who wanted to trade some Jyhad rares. He rode his bike down and I made a quick sweep through his binder, trying to grab a few things that I was pretty sure I wanted (yes, they all turned out to be cards I needed). Then, it was onto the Miss Ellis Island so that we would not miss Ellis Island.

The museum itself was pretty neat. Definitely fit the bill of the "museum in an old abandoned building" kind of gig, but it helped that this museum was about this abandoned building and contained authentic scraps of genuine abandonment for our viewing pleasure. The museum was chock full of political cartoons and essays by American idealists, isolationists, progressives, and xenophobes about foreign flotsam, idealists, terrorists, and workers. It also featured a very expensive "exhibit" on the accomplishments of several blisteringly rich people who happened to have Swiss ancestors and wanted some advertising. We stopped in the gift shop just as it was closing and got some authentic candy from for'n parts, including Yorkies, a candy bar whose marketing gimmick's poor taste is exceeded only by its own, and Aeros, which we haven't actually gotten around to eating yet.

We walked back up Broadway looking for a place to eat. Maybe it was the blinding neon, but it was actually really hard to settle on a restaurant. Running a bit low on time, we settled on the six-story TGI Friday's in the heart of Times Square. Food came good and fast. Drinks were expensive, but got us heavily buzzed right quick. We sauntered over to the Golden Theatre for the performance of the truly marvelous Avenue Q. Did I mention it was marvelous? 'Cause it was. This show was designed for just the sort of sense of humour we cultivated at WPI in specific, and greater geekdom in general: irreverent self-depricating pop-culture images and motifs bent over to bring light, darkness, and thought into our lives. I was ashamed of myself for not joining the standing ovation before our clapping was halted so the cast could collect charitable donations. Avenue Q is a must-see.

Afterwards, we wandered around Broadway a bit more and reacquainted ourselves with our accomodations. We slept in a little, having less concrete plans for Sunday and having been up late several nights in a row. We had a nice relaxing brunch with our aforementioned host in a local eatery, then went to go experience Central Park. It was beautiful, and had that lovely touch of otherworldliness the park always gets in movies. The feeling, cultivated though it may be, of untamed wilderness just inches away from metropolis. We lucked out with what to do next - the skating rink had opened just the day before, and we took a few laps (and a few pictures), taking in the juxtaposition of winter sports surrounded by flower beds.

We took a "quick" subway ride across the river to take in the elegance of the Brooklyn Bridge. Maybe sometime we'll take in a closer look. Dinner was at Sapphire in Columbus Circle, a fine Indian experience. The food was very good, but not as spicy as we would have liked. Having dragged our stuff all over creation that day, I was glad to get on the bus and head home. In the end, I liked NYC, and look forward to more trips there. It is just like any other American city, but it's built on such a scale that it will offer new and interesting experiences for years to come.
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