A breath of fresh air arrived last week when Griselda came into town. She was recently accepted into a masters art program at NYU for the Summer and I suggested she come here for a few days and then we would head up to NYC to get her settled in her dorm.
Up until last week, I have not had any female friends come see me since Tania back in October. Not to slight on my boys cause I love my boys just as much but damn if this girl didn’t need some estrogen around.
We did a lot of hanging around the house, went to Philly to walk around, cooked and lots of general catching up. Unfortunately we got hit with Summer in full force and we were melting our asses off while in Philly one day. We purposely went from shop to shop just to get some AC. Luckily we don’t paint on our eyebrows cause they would easily have fallen right off.
She really seemed to enjoy the slow paced Jersey life we have here, our home and yard. Unfortunately the mosquitoes loved her just as much. Poor girl got eaten alive.
Saturday morning rolled around and Josh was awesome enough to hold up the fort so I can go with Grisleda to NYC solo. He dropped us off at the train station and off we went!
We ended up staying in this tiny hotel near SoHo and we were not complaining that the room was the size of a broom closet. It had AC, a clean bed and a bathroom. That’s all we gave a shit about and honestly, finding anything under $150 a night in a decent area is a christmas miracle so we were not about to bitch. We only needed it for a night anyway.
Once we got checked in we dragged our starving asses over to Little Italy which was conveniently within walking distance. Lunch was delicious! Although, we consumed enough garlic that left our breath strong enough to kill a small village. I have been to NYC twice before this but the vibe in Soho and Little Italy was so much cooler than over in Midtown. Lots of quaint shops, eye candy, cool architecture. This is the NYC I have truly wanted to see.
We were seriously possessed by the walking demons because we walked all over the lower half of the island that day. That pesto gnocchi we split was coming off ten fold cause over the course of the trip we walked a metric fuck ton. I am STILL sore from it. I don’t even feel bad about the sweets and snacks I had cause I can guarantee those calories got burned off. We hit Soho, China Town, Little Italy and eventually made our way to the Financial District to go check out the World Trade Center site.
Apparently you need passes to get into the memorial site and we didn’t know. We were not about to walk back 7 blocks to get them either so we just walked around and saw what we could. You cannot really grasp the true magnitude of what happened there unless you see it in person. It’s massive. Having been to Hiroshima, I was prepared for the sadness but what I wasn’t prepared for was the commercialization of the 9/11 tragedy. I didn’t like the gift shop and merchandise available for sale. It really cheapened the whole thing for me. Hiroshima left me weeping like a god damned baby, and you cannot compare oranges and apples, but seeing the 9/11 site was numbing. The vibe is eerie and the air is heavy. Pools were built where the North and South towers once stood, it was the right thing to do and it’s nice to see buildings going back up at Ground Zero.
We walked over to the waterfront to get a peek of Liberty Island and we eventually called it, hopped in a cab and went back to the hotel to lounge around. Tired didn’t even begin to describe us.
Not sure how we mustered the energy to go back out but around 8 pm we walked up to Greenwich to scope the area where her dorms were and several hours of walking later we made a pit stop at some seedy pub and rolled in around 12:30 a.m.
NYC is a magnificent city. It lives, thrives and there is so much to take in. It can be absolutely overwhelming though and definitely not for everyone. I could see how people like Vivienne are so inspired by the land and cityscapes (girl is fucking talented, check out her photography!). If I lived there I would probably get sick of the tourists and the massive amounts of trash everywhere. Here’s this historic, beautiful neighborhood and there are empty soda bottles all over the damn place. But the street art, culture and creative energy that flows there is like no other. I about wet myself when we drove by the Retna mural.
Times Square gives me anxiety cause it is just so… American. Think of Hollywood Blvd having sex with Las Vegas. Times Square is their love child. Commercial, loud, a total cesspool and the only reason I went there was cause I went to the Sanrio store to get Reza a gift cause she was so sad when we left. Unless you love that kitschy, gringo tourist kind of shit, avoid Times Square like the noid. And be prepared to be taken for a ride by some cab driver. Smarmy fucker thought we didn’t know he was taking us for a ride. No tip for you Dr. Jones.
The following day we got Griselda checked into her dorm, walked around Union Square and the East Village cause we had every intention to see the Obscura store aka the store from the Oddities show. Sadly Ryan was not there for more eye candy. The store itself is small but it is excellently curated with kooky whatnot that I would absolutely buy if I had the room and capital to do so. Pricing is *very* inflated in comparison to the prices I see at the antique dealing in NJ. If you really want to get something there, be prepared or you will be saddened and end up leaving with a t-shirt, if that.
I eventually had to make way back to Penn Station and on a train home. Josh had some existential crisis at work that needed him so he picked me up and off he went to Atlantic City. Saw very little of him but I needed this past weekend like whoa. Seeing new places with good friends is the best, even moreso when they are on the same page as you. No one likes traveling with high maintenance whiners after all.
We had the best time! And yes, my feet and knees still feel utterly destroyed from all the walking but it was absolutely worth it.
I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I should have but sometimes you just have to put the camera down and take it all in. Savoring the moment always trumps capturing it as far as I am concerned.
Til next time Manzana Grande!
the rest of the photos can be viewed over on my flickr