Saturday, June 21, 2008

Comedy, holes in the sand and waffles! The best w/end EVER!

Or at least in the last 2 months since I have been here. And I say that with all honesty. It was just such a brilliant couple of days, and it seemed to go on forever. Have realized that going out on the Friday straight from work definitely helps. The hour journey home wastes too much time, and the minute you get in and sit down, you ain’t getting back up again! Rookie mistake that I have made for the last 2 weeks!!

Had no plans for Friday, apart from closing the training session that had been running for the last 2 days. I knew my roommate was going to have a mini party in our flat before going out to Brooklyn, so I thought I might get home in time to see those guys. An email came through from Mr D in the morning inviting people to a comedy gig, hosted by Comedy Central, playing on Summer Stage in Central Park after work. Haven’t been to anything like that yet, and thought it sounded fun, plus I want to go to some outdoor things while it’s still warm. Managed to close up at around 5.30 and made it to Central Park for just after 6pm. Turned up, bought myself a giant salted pretzel for $1, joined the massive queue that was starting to snake down the avenue, and Mr D rocked up about half an hour later. Turns out no one else could make it, so it was just us. We were an hour early, but by the size of the queue, I think that was a good thing. Filed in, grabbed a seat on the plastic grass that was just nailed down over concrete (come on guys, some authenticity please?)…dead legs.. and waited for it to start at 8. Was veeeerry busy. Most people had brought picnics and you could buy food there too. Should have thought ahead, but I was too busy trying not to get lost on the way there! I have too recent bad memories of the park!! lol.

The gig was absolutely hilarious though, Stephen Lynch was headlining and Mike Birbiglia, hosted by Julian McCullough were the performers. Mr D has apparently loved Stephen Lynch since Uni and was dying to go. He is a bit Bill Bailey-esque (if you are looking for a comparison) as he sings comedy songs and stuff, but he was amazingly funny. Very Un-PC, quite crude, which is quite unusual in the States, but I liked it. Might not be everyone’s taste, so don’t listen if you have a sensitive disposition!! Have discovered his website. (Spent most of last night YouTubeing him and singing along with the words) The Mike Birbiglia guy before him was also pretty funny too. Also has a website. But I was literally crying with laughter throughout. Stomach aching, it was so much fun. (I have now found out he played at the QMU at Glasgow Uni in March!! Whit!??!? Typical)

It finished at about 10, and then the entire park emptied at one time. Managed to get out, mainly because Mr D was navigating and not me (!) and took the subway to Washington Square to meet up with Mr C, who had finished a work night out. We decided to head into Greenwich village for some drinks and went to a bar called ‘Off The Wagon’ for a couple of hours. Tried to match the boys’ beer for beer with our pitchers of bud…Baaaaaad idea. Totally forgot that I had only eaten a pretzel in the last 4 hours. whoops. The bar was playing some good music and we watched some people playing Beer Pong for a while until fellow weegie, Miss N came and joined us later on (she works for the Consulate and had after dinner drinks there). We hung about for 3 pitchers more and then moved onto somewhere else. I have no idea where that was, as I was having trouble seeing straight by that point.

Ordered another beer, got half way through it and realized I was in trouble!! Apparently I was rambling with Mr C as we reminisced about Glasgow and talked about being homesick. If either of us start feeling homesick then we are just going to start telling stories about good ol'Sauchiehall Street together! lol. Stay there for a bit longer; watch Mr D tie a knot in a cherry stem with his tongue…impressing the barmaid and most of us. Mr C takes my beer off me and finishes it after watching me try to go downstairs to the bathroom (why are they always downstairs, it’s just unfair?) and then we decide to leave at about 2.30.

Being Friday, I am still in my work gear, while everyone else is in jeans and casual gear. (I don’t get dress down Friday’s, so I am in pinstripe trews and a white shirt, while they are all in jeans) Luckily for me, I am wearing my comfy ‘walk-to-work-hobo’ shoes, which allows me to stagger slightly more safely along the street than if I had been wearing high heels. We decide to get some pizza for the journey home, which seemed appealing at the time. Ham and pineapple pizza has never tasted so good. And only $3! Snarfle pizza in PATH station, after winding down the 3 flights of stairs to get to the platform…seriously, what are the stairs all about? Take really awful pics on my mobile that make us look half dead, especially poor Mr C. All 3 weegies start blathering about Sauchiehall and Buchanan Street bars in an extremely unintelligible fashion and poor Mr D looks on, having no idea what language we are speaking, heheh.

All attempt to stay upright in PATH train on way home. Not entirely successful, but amusing none the less, although maybe less so for the other passengers we nearly squash. Make plans to go to Coney Island beach tomorrow at some point.

At exit to PATH, we have to split up as Mr D and Miss N are in one building and Mr C and I are next to each other in 2 others in the opposite direction. Chris and I then wobble off back to our respective buildings. Once in the flat, I find that Miss J is still out in Brooklyn with her friends, after having the flat party in our flat, which is surprisingly un-trashed. I proceed to then fall into bed and pass out, although not before somehow managing to log onto Facebook and Bebo to post some garbled messages. (When will I learn to stop doing this? *sigh*) Never heard Miss J when she came home at 5.30.

Woken by the other flat mates being far too loud at about 9.30, manage to fall back asleep. Wake up again at around 10.30 after apparently Miss J has been out the room and asked them to keep it down. Have shower. Feel slightly more human. Apart from the crashing headache. Thinking that only having a giant pretzel since lunch yesterday probably wasn’t the best way to line my stomach before the beer. Whoops. Have raisin bran. Feel better. Dress, dry hair. Miss J gets up and tells me of her shenanigans the night before. Impressive. Long story. Involves pole dancing on the PATH and some other details that I'm not going to go into ( impressive though). I volunteer to go to the new supermarket that opened almost next door. They apparently have Lucozade and she would like some. Only $3.85!

On the way out I then spot a raisin and biscuit Yorkie bar….Bliss! 'Not for girls', pah! Actual real chocolate for the first time in months!! Loving it!! $1.28 though… but so worth it. Come back into flat with care package and proceed to sit and savour my chocolate. And a giant sports drink.

It’s about 1.30 and I’m not sure what time we were supposed to be meeting to go to Coney Island, so I call Mr C. No answer. Call Mr D, he thinks pretty soon but will call back. Calls back. Mr C is off doing something at work, Miss N is on her architecture tour but will join us shortly and Miss R is somewhere on the way there, but will get us there. So Mr D and I meet up to head off.

The trip involves catching a PATH train to 14th street and then getting a subway train to Brooklyn, straight down to Coney Island, which takes about an hour. Was a bit stowed due to the influx of people with the same idea. Both of us plug into iPod’s and doze for the journey.

When we got there, the Mermaid Parade was still going on, no idea what this is in aid of, it seems like an excuse for a lot of loonies to dress up like mermaids and other unidentifiable things, sing in a parade and then go to the beach still dressed up. Interesting. Will have to snaffle photos off other people soon.

Made it through the crowd and onto the boardwalk eventually. The view is great, long expanse of sand, sparkling water, then you turn around and are faced with the Cyclone rollercoaster and a ferris wheel. Two others roll up just behind us, so they make off to get some ice cream before we attempt to make camp somewhere on the waterfront. Find a good spot and lay down towel. Then comes the worse part. Generally hate the beach due to the dress code, so make the most of a bad situation with swimsuit and shorts and then sit down as quickly as possible! And then give into the whole aaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!! I’m on the beach!! feeling. Tis' awesome!!! Lol.

After about 20 minutes of me lazing, they decide to go in the water. Go down to waters edge thinking we are just going to paddle. Nope, they have gone straight in. sigh, fine! So I scoot back up to towel, strip off shorts, scoot back and follow them in. %^%&!!!! It’s fricking cold!! So cold that I’m gasping for the first few minutes when I am up to my neck. Slowly get used to it. So we splash about for a bit. Miss R is still wearing her shorts and t-shirt, as she doesn’t have a swimmy with her, and someone else is wearing her sundress. Only 3 of us were actually dressed for the beach! After dodging the waves for a bit, we come out and go back to lazing in the sun. Except for Miss R who wants to dig a hole, purely with her feet. Decide to leave her to that one.

Soon enough, some other interns’s start arriving, including Miss N who quickly lies down and we all just ignore each other for about half an hour until Miss R starts kicking sand at us from the giant hole. Some other guys start turning up, which then just evolved into chaos. Mr J (one of the Melbourne lot) picks up ickle Miss N and carries her into the water fully clothed and dunks her in. You can hear her screaming half way up the beach. It is hilarious. So I sidle up to the water’s edge and take photos of her misfortune! She is completely soaked through, but stays in a surprisingly good mood!

3 of the guys help Miss R and I dig the hole, and eat my Pringles when I’m not looking. I started taking photos round about this point, mainly when people weren’t paying attention, as it was more interesting. Hehe.. I think some of them are quite funny. After a bit more malarkey, most of the boys leave to avoid the rush hour but we stay and wait for Mr D who has gone off for food. Once he comes back, we all decide we are hungry and do the same. Wait in MASSIVE queue to order chips and cheese. Which is foul. Squeezy fluorescent plastic cheese all over chunky fries…bleaugh. Bin!! Want proper chips and cheese please!

Join the even bigger queue to get into the subway home. I had to give Miss R my spare t-shirt as hers was still wet and she would have been freezing in the air-conditioned carriages. Miss N was in a similar state. We all dozed and chatted on the rammed subway home, before making plans to meet in Ole Ole Ole for some frozen margarita’s after we shower. Quickest turnaround ever, mainly because Miss J was away meeting her parents, and I had the room to myself and therefore could spread my stuff everywhere! Go back downstairs and across to the bar to sit outside in the street. Gorgeous warm evening, so sitting outside was lovely. Think we stayed till about 11.30 and 2 drinks before we gave up because we were so damn tired!! All that sea air! Lol. Managed to stay up till about 2 again in my room faffing on Facebook and adding the photos.

Woke about 11 on Sunday, two whole hours after I had set my alarm, so no laundry for me this morning! Met some friends at the PATH station and we headed into Greenwich for brunch to meet Mr C. Little cafĂ© down a side street had tables in the street in a patch of sunshine, so we plonked ourselves down there. Brunch menu looked very tasty, but I went for my usual and had waffles and fruit and whipped cream. Fabulous. Discovered some markets down further side streets and had a wander about some of stalls, where I bought the most gorgeous silver ring. Most likely not a realy blue topaz in it, but it matches my set perfectly and has marcasite set in it too, and all for £14! Feel pleased, before going home about 2.30 ish. It had been raining in the morning when we left with threat of thunder, but now it is glorious sunshine and I am melting in my jeans.

Decide to put on laundry and then head to supermarket for supplies. On the way back up in the lift, I run into Miss J’s parents and they invite me to go to Target with them. They are lovely!! They also think I am awesome because I do her ironing, so it starts us off on a good foot! Toddle off with them. I spend about $50 on some food and other stuff. We pack up, and leave the store. To find it raining. We stand about under cover for a while, and then realize its not going off, I suggest make a run to the end of the car park to get back on the road. It starts hammering it down. Ah. In the end, there are four of us taking refuge under a tree, very unsuccessfully. Completely soaked. Completely. Decide to give up, rescue our bags and trudge back home. Squelch squelch squelch. So funny. Arrive back in flat like drowned rats.

I sat and talked to her parents between collecting laundry and drying off. They leave for Times Square where they are staying, and invite me for dinner. Unfortunately I already have plans, and also don’t want to pay for a big dinner after my brunch, even though the thought of an actual dinner is so very tempting. Finalize plans with people after dinner. We go see ‘The Happening’. Miss K and I cower down in the seat behind my jacket for most of it. Is a good film, little woodeny, Mark Walberg doesn’t take his top off (sadly), and kind of trashy, but good. Is scary, but not a ‘someone stalking you’ type of scary, so there has been no recurring nightmares so far!

Found out yesterday that Maroon 5 are playing a free set in Bryant Park on Friday morning at about 8am… really want to go, so I have asked Mr L the other intern that I work with, very nicely, to cover for me in the morning and sort the course out for me! Woohoo! So I will just have to make sure that I don’t oversleep! Coldplay are also playing in Rockefeller on Friday morn, but I don’t fancy it. Not my kind of music. Mr D is going to get up to go though. He will prob have to queue from 4am knowing the turnout for Coldplay. And then he has a 2-hour commute to Stamford to get to his work afterwards. Nice.

Starting to get majorly excited that people are coming out to see me soon! Souxie and McV will be here from the 11th July till the 14th, so plans will need to be made for where to take them etc. Brother dearest then joins me on the 17th till the 27th, and I will need to make different types of plans, because he is classed as a minor as he is under 21. Grrr. So can’t take him to any bars or anything, will just have to buy in the booze for the apartment! Maybe beach it one day if it’s still nice and find lots of touristy things to do for a while!

4th of July weekend in 2 weeks. We get the Friday off, so it’s another long weekend. No plans as yet, but would like to go somewhere to watch the fireworks. Technically we have the best spot because we are in Newport, and we get the view across the Hudson right into Manhattan, but I fancy being in Central Park or the beach or something! We’ll see. Anyway. I think this is long enough! I think I may have broken the site!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Misadventures in Central Park

Well I think summer has arrived in New York City. It was 90 odd degrees today... thats 35 for you. It was unbelievably hot. In fact it was down right uncomfortable. Sadly all I had packed has been jeans, jeans and more jeans, so I had to throw on an old sundress today which I didn't like, but the temperature wouldn't let me swelter in denim anymore.

It had started out a good day. Stayed in on Friday night with Miss J and we watched Dirty Dancing and ate ice cream while singing along to the movie and howling at all the cheesy bits. Slept in until about 10.30, and then treated myself to some Eggo Waffles and syrup for breakfast ('Hey Leggo My Eggo!!')which were very nice. Showered, dressed, started to get warm. Bleaugh.

Took the laundry downstairs to find only one machine was free and I had about 3 loads (not all mine! Miss J & I share laundry) worth. So I flung in my sheets and towels and then lugged the rest back upstairs again. J was staying in to do an essay so she said she would do the rest later on. Decided to go into Manhattan to do a wander, since I am actually very rarely in there on my own unless I am heading to work, and then I go under the city rather than through it. Also thought about hitting H&M to get some summer gear while I was there. Ran into Miss S & her friend in the lift and they said they were heading to Central Park. Decided to join them, as sunbathing sounded like a great idea right then.

Was all fine on the way there, and when we got there. Had to look for Miss S's friend's sister who had some clothes for her, so we wandered around looking for the Boathouse for about an hour, getting hotter and hotter. Finally found it and they decided to go on one of the rowboats. Since there was a 4 person limit, I volunteered to leave them to it and head off in the direction of the shops. Hmmm... bad idea.

Thought I was doing really well as I navigated my way back to the entrance that we came in.... until i realised that I had emerged at the wrong end of the park.... crap.Walked round the perimeter for a bit thinking that I wasn't far away.... and kept walking... realised then that I was going in the completely wrong direction. argh. So went back into the Park and looked for a landmark that I recognised. Ended up wandering aimlessly for about another hour before I realised where I was and then managed to get out and find my subway station. Of course I then got on the wrong train and ended up getting out at the next stop when I realised. I was now on Lexington and 59th street.... I also unintentionally found Bloomingdales, but I was too hot to go in. Turned a corner and found an H&M!! Yay! And it was airconditioned!!! Tres chuffed. Also inconvenienced many a shopper by standing in the doorway enjoying the artic blast for about 20 minutes.

So I went in and had a nosey. Ended up spending about an hour in there. Got some linen trews, 2 sundresses, flip flops, 3 halternecks and some shorts and it all came to about $80. Which is £40!! Gotta love the exchange rate! The shorts are a brave buy for me.... i don't do shorts, unless its a family holiday where I am not required to look decent. Sadly here I do want to look good, but I will actually melt if I wear jeans again. So shorts it is. Just going to make sure there is no photographic evidence of them! Came out and realised that I was just a couple of blocks away from the Citicorp building on Lex and 53rd where I walk past sometimes. So I meandered down towards there and waited at the platform..... for 30 minutes. 2 E trains came trundling by, but no V train. Which I needed to take me to 33rd street to get the PATH train back to New Jersey. By the time the third E train pulled up I got seriously annoyed... I was hot, grumpy, had extremely sore feet and I hadn't eaten since breakfast and it was now 6.30pm..

Decision was made to walk back to PATH train. Little voice in head said that the minute I left the station, a V train was no doubt going to pull up, but I was past caring by that point. I just wanted to be home to get a shower. Surfaced, turned left and started walking. And walking. And walking. Reached 42nd st where my programme has its headquarters and at least somewhere I recognised. Plus I knew that Bryant Park was on this street and I knew where to go from there. And so... walked past Grand Central, past the Public Library and onto Bryant Park. From there it is a straight walk to 33rd Herald Square. I've done the walk before, mainly home from lectures and with other people... plus it's usually past 8 at night and its nice and cool. This was not. Made it to the PATH, managed to get a seat. And sat. Barely moved my head until the train reached Newport and I limped off with my poor blistered foot and made my way back to the flat.

Greeted Miss J with a growl and ran straight into the shower. Felt soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better. Came out and apologised profusly for my behaviour and proceeded to tell her the whole sorry story while she sat there and howled with laughter.

So now I am sitting here with a big band-aid on my horrific blister the size of Canada on my heel, a splitting headache from not drinking enough today and some sunburn across my face which will cause some very attractive freckles to sprout up by the morning. Oh.. and the air con on. I plan to head to bed very soon, this being the first saturday night I have actually spent in the flat and not out somewhere since I arrived in New York. Which is not bad for me...

I spent most of this week working late and going to my tutorial. On Thursday I went to the East Village to a bar called Fat Black Pussy Cat... which had a live band that started around 9ish. They are amazing. Latin, r'n'b, salsa mix, all live and just fantastic. Got up dancing and we even got half price drinks cos one of the girls made friends with the bartender! Will definetly go back there. Sadly the band is only playing in Wed and Thur nights, so it will be a late school night! And actually for me thats not a good idea I slept in till ten past eight on Friday morning... I'm due in at 9 and it takes me about 40 min to get to work. Somehow made it for just about ten past nine, luckily no managers were in, all off or working from home, so it was just me and the other 2 interns. Should have been a fun day, but we had a massive data entry project that was due at 3pm, so we were hard at work.

I have the first load of my coursework due on Monday so i've been working on that. Spending some more time at work getting it done, as it saves me time when I get home. Have an extra credit Ethics class on Monday evening and then my Foreign Policy lecture on Tuesday. Hopefully will get back to the gym on Wed. Went the other day, spent an hour, felt very virtuous... ruined it with the Dunkin' Donut the next day though. Ah well.

Anyway. I am slightly puggled after my long and tiring day. Hopefully it won't be as bad tomorrow, but I doubt that.. so I am off to bed. Night all xx