Friday, July 25, 2008

Glasvegas in New York!!

All that previous excitement over, it's back to work on Thursday. On Friday I have a half-day as 2 of my best friends are arriving in New York!! Wooooot! I head off at about 2pm to Times Square to get them in their hotel. I am advised that they are staying in the Sheraton, but some planning monkey decided to put two Sheratons across the road from one another and not advise me about that fact. Souxie ends up having to come and get me after I wait in the wrong one for 20 minutes. I guess I realised just how much I missed my friends when I saw her come in the door. We immediately did the hug thing and then we both started crying. Hug, few words, hug, few words, hug, hug, hug, and then sniffle. I'm sure the people in the lobby were extremely amused by this girly display of affection. lol. Hey it's been 3 months since I've seen my best friend! Give a girl a break!

We wander across the road to the correct hotel to meet MacV and Mr J who has come down from Rhode Island for the weekend. Hugs for them too. And a handshake for Mr J's friend who is there too. MacV is slightly manlier and doesn't do the sniffle hug thing when we meet. Which is a good thing, as I probably shouldn't be set off again. All of us decide to go have something to eat, and then Souxie and I end up going back to her hotel room so she can have a shower while the boys have lunch. Girlie chats in the room, then down to meet them again. All 5 of us head off to 14th street to find a few bars to have a welcome drink. Find somewhere inside and air-conditioned to have our frozen margaritas. Very nice. Sadly for Souxie, having fasted for an entire day due to getting over a stomach bug, they were a little strong. Cue much giggling and hilarity.

We go to another bar that Mr J knows, 'The Lamb and Slaughter' which is a little dark and has lots of were-wolvey type paraphernalia adorning the walls. That might get a little creepy when you are really pished and it's dark inside and out. Lol. Decide that we are hungry and have some food. Afterwards we have a walk down to Second Ave in an attempt to find one of his favorite bars. Can't find it. In the mean time, we stop for a slice in a particularly good Pizza place that has actual chicken slices on the pizza. Snarfle our way through them and go back on the hunt. From what i can remember we ended up in a Red Sox bar for a pitcher and Mr J tries to get us to have a shot of whisky each. He ends up having at least 3 of them as Souxie and I do the 'bleaugh' thing. :)

By this time, jet lag is starting to severely hit Souxie and MacV so we decide to get a taxi home and leave MrJ and friend to it. I get dropped off at Herald Sq en route and make my way to Newport and let them sleep. Saturday morning, I am up and out by at 9 and head to Times Square to meet them. Much frustration, as most of my trains aren't running and I end up sweltering in the subway station waiting for them to turn up. Arrive at hotel and text message comes through advising that they are actually on 14th street having breakfast and do I want to join them? Argh!! Would have saved the subway fiasco!! Never mind.

They soon arrive and then we hit 5th Ave for some serious shopping. Or they do. I just observe and lament my lack of cash monies. Abercrombie and Fitch was the first requested stop and having never been in before I was a little bit agog. And a little bit out of place in my non-preppy outfit. Mind you, the amount of out of work models that were staffing the place soon took your mind off it! MMmmmmm :) After some serious shopping in there, we have some lunch and then some wanderings about 5th and Park avenue, before heading to 34th St to look for some new camera's. Sadly the store is closed, as it is the Sabbath :) This causes much disappointment, and so means that Macy’s needs to be the next stop. We park MacV in Starbucks with his laptop and Souxie and I head upstairs to look at the clothes.

Slightly distracted by the sheer amount presented to us, we get rather carried away and forget all about MacV...Whoops! A text message announcing that he is bored and wants to move on prompts us to stop trying on everything in sight and attempt to find him. By the time we do, he has already found and bought a camera from the Electronics section and is now wanting to look for some clothes. We split up again, he hits GAP and a few others, while we go to Forever 21, Aldo’s, American Eagle and then drag ourselves back to another Starbucks to meet him.

If I remember correctly, we had had enough by this point, and were getting rather hungry. Back to Times Square and to the hotel where we dump the bags and walked to Ruby Foo’s for dinner.
Awesome restaurant! Chinese/Thai fusion place where all the meals are shared. You can order starters, sushi platters and then usual entrees like Peking Duck, Szechuan Chicken and other yummy dishes. You are supposed to just dive in with the chopsticks and take what you can wrestle from your dining partners. I have to say, Sushi aside (as I don’t like it), the meal was delicious. Very impressed with it. Nice shout from Souxie there. Might also be a good place to take the parents so they can buy me dinner sometime!!

Meet up with Mr J and his friend afterwards with the intention of saying goodbye as he was off to catch his bus back to Rhode Island. Have a coffee in Starbucks, had a hug and then we walk back to the hotel to get changed for going out.

3 of us fight over the shower in the room, and upon emerging I hear that Mr J has called. He missed his bus and is now looking for somewhere to crash for the night. So it looks like it is going to be a crowded room tonight as I also have the intention of crashing! In the end, all of us showered and changed, we take a cab to Ludlow with the intention of visiting CakeShop again. Unfortunately, we soon discover that it is gay night. Souxie and I get distracted by the rather cute topless guitar player and only then notice the fully grown man in the sailor suit behind him…. This rather gives it away. Meet up with some interns outside with the idea of going to Annexe to do some dancing, but most have other plans.

So in the end, the 4 of us go to a bar that Mr J knows, A2 (bordering on the edge of Alphabet City) and have some drinks and random photo taking there. By about 2.30 the jetlag is starting to tell on the other two, so we make a move to go home. Hitting Duane Reid for some water, cookies and sweeties, Souxie and I totter along the street and gawp at the lights before entering the hotel. Mr J and I sneak in by pretending that we are just visiting, while MacV orders some extra blankets and pillows with the pretence that he and Souxie are just really cold!

Organised chaos next, as again we all fight over the bathroom and then decide where we are going to sleep. Since MacV and Souxie paid for the bed, it only seems fair *Grumble* that they get that, so Mr J and I are on the floor with the extra blankets and pillows. We all crash out pretty quickly without noticing if anyone snores. Next morning, surprisingly without any noticeable joint pain from the floor, we pack up and shuffle our way out to get some breakfast. End up down near NYU in a wee café where the girlies do French toast and Omelets. Mr J finally decides to leave us for real this time. Lots of hugs and then he strolls off seemingly unaffected while Souxie and I wave furiously behind him.

Next plans are to get me a new camera. So back to the store we go. End up with a Nikon 8megapixel in a snazzy shade of plum. Very happy! Awesome zoom, better scenic settings and a 2G-memory card, all for under $200! I can tell that I am going to become a little bit snap happy in the coming days! Newport is the next stop, so they can see where I live. We dump all the shopping in my apartment, give them a tour, and introduce them to Miss J, who has just woken up due to a particularly heavy one the night before! A tour down by the water front to see the view, photos, photos, photos, and then onto the mall for some more shopping. We arrive back at my apartment laden with bags and cause Miss J’s eyes to pop out her head!

MacV very kindly offers to check over my computer while he is there and manages to install about a gazillion updates that I had been neglecting to do. Needless to say it is now working brilliantly! Thank you!!! Also play with camera on various settings and steal all of his photo’s from the weekend.

Gather belongings and are soon City bound. We have plans to eat at Houston’s steakhouse, which is situated in the Citicorp centre, but by the time we are ready it is already 10.30pm, and of course once we walk there and arrive they are no longer serving. We cab it back, and end up eating in TGI’s in Times Square at about 11pm. Not quite as classy as intended, but it is food!! I pick up all my junk from their hotel room, including quite a lot of clothes that Souxie brought over for me from home and are too big for her. The ‘donate to your fat friend’ fund is gratefully accepting all contributions!!

Struggle onto PATH train at about 1am, hindered by the massive carrier bags that I have. Swipe my PATH card, beeps to let me in, get stuck in the turnstile due to bags, barrier then locks and then I am now locked out for 20 minutes owing to ‘swindling-prevention’ system that the cards have. Need to buy a one-way ticket. Stand in queue to pay my $1.75 ticket, manage to get through the gates this time and hop on train. Attempt not to fall asleep on train and crash into bed upon return. Shattered!!

Sadly it is up and at ‘em early the next morning. Need to get ready for work, but first am meeting MacV and Souxie for breakfast somewhere on Lexington Ave. Have a nice healthy brekkie of watermelon and corn muffin, whilst drooling at their egg and bacon bap with pain au chocolat… hmph. We subway it to Long Island City and I show them my building. At this point I start babbling utter gibberish because I know I have to say goodbye and I am trying desperately not to burst into tears. Souxie knows this and just looks at me. MacV gives me a hug and is all sympathetic until I pull away and he notices that I got lipstick on his brand new shirt…whoops. Alas I cannot be apologetic enough as Souxie and I have already started crying. We do a replay of the hug, hug, sniffle, and hug thing of earlier, but this time it is worse. I walk them over to the subway stop and we soon start again.

I guess I didn’t realize just how much I missed my friends until that moment. I know that I have started to be homesick recently and I was getting a little down for a bit, but at this point it really hit me just how much I had been craving the familiarity and closeness of my mates. There is no one else in the world who understands me as much as Souxie does, and there are no others else that put up with me as much as the two of them, and of course Mr S, who still needs to come out! It was just so nice just being able to be completely me, and not worry about people finding me weird or a loser or whatever. These guys already know I am all of the above and they deal with it anyway, so I don’t need to watch myself. Plus without all their encouragement I wouldn’t be here in New York either. So it felt really good being able to show them what I do everyday and that I have settled in and made friends here. Despite all of that, there still feels like a part of me is missing most of the time. As much as I have made friends here and they are brilliant people, they still aren’t quite the same. I can’t quote one of our films or TV shows and have them answer me back in kind (Azzabajjaan!) or have a crazy episode without totally weirding them out. But then I don’t think I would want to be able to, because then that takes away from the uniqueness of what I have with the same group I have been friends with for the last 10 years. And it means that the next time they visit me, it will be just as much fun.

It took us about 10 minutes to actually say goodbye, mainly entertaining the security guards and passing pedestrians in the process. Both of us were in real tears and at one point when I had walked away, I saw her crying against MacV so I went tearing back again. Eventually MacV stepped in, turned us back to back, made us say goodbye, pushed me off in the direction of my building and took her down to the subway. As I walked away I turned round and a wee man on the street told me that I had just missed them waving at me. Sniff!! I trudged up to my office and crept into my cubicle to have another cry. At this point, Mr L (intern I work with) pops his head over and asks if I’m ok. This just leads to ‘yup’ sniff….’Mmmy fffffriendsss have jjjjust lllleft!!’ sniff sniff etc.. he looks like he wishes he hadn’t asked, and disappears back into his own cubicle.

I end up being immersed in work all day, but get set off again at my class that evening when I realized they would be at the airport and someone asked me what was up. Argh.

In the end I had an amazing time with them, and I wish it hadn’t been so short. Hopefully there will be more visits and with Mr S in tow too!! But I am so glad that they came out to see me and I got to show them what this year is going to be like for me. Susan told me that she was proud of me, but I want to live up to that and show her that I made the most of being here and that I have moved on from being the mouse that I was before. Fingers crossed for that transformation!! I guess I will have to see how that one develops, so stay tuned!

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