Last week, J and I went to New York City with no plans other than visiting friends, wandering around, and eating a diverse selection of excellent food.
We spent the first half of the trip in new Williamsburg hotel and the last half in a friend’s apartment. We walked a total of 91.5 miles/147km for an average of 11.4 miles/18.3km per day.
Due to the aimlessness of the trip, it’s hard to write about chronologically in any interesting way. So here’s a list of highlights:
- The direct flight was fast and turbulence free, and our Uber driver was very friendly.
- The hotel was hip, pleasant, and pretentious. Decorated in the modern, casual fancy style, it had great views from the rooftop. Halloween noise outside kept us up until 4AM on our first night.
- We meet up with many friends, but not everyone we had wanted to see. One was either really fat or really pregnant. There were no chance encounters, unlike on my last visit.
- D snuck us into a Blade Runner of a Williamsburg building with amazing views from the crumbling rooftop.
- All weekend before Halloween, young adults and adults wandered around in all kinds of costumes. We rode a ferry with a group of stoned dudes, one of which was dressed as a skeleton complete with an erecting boner. On Monday night, we walked amongst children and families trick-or-treating on busy Brookyln sidewalks. It was a scene out of small town America, only in the middle of the city.
- We ate so much good, though expensive, food. Within an hour of landing, we’d eaten Chinese street crepes. After a snack of huge dosas and lassis, we ate Thai food for dinner. During the trip, we made the most of all sorts of asian cuisine and Jewish deli food. There wasn’t a bad meal, though the highlight was Korean BBQ on our last night.
- With A, we spent an afternoon exploring the complicated maze of Greenwood cemetery to the sounds of it’s resident parrots.
- Also with A, we went on a long walk down Roosevelt Ave walk through ethnic neighborhoods to a replica of modern China in Flushing, Queens.
- The poor fit and finish, but still grand, Calatrava Oculus WTC terminal.
- Spending an empty and dreary afternoon wandering around Coney Island. Admiring the empty streets of gaudy Russian mob houses, and buying some huge wafers from a grocery store. A suspicious, stoned man in a trench coat approached us and wanted us to call his lost phone. Was he going to steal ours?
- Despite the horrible atmosphere of Time Square, the tourist vibe, and the ridiculous cost, it was actually fun to see the wax figures at Madame Tussauds. Our original goal was to try The Void’s “Ghostbusters Experience”. Donning backpacks, a blaster, and HMD, we embarked on a short VR adventure. Doors, walls, and furniture in the virtual world were mapped to real objects in the rooms. We could see our avatars and shoot each other while busting ghosts. We felt wind, vertigo, smelled marshmallows. It really was a pretty seamless blending of real and virtual, and even though my headset was in low volume Spanish, I was hooked. Think these experiences are how VR will live or die.
- Random walks everywhere paid off in unexpected sights, exercise, and less time in cramped subways.
- La Guardia airport makes the Nashville Airport seem world-class in comparison.
Now for one-hundred forty photos:
All the cool people wear backpacks.
Cliche view from DUMBO.
Literally under the Manhattan Bridge.
Buzzers find a way.
J and D.
Tom and the jalopy.
Despite all my rage, I’m still just a pumpkin in a cage.
GUMA GUMA GUMA GUMA!
Ding dong dented.
171. Never forget.
Iron versus time.
The coolest shoes in Brookyln.
The stairwell that building codes forgot.
View from the roof.
Guardians of the fence hole.
Ornate brush pile fence.
Mr Fat Baby, I presume?
He mixes it with love.
Jennifer Lopez and the peanut gallery.
Platter of yum.
Under Central Park.
C and D.
J and I.
Cold view of Manhattan.
Not a very glamorous entrance.
All along the water tower.
Ain’t no party like a Talmud party!
Improvised gutter downspouts.
It’s a stick-up.
A weaves a yarn.
Excellent food from Cantine.
J and A.
Hey there, fancy pants.
The entrance to Greenwood Cemetery.
High concept photo.
I had a crucifixion THIS BIG.
No one will steal this tire.
Walk like a retarded Eygptian.
Hotel fire aftermath.
A on his kangaroo.
Cat entrails: it’s what’s for dinner!
I will do this.
View from the subway platform.
Let’s just use the door.
Straight out of modern China.
Inside the Oculus.
Sand castle pro?
Russian mob style.
I wish I hadn’t kissed that fish.
Hall of wax politics.
Better looking at night.
Just another weekday.
All the stimulants in the world, and he’s still bored.
What could possibly go wrong.
Beehive barge ball jar.
Municipal graffiti team.
Air conditioning finds a way.
Ready for grilling.
We retuned home on Sunday afternoon. On takeoff, we had sweeping views of the city. On descent, we marveled at how empty Nashville looks.
A mellow drive in our own car brought us to our clean house on its quiet street of single family homes.
It’s boring here, but I’m happy.