Dear NY,

I have a few things to say to you New York.  New Yorkers.  Manhattanites…

Why do you think it is ok to call delivery people across the globe for a single hot dog and not tip more than 1.25?  Those guys work hard.  Knock it off.  Eat More Hot Dogs, Tip Better: Your new mantra, write it down.  Girls who are too drunk to stand, especially attempting it in heels, at 4 am, in public, and more importantly in the middle of an avenue: You don’t have to stop a cab with your body, a simple wave of the hand will do.  Also, bikes riding by in bike lane are not to be hailed as a cab, or to be hugged, I know I look good in my chef coat but instantly stopping a bike going 20 mph carrying a 190 lb guy… a challenge for even the hardiest of shot putters. (No there are not nachos in my knife bag)

New York runners, your time in the spotlight.  We see enough people on the streets every single day that we choose to pretend don’t exist, and when you see as many people as we do they all tend to blur together.  NY Runners, drop your shields to your team mates.  There is no reason to blindly and embarrassingly go stone cold as one of your own runs by sweaty and gasping.  I see the awkwardness in your eyes as you can’t help but look to see if they are in as bad of shape as you are, but as I give you the ‘hey, I don’t have much energy, I really hurt right now, but refuse not to cheer on a compatriot,’ hand spasm, you dive right back into your sidewalk of NY shell.  The worst part is that I see you get flustered at your lack of action, and from your surprise that someone out on those lonely bike paths would notice you… but next time… next time, give a little smirk, or start small and raise an eyebrow, and in turn over time I will break you of your wallflower ways, I will recruit you to my team… and we’ll be momentary friends.

Pictures?

The view from Jean and Kay's balcony where they stayed on their visit.

Really cool gallery entrance in Chelsea.

Columbia University

Field Trip!

Yip.

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On A Three Hour Tour…

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this eastern port
Aboard this tiny ship. “

While not quite as eventful as Gilligan’s infamous voyage, Shannon, Jean, Kay, and I did get to take a rather lovely cruise around out island.  With Shannon’s mom and aunt in town we decided it would be a good time to take in the sights around Manhattan.

Since brunch is our favorite thing here in NYC, Shannon and I decided that eating brunch and drinking mimosas while sight seeing might be the best possible thing to ever exist, and so we booked a brunch cruise.  It all happens on the deck of this trusty little barge aptly named the Manhattan:

The ManhattanOnce aboard the yacht we were promptly handed mimosas and quickly kicked out to sea by the captain.  Once out on the river the air temperature immediately dropped and we were encased in the cool salty breeze coming off ocean.  We began our journey down the Hudson river towards the Atlantic Ocean and the Statue of Liberty.

The view from the Yacht was spectacular.  Straight from the beginning as we were ushered by the Statue we were continually floated by famous views including the Financial District skyline, the low and neighborhood like Village, the sea ports and forts, and the industrial shores of Queens.  We swam down the Hudson river and up the East River, our ever knowledgeable captain spouting off trivia at every turn.

Some of the standout sights glimpsed from new angles aboard our small vessel were the bridges.  These colossal stone and iron structures are really neat to see from underneath.  It is amazing to me the amount of care that was put into the aesthetics of the bridges, the stone work, the iron work, and then add to this the actual structural intricacies it makes for pretty a pretty awe inspiring sight.


Brunch was served in 4 delectable courses, non of which did I think to photograph, and each accompanied by a new mimosa.  We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of quiches and freshness of the fruits, but still were distracted by the steady stream of sights ripping by the large glass windows.

The whole experience was extremely eye opening, but in particular one section of Manhattan threw me for a loop.  As we crested the top of the island about to enter the Harlem River the entire scene turned to something none of us expected to see on the small island of Manhattan: Green.  Lots and Lots of Green.  As it turns out the top of the island and then into the Bronx is an endless sea of beautiful green forest, gardens, parks, and water.  We got only the shortest glimpse into this world from the yacht, but it suddenly made the top of my destination list!  It also turns out that we can access all of the greenness from a subway train!  It is crazy to me that this area of dense foliage is attached to the urban jungle which I have been trapped in for all this time!  It doesn’t compute in my brain, it is just too much of a contrast.

All in all it was a wonderful breath of fresh air, and a welcomed escape from the heat of the city streets.  Shannon is now convinced we need a boat, and I think I am inclined to agree.  Here are some pictures from our voyage:



1/4

The city seems to be deserted.  As I walk between buildings unhindered by throngs of people I can’t help but wonder if it is the holiday or the heat that has evaporated the crowds.  Blistering heat has kept us from venturing too far from home except for the essentials: cold beer and wine, maybe some food depending on funds.  Currently it is 98 degrees, and outside stuck between concrete sidewalks and towering concrete skyscrapers it feels like 300 degrees.  In spite of the oven like conditions we did actually venture forth for the fourth last night.  We climbed 100 blocks up to the Upper West Side for some holiday debauchery.

Shannon, Dan, Tanner, and I cruised up and through the park in a cab to our friends apartment to enjoy their backyard area where we dined on all the American classics, burgers and dogs, drank our blue ribbon winning beer, and soaked in the weather with good friends.  As I have mentioned before I love the inner sanctuaries that the street blocks provide.  All of the buildings around the outside of a block leaves these great protected community areas which are the ideal outdoor hang outs.  Justin and Becca, who hosted us this weekend, have turned their outdoor space into a really welcoming and fun hang out decked out with tables, chairs, grill, and yard games.

After relaxing through the evening with everyone we made the hike over to river to take advantage of the playing fields and ultimately watch the amazing NYC fire work display put on over the Hudson.  It is actually at this river park where we found the last of the Manhattanites left on the island, all waiting at this green park for the fireworks display.  It was actually fairly crowded along the river with everyone packed against the railing that runs down the water, the crowd being drawn in by the recent rankings of firework shows in the US, the Hudson show coming in at #1.  All in all it was a great sight, even though it was 1 trillion degrees out.

After the show we made it back to the apartment to play some ‘washers’ the New York equivalent of bean bags aka corn hole.  Couldn’t help but think of Jesse Armijo and his hand crafted boards and bags: infinitely better than any set up I have ever played on since encountering his craftsmanship.  Although our venue was pretty cool stuck in a crazy little alley way with fireworks going off overhead.

All in all a very good and laid back 4th of July.  I hope everyone out there had a good day, most importantly enjoyed a few days off of work!  Here are some pictures of the day:

The Girls hanging out at the park.

Where we played football and threw the frisbee.

Goons.

Some epic building overlooking the park and river.