Harvard stopped paying me on May 31, and my new job didn't start until the following Monday, so I took the chance to finally go to NYC with grad friend A the way we'd been talking about for months! It was perfect weather, sunny and cool, and we had an excellent time.Thursday
We agreed that getting there early wasn't worth getting up
super early, so we met at the bus station at 9. It's nice to be comfortable enough with someone that you can just read and listen to music together for a few hours.
First New York meal: a corned beef reuben at the Starlight Diner. It's near the bus wasteland, and we needed food. A had gyros, and both our dishes were good but extremely large! I ate the other half of mine for dinner.
First activity: the Met! They were having a Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons fashion exhibit, which was amazing. We only had an hour and a half, story of my life when it comes to the Met, but honestly that's about all my joints can take of museum time without being able to sit and rest a lot. The fashion exhibit was glorious and made me even more disappointed in the basic bitches who went to the Met gala without even touching on the theme. There were plenty of ways to look sexy and interesting while still being avant-garde in Kawakubo's collections.
A kept trying to stop and look at paintings. No, if we don't go directly to the thing we want, we will be looking at everything else forever
. We look at permanent-collection paintings after
the limited exhibit!
She did have a brilliant idea afterward, though. We needed to eat New York cheesecake. Two Little Red Hens had good reviews and was reasonably nearby, and turned out to have excellent cheesecake, plus somehow 100% perfect lemonade. We didn't try the cupcakes, but they looked good too.
We checked out our hostel after that, which was a weird one -- there had been a deal on hotels.com, so we'd booked a king-size private room. In a hostel. Well, it did turn out to be a private room with its own bathroom, and rather nice though entirely without appliances, but the mattress was very clearly a full size. Good thing neither of us is a wild sleeper.
A went out for a walk to admire the sunset, I rested and took aspirin and read a Courtney Milan novel. (Books on my phone, so much easier to carry around all day.)Friday
In the morning, A's tamagotchi woke me up at 7. Thanks for that. More reading time! A got up at 8 and we headed off to find breakfast at Bagels & Co. I had a sesame bagel with cream cheese and fresh orange juice, and it became very clear why they charge so much for cream cheese: sheer volume. We also each got a rainbow-colored egg bagel (pride-related?) to take home; mine is in the freezer awaiting suitable toppings.
We had thought of going up to NYBG, but it's pretty far really and A can probably get sent there for work at some point, so we stayed in Manhattan instead. First stop: the Natural History Museum. We looked at very many dinosaur and mammal remains, and near the cool drawings of animals whole/muscled/bones-only we met a security guard. He complimented my spaceship shirt (based on this design
) and asked if I was a pilot. No, I said, a scientist. He asked where we were based, and when we said Harvard he asked if we knew Neil deGrasse Tyson. We do not! But he does
. He, in fact, gets into a Michael Jackson dance-off with him every year. Sadly, it didn't happen while we were there.
Next we took a walk along the High Line, which was much longer than last time I was in New York, absolutely hipster-saturated but a really lovely aerial park. We got pretty hungry during this but failed to find actual food in the area, so we headed off toward the Strand. My phone had run out of data (Twitter autoplay, RIP) so A was navigating, and she found that at our bus transfer point there was a Sushirrito. This is apparently a Bay Area chain, and it was highly amusing and delicious. They have a machine that makes the nori-and-rice wrapping, which is really clever, then the humans apply fish or whatever (A had chicken katsu, I had yellowtail), plus veggies and other good things. They are very tasty but less well thought out than burritos as to what happens at the ends of the cylinder.
We went to the Strand, which was actually the first time I'd been. A good bookstore. I got The Star-Touched Queen
and a souvenir magnet. We left in good order with just enough time to get the obligatory Jamba Juice, which has considerately moved to be more convenient, at Penn Station, and dash to the bus.
The last adventure was at the Burger King at the bus rest stop in CT. A got not only chicken fries, which cost twice as much as chicken nuggets for being long and skinny and better spiced, but also... mac n' Cheetos. The latter is horrifying and hilarious, it's Cheeto-shaped deep-fried Kraft dinner, I do not understand who came up with this.
I made it home by midnight and then my knee hurt for four days, but oh well, it was a very good trip. :)