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15 June 2011

a day in the new york life, part 2

Day 23: Monday, 13 June 2011 [Part 2]

The buildings got taller as we entered Midtown. The more intimate feel of the Village was replaced by more grit. I had to be more alert, because people were rushing around in all directions doing all kinds of things. It felt, frankly, overwhelming. Just walking around can be stressful. If I lived here, I would totally get a heart attack or pick up smoking (either way, living in Manhattan is not good for your health!). We made it to Times Square, where the tourist hawks came swooping down on us, offering us tickets to all the shows. I played into one of their games, keeping the guy engaged in conversation for like 10 minutes. He just keep talking non stop! It was amazing. He asked me how long he thought he could keep me standing there, and I was wondering just the same. He was going to give us $40 comedy central tickets for $7.50, but I had already decided not to spend any more money that day, so I wouldn't budge for anything that wasn't free.

We sat in Times Square for a couple minutes; a woman was filming some sort of tacky promo for an online dating agency, and some dorky teenage boys were discussing why they can't get any girls and which train they should take. Oh, New York. Ueli and I then walked to Rockefeller Center; I tried to call the NJ Transit hotline to figure where exactly we'd get our bus, but no luck. We passed though Rockefeller, I considered waking up early to be on the Today Show the next morning, and we walked up 5th Avenue, passing St. Patrick's Cathedral. Ueli wanted a frappuccino, so I spontaneously asked the first person to walk by with a Starbucks cup where she got it from. "Trump Towah", she barked back in a noticeably Bostonian accent. I grunted back a thanks and we walked quickly onward. (Man it's so easy to interact with people in New York!)

We got to Trump Tower and sat at the Starbucks car upstairs in the lobby. Since Ueli had bought the pizza earlier, I paid for his drink. I got a call from my friend Jonathan, whom I had contacted earlier. He had just gotten off work at Rockefeller Center and was walking to meet us, so we waited and met him at the corner of 59th and 5th Ave. At this point my camera died. We walked briefly through Central Park, and then to Columbus Circle, catching up along the way. Jonathan was able to hook us up with free sweet treats at Godiva, so we each got an amazingly decadent milkshake each - strawberry white chocolate, regular milk chocolate, and mint chocolate. We walked south along 8th Avenue back toward our bus station, because after all the day's walking, our legs and feet were hella sore. So we just wanted to get home.Jonathan guided us back to the Port Authority bus terminal, and we said good-bye. A bus drove by with all of the seats facing theater-style sideways out the window.

It was a little difficult to figure out how exactly to get to our bus. We bought tickets, but I couldn't tell if the bus stop was outside on the street or inside the terminal. Asking around, I learned that it was upstairs in the bus terminal. I was lucky (as usual) and the first bus gate I walked up to was the one with our bus. And the bus came within 2-3 minutes of us getting there. The commuters were lined up in a zig zag, and the guy at the end said to me in a thick accent "I'm the last one."

The bus took off and went through the Lincoln tunnel. As it emerged, the setting sunlight cast itself upon the city, and all the towers glistened above the river. It was truly a spectacular sight and would make one of the most amazing postcard pictures. Unfortunately my camera had no battery life left in it, so all I had were shitty cell phone pictures. Well, what really matters are the photographs and still frames in my mind, right?

The bus emptied out pretty quickly once we got to New Jersey. The bus driver dropped us off at the small outlet Town Center, and we walked into the Whole Foods Market so that I could buy some beer for the evening. We walked to the house, only about 10 minutes away, and quickly settled down. It was past 9pm and were naturally exhausted. A small dinner of chicken and rice awaited us. Then, Ueli and I spent the evening soaking in their amazing heated pool! We swam a bit, threw the basketball around too, and then we switched to the relatively new jacuzzi! The hot water and massaging jets were just what we needed after such a long, overwhelming, and exhausting day in the city! We stayed in there for a while, sipping down several beers and just relaxing until past midnight. Sometimes I have to wonder how I get so lucky!

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