OMFG epic New York trip!

Posted on June 20th, 2013 @ 15:57 in Travel

SO! I went to New York and I liked it! This was my 8th visit altogether and I daresay perhaps it was the best one yet? It was so good I had to stay an extra three days!

I was staying at GoodYoga again and tho they’ve shuffled things around a bit and I was kinda meh at first (I used to share a big bathroom with one other room, now you have to share a tiny one between four rooms or something), I still really enjoyed it and will definitely be staying with them again, they’re lovely. :-) My “room neighbour”, Denise from Australia, was also really great and we did some stuff together and also chatted a lot. We’ll encourage each other in our endeavours to move to New York! :D And of course the other main thing was that I rented a bike via Spinlister, which was absolutely the best decision ever, we did 350km (212mi) together! So so so amazing!

So now for the nitty-gritty… sorry this is so long! :)) If you want you can jump straight to the conclusion. Oh, and photos are here, plus they’re interspersed in the text – click whenever you see this icon (will open in separate window).

06Jun I arrived in the afternoon (with a headache so not best start, but had very few of those altogether). I really just… went into Manhattan on the E train, walked around a bit and came back on the 7. I think I was in bed fairly early. :))

07Jun It rained! I was not amused. It was also the day I was picking up my bike and I got completely soaked doing that. Wasn’t gonna use it of course, but in the end I walked all over Manhattan instead, got very wet again but stopped caring after a while. It’s great when you’re wearing sandals and can jump in puddles! :D I did: Gagosian Gallery (shut), High Line , Kmart, Penn Station, Macy’s, up Broadway to 53rd, tried MoMA but there were queues for “free Friday nights with Uniqlo” (hmph), so caught the subway to Michael’s on the Upper West Side and bought craft stuff.

08Jun SUNSHINE, WOOO!!! First big bike day, 50km altogether, here’s Runkeeper. Notable events: delicious Blueberry lemonade at 60th Street-ish café along the Hudson River, baseball game , cute organic market at the bottom of Morningside Park, Southern food festival at Madison Square Park, another market at Union Square and finally Paragon Sports where I spent a fortune (but returned the most expensive item – bike rain jacket – in the end). Back to Brooklyn after that, got a lovely wrap at a deli and had dinner at the East River State Park with views over Manhattan. :D

09Jun Second cycle day, it was hot! (Runkeeper, 40km.) I stayed in Brooklyn, plus Governors Island. I checked out the cool market at East River State Park (but didn’t buy anything, that was for next week, hehe), then headed on down. First Brooklyn Botanic Gardens , which were nice . then rode around Prospect Park which is soooo totally awesome and my new favourite!!! Had a lovely smoothie by the lake , then headed via Park Slope towards the river and caught the ferry to Governors Island, which was super-crowded but very fun . It’s all very… party and hippie and a bit “out there”. Cycled home via Brooklyn Heights and ended the day by having a lovely drink and chat with Denise. :-)

10Jun Today was tattoo day and I didn’t do much else. Oh, I did go for a run in the morning! And I rebooked my return flight because after much umming and awwing I finally decided to stay a few extra days. :yay Then I went to get inked, which took three hours and looks awesome! :D

11Jun I wasn’t supposed to cycle, but of course I did anyway… (Runkeeper, 26km). I had 9/11 Memorial at 1pm (which was kinda meh), before that I returned my jacket and bought thin H&M capris cuz they were nice and soft on tattoo. And had a nice chat with a Deadhead tour guide at Battery Park! After the Memorial I cycled back and switched to walking, caught the East River Ferry (which is cute), went to see the On Time (100 years of Grand Central) exhibit which was aaaweesome , especially all these found objects . Also saw a Munch/Warhol one at Scandinavia House which was ok, sat in Bryant Park and eventually caught the ferry back home and saw the most amazing sunset which I tried to recapture almost every night after that but couldn’t. *lol*

12Jun Today I did the Five Boroughs Challenge, which on Runkeeper looks like this. Didn’t stay long in the Bronx or on Staten Island . :)) I tried and dismissed the Punk exhibition at the Metropolitan cuz I decided $25 was a bit steep. Random pic: Went to various “paperies”, one I had on my To Do list, one I found by chance in SoHo, then a guy there recommended another craft type store (Ink Pad, 7th Ave at 13 St) so went there to buy Archival Ink pads which I can use on fabric. :D Then had headache so had to go home. It went away tho so went out again for the sunset . :P Also cool tattoo on random guy:

13Jun It rained! So I left the bike at home, but actually I needn’t have bothered cuz it stopped. Oh well. *lol* Had yummy falafel wrap, saw Claes Oldenburg (and most of their permanent collection ) at the MoMA, walked around SoHo and the Lower East Side some more and then I had Tenement Museum tour. And spent lots of money there although by now I already knew I had to be careful. But they had Paris vs New York postcards, OMG!! *lol* Then met Denise and we went to Talk Therapy Stories, which was pretty interesting, but cold. *lol* Bloody A/Cs!

14Jun SUNSHINE! Today was Queens day (wow, this seems so recent but it was almost a week ago!). Started with the PS1 (belongs to MoMA), which was okay. I’m just not that into contemporary art. Then cycled to Flushing Meadows (Runkeeper) for the Queens Museum of Art, which is closed until October. *lol* Ah well. The ride there was really fun tho, through residential areas with just… stuff going on and yellow school buses and it was all so American! Like being on TV. :)) Ride back was a bit less interesting. Made a quick dip into Manhattan but then had to hurry so caught the ferry back and then got caught in the most magnificent downpour. *lol* Which ended quickly tho (it was basically just the 5 minutes it took me to get home from the ferry), so I walked to the Lower East Side (Runkeeper) to meet Denise again and go see Rooftop Films at a High School which was amaaazing , including great views ! After we got home I dragged Denise to take some nighttime views of red-white-blue Empire State Building.

15Jun Original return day but I wasn’t going anywhere! :D Today I did an epic bike ride (81km, Runkeeper) – Denise had dragged me to McDonalds the previous night. *lol* I started by going around my beloved Prospect Park twice, also bought cute earrings from equally cute lady in Fort Greene. Then took the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, which wasn’t the best idea cuz OMG so many people!!! Effing tourists! =)) Then basically I was at that nice blueberry lemonade café on the Hudson again (which today was super-crowded, it was also super-hot) and saw the George Washington Bridge (crossing the Hudson to Jersey around 176th Street) and thought “why not?” It was looong tho. But I’m totally glad I did it! :D And I did some work in the evening, woo!

16Jun By now unfortunately, departure depression was setting in. :| My knee also hurt a bit so I did less cycling (31km, Runkeeper). Instead I sat in various parks a lot and read. And was sad. *lol* I did also buy some NY art at the East River State market for my collection. :-) Obligatory sunset pics: one , two .

17Jun Today I was meeting Arica!!!! But first I went for a run in the morning (Runkeeper) which was sooo hot I actually thought I might faint. *lol* Didn’t even manage 5km in the end! And after that I met Arica and friends and we went to Red Bamboo where we ate ridiculous amounts – we couldn’t even finish our cheesecakes we were so full! Then walked around for a bit, had tea somewhere and were joined by Sandy so there was lots of MJ talk, then eventually I left and did some final whizzing through rush hour (sob – oh yeah, and Runkeeper), visited St Patrick’s with my tattoo, and eventually went home and returned The Bike and had a nice chat with its owner. Saw a pretty awesome sunset on my way back:

18Jun Departure day, sob sob. Didn’t really feel like doing much but forced myself… I walked around Midtown for a bit, then rented a Citibike since I’d meant to try them (they’re pretty pleasant & smooth to ride – but they’re still so new! Give them a few months *lol*). I rode that from Grand Central to Union Square, then sat / read / moped for a while, walked to the LES and got another bike there which took me over the Bridge back to Williamsburg and I walked the rest home. Ate my last wrap while chatting to Ray, caught the E to JFK, the end. *lol*

SO! IN CONCLUSION! What made this trip special? Definitely the cycling! Absolutely the best way to explore almost any city (maybe not the very first time you go there? Tho why not. I’m all for cycling!). I saw so so so many things I hadn’t seen before, I had such amazingly great fun with NY traffic, it was just altogether marvellous. There was nothing about the cycling that wasn’t perfect! I was very pleased with my “prep” as well, my bum didn’t hurt at all, my legs and hip mostly played along as well (after the 81km I was a bit tired, and my knee hurt the next day. But that was like 20km longer than my longest ride ever, so…)

Having a great neighbour in Denise was also a definite plus, we did a few things together and I got to experience things that I wouldn’t have done on my own. In general tho I’m still totally absolutely for travelling solo. Over the last few days when I was mostly sad because it was almost over, I was reflecting on what would’ve made it easier to leave and realised that had I been there with someone else, I would’ve looked forward to being on my own again. So yeah. Am I a crotchety old misanthrope? Not really – I love interacting with people I come across. I just don’t enjoy having to adjust my plans and preferences, and just… having someone there all. the. time (there would be a few exceptions to this). And I mostly don’t miss having a partner – tho as I said, a good next door neighbour is pretty cool.

I’m definitely more in love with New York now than ever before (was that even possible?) and really really really have to move there and become a bike messenger. It’s just so goddamn perfect, you know?! The Green Card lottery with its minimal chances just won’t cut it, so I will have to find another way. If you know an American who wants to marry me, or an American company that wants to employ and sponsor me, get in touch! *lolol* Seriously tho, I need to get into that goddamn city. Other people manage!!!! Wish me luck! :P

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