A lot of my general sightseeing and pushups were done last November when I was around, so my visit was less centreed around sightseeing and more oriented towards socialising with people I already knew.
On the Wednesday I came down from Boston on a Megabus which had free wi-fi on board. Wonderful. Every place I have stayed on this trip came with free wi-fi and now buses were providing it. It's as if in five years wireless internet will be literally everywhere.
Upon arrival I checked into The Jane
and after putting together a short list of things I wanted to do, decided to try to cross one of them off immediately, and ventured out in search of Yankees tickets. There was a place on 42nd street inside a sports store that apparently sells discounted tickets on game day and I went to find nobody was there. A guy in the shop who didn't work there asked if I was looking for tickets and offered me his. It sounds like a scalper, but this was a guy in a suit and he didn't look the type. Still, I was a little bit uneasy taking one of his two tickets but was adequately satisfied that this was sufficiently legit. I was a little worried that I would get all the way up to the stadium only to be turned away or arrested for breaching Yankee laws, but aside from a pat down and being asked to lift up my shirt (to show I had no weapons I guess) I was let in and watched the game next to the catcher and left fielder from the Yeshiva University baseball team. The Yankees won 7-4 against the Orioles in a game that was rained on but not rained out. Luckily, in my terrible seats four rows from the very back behind the first base line, I didn't get rained on at all. Hooray for the cheap seats.
Also, apparently if you catch a home run ball hit by the opposing team, the Yankee fans will boo you until you throw the ball back on to the field. Odd.
Wednesday night after the game led me to McKenna's which is my local in New York in as much as I can be said to have a local. During Happy Hour they give out poker chips with your drinks which can be redeemed whenever you like for a free drink. That's how they do 2 for 1 deals. I also dropped into possibly the darkest bar I've ever seen. Dracula would have been happy to drink there. They had no liquor there. If you want something other than beer or wine, go elsewhere.
Thursday meant sleeping in a bit after getting home arond 4:00am and some wandering around seeing a convoy of about 30 caravans driving up 6th avenue as part of a hasidic preparation for Passover.
There were a number of people that I met the last time I was in NYC whom I saw again. Minou's friend (and now my friend) K, and a group of others who were attending a party until late Thursday (again, I got home after 4:00am) and set up another party for me to attend the following night.
On Friday I caught up with MYC
whom I have not seen since high school. Almost half of my life has passed since we last met. I gave her a beyondblue
wristband in recognition of her support of my 12 hour run, and our chat went on for about three hours, far longer than we had planned. I guess we had a lot to say. We were both full of surprises.
I also made a minor pilgrimage to JAQ's old neighbourhood and took some photos to feed her sense of nostalgia for her old hood. Then it was off to the Upper West Side where for the second time ever I set foot inside a New Yorker's home. They are cramped to say the least, but they did plenty with the space. We drove out to Brooklyn for a party held in a basement and again I got home after 4:00am.
Also, an Israeli woman on the subway who asked me for directions also said that I was a dead ringer for a friend of hers who is an Israeli Paratrooper. That is about the coolest doppleganger I have ever been presented with.
Saturday was largely a rest day as my nights out were catching up with me, but I did wind up attending a friend's birthday in a surf themed bar where I opted against my usual selection of beers and chose surfesque cocktails instead.
And on Sunday I left.
It was an exhausting time and I think it may have left me with a cold, but I loved it and I am sure I will be back. I am now acquiring a circle of New York friends with whom I get along very well. I wonder at times how my life would have been different if I had moved to New York instead of London in my mid 20s. God only knows who I would have met and where I would have gone.
Coming down from the high was tough though as it was last time. I know I live a long way from this environment and I never know when the next time I will come by will be. Here's hoping it's not too long. Will I ever become tired of visiting New York? Maybe. Or other destinations may become more appealing, but at the moment it always seems to be the place I want to get back to.