Sunday, July 19
Pancakes for one is always depressing because eating them with you was always so much fun!
This morning, I slept in. The air was nice, and the construction was merely a dull roar in the background. Marie's apartment is beautiful; the sun and the breeze fill the large spacious rooms comfortably. The quiet takes over, and even the streets obey the majestic peace I find at Marie's.
I hopped on the 1 heading downtown to meet George at his apartment for an unscheduled day. We went here-and-there around Astor Place and St. Mark's. I happened upon the cutest little smoothie shop: strawberry-mango smoothie, huge, $5.74! Getting deals on huge amounts of good stuff in NYC is probably one of the most fun parts about being here. It's so satisfying. I'm fairly certain New Yorker's live for it!
I needed to do some homework, so I suggested we make the usual trip down to the Pier. Being the good NYC host friend that he is, George suggested a bit of adventure to Bryant Park off of Times Square. Sworn to hate Times Square, I scoffed, and resentfully made the subway ride to 42nd Street. Bryant Park isn't nearly as cute or fashion-forward as it is on Project Runway. My impression was that it was just another patch of grass in the middle of the city, but more awkward because of Time Square's immanent presence! I tried to read my Economics book, but it sucks. Boo econ.
George and I toured around the area for an hour or two waiting for his friends Marcus and Lauren. Best Buy. Barnes and Noble. All things to find in Knoxville. Not that I don't like Knoxville, but I don't like being in a culturally diverse mecca and being surrounded by franchise after franchise. I suppose that New Yorker's need their cheap and dependable chains, but I found it a little overwhelming. How can a city who fights so hard to keep Wal-Mart out allow... It doesn't matter: Capitalism.
No sign of the friends. It's time to go.
Back in good ole' Harlem, I quickly readied myself for a night out with my family's friends, Barbara and Joel. They had invited me over last week for an Ethiopian dinner, but because cell phones are made out of evil, we missed one another. I was happy to be welcomed into their beautiful apartment. Though smaller than Marie's, their apartment was cozy, spacious, and delightful. I commented, "This is a magnificent place you've got; I absolutely adore it!"
"You do? We hate it! Maybe we should give it to you."
The night progressed with me asking questions about all sorts of things: my dad, nuclear work/activism, Columbia. After half a glass of wine, we walked downtown into Manhattanville, a failed attempt to move gentrification uptown, for Ethiopian! For those of you unexposed to Ethiopian cuisine, let me first encourage you to try it. I did. It was... something I've never tasted before. The spongey bread remincient of Naan has a very sour taste to it. The ground beans and greens seem lathered in spices. The meat? Oh, the meat. The meat is surrounded by fat, sauce, and deliciousness. Although I walked away with an upset stomach, the expereince was invigorating.
** SCHEDULE TIME TO DO HOMEWORK AND THEN PRIORITIZE EXPERIENCE OVER GRADES.
** MAKE PLANS TO COOK DINNER FOR FRIENDS YOU JUST MET.
** SNACK ON PECANS TO FILL TIME.
** LAY IN THE GRASS AND LISTEN TO PEOPLE TALK IN NYC.
** VENTURE TOWARDS TIME SQUARE.
** DRINK RED WINE FOR THE FIRST TIME.
** ORDER LAMB.
** EXPECT WHAT YOU'RE GETTING TO SEEM NORMAL.