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Tenshi's NYC Adventure

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 8:59 am    Post subject: Tenshi's NYC Adventure Reply with quote

Here's the full picture album! Well, it's contained in the Winter 2012 album. Anyhow, here you go!
Code: GoSnowGo

Figured I would post up some notes about my trip! I'll add pictures once I can, but will probably have to wait until evenings or until I get home. So! Without further ado...

Day One
-Creeeeeepy airport greeter sign projection thing. Reverse projection, maybe? But how does it face the viewer....
Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jU64E1cVv0

-Met a friend from the interwebs! Very cool person, we'll plan to do more tomorrow.

-On my trip from the airport, I met and befriended this really nice older woman. She looked over my route and gave her approval, and also wished me an enjoyable time in her home town (though told me Queens was better than Manhattan, of course).

-I saw an under-subway road just like this one scene from GTA IV's Liberty City! (Picture to follow)

-I rode a subway! I didn't know this was on my route, not knowing what the subways were called, but it was. The subways were ridiculously congested, since only two lines are running right now (NYC just got through a huge flood after a hurricane slammed into it). The subway trains were going to all local stops, so it was very... stop-and-go. However, I started chatting up this one guy who was getting very frustrated about the situation. His name was Maurice, and we talked about kids, dreams, hard work, and that sort of thing. He introduced himself to me before leaving, and gave me one of the few smiles I'd seen him offer. Rough life he's protecting his grandson (I think) from, but his grandson is in good hands, I think.

-Gave up on the F train (fittingly named, I swear I'm not swearing). I walked the remaining 10 blocks to the PATH station to Jersey City... only to find that the PATH stations are not like the NYC subway. The PATH station is still underwater. Had to turn around, and ended up taking the N subway back up to Times Square, then the Port Authority bus to Jersey City and my hotel.

-Saw one of the "Free Charging Station" things being set up all over the city. People without power are invited to just plug right in, for free. It's really awesome to see even a major city come together in times of crisis.

-Most everyone in Manhattan (and the bus to Jersey) are super friendly. Probably because there are so many camera toting tourists, but this place is really starting to grow on me. I've heard about a dozen languages so far, and have identified the following: English (not predominantly), Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and (especially in some areas) Hebrew. I could guess at the rest, but I've probably heard Russian, Portuguese, and several languages I have no idea how to identify.

-Stopped for a super late lunch (4pm) at this little burger diner on the corner across from my hotel. The diner's tag line is "Last remaining diner from the World's Fair". I have no idea if it's true or not, but the place is awesome (and cheap!). I befriended the younger of the two proprietors, tipped well, and was invited back any time, day or night, if I needed anything at all. We also shared stories about how people come together in a crisis, and how it was good to see people put aside differences to overcome bigger things.

-Established Base Camp at my hotel! Finally...

-The rest of the evening was pretty bland. A four hour effort to get something to eat (delivery) ended in me being comped $10 for my trouble through the company I was using. After I ordered, I won another $10 in a "thank you for ordering" raffle. For ordering $27 of food, I received $20 back.. and have enough in my fridge to eat a meal a day here at the hotel. Doing rather well!

-Souvenir count: 2 out of ??

-Made amends (I think) with my mom. Maybe. I hope. So, that's good..
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton

Last edited by Tenshi on Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a great day overall! What are your plans for New York? Why'd you go?
Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

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BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like fun. ^___^

What's your itinerary like?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Asa wrote:
What are your plans for New York? Why'd you go?

Well, originally the plan was to head to NYC to support a friend who was going for a marathon thing. The marathon ended up being cancelled, and her group left today to go elsewhere. So, that's a bit unfortunate, but I'll still explore a bit more of the city today.

Tinu. wrote:
What's your itinerary like?

Combining the two answers. Day Three will likely be a bit more of the sketchy side of things. I didn't want to do those whilst traveling around with my friend, largely because burly red bearded men in navy blue pea coats are less likely to be messed with than dressed up blonde women in heels. I know she wants to look nice in the city, though, so we stuck to Times Square and bus tours yesterday. ^^;

Today: Chinatown, Ellis Island, and the WTC One tower. The new one. I think that's the name.

Day Two
-Note to self: Bus Schedules! I stood waiting for the bus for about an hour, so I definitely need to get some bus schedules.

-Met a fellow named Carlos while waiting for the bus. We got to talking about the city, then (by his lead) about politics. Talked for about half an hour, and eventually we wound up talking about natural disasters and crazy nature things such as snow in the desert. I'm beginning to find that most people here are at least aware of politics, and most of the locals want to talk about them. Not surprisingly, most are socially conservative (personal responsibility and effort) and economically liberal (federal assistance, etc).

-Eventually took a "big taxi" thing, and ended up next to Sophia, a med student in her third year rotations. She was heading to Bellevue to save serum, DNA, and RNA samples taken from fire fighters in the WTC collapse. She figured the DNA was denatured, but the RNA might be a bit more hardy. We chatted about psychiatry, neuropsych, general medical stuff, and then she recommended a professor at West Virginia Osteopathic. Very, very cool. Smile Felt nice to hear home mentioned!

-Decided to walk instead of taking a bus as I made my way to Macy's to meet my friend. I had a crosswalk conversation with a man who felt it was a shame that power wouldn't be restored in time for the markets to open on Monday. A great pity, he said. I believe I have found the high class area of Manhattan, unsurprisingly near The New York Times building.
(Attach NYT picture)

-I walked from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Macy's on 34th Street, about 10 blocks. On my way, I was propositioned by a fellow dressed as a Buddhist monk. He offered me peace, a prayer, and a little tin badge for a "donation" as low as $50. When I explained I had no money, he quickly took back his badge. Good to know these things still happen in the Big Apple. XD

-After meeting up with my friend in Macy's, we got coffee and wandered around with her group. Ended up walking through Times Square (during the day), and did a bit of souveniring there. I got pictures with actors dressed as Batman and Iron Man, and got a picture of her with Elmo (I think it was). Groovy!
(Attach pictures)

-We headed from there to get some New York pizza, which was pretty tasty. Broccoli, grilled chicken, and then dried red peppers on top. Very tasty, very tasty. After pizza (and filling up my water bottle), we headed to an open top bus tour. There we took some pictures, chatted, and I persisted in pestering her until she smiled. It's an illness, I have to make people smile. She was rather tired though, had been out most nights so far.

-Hopped off the open top bus tour at the American Museum of Natural History (I always mess up its name, arrange that as necessary). There we flitted through the paleontological wing, through the birds and the spiders, and on to the Hayden Planetarium. Geek mode activated. We found a few things that appealed to her, an Art geek, but largely it was a bit one sided. She fell asleep in the Planetarium. I feel bad that we didn't cross Central Park to go to the Guggenheim instead, because her group surprised her by leaving early today...

-After leaving the museum, we decided we'd walk back to her hotel (only about 2 miles). We took some pictures along the way, stopped for dinner at an Italian restaurant, and so on. Was generally a good time, and it was awesome to meet and hang out with her.

-The walk back to the Port Authority Bus Terminal was neat. There are a couple of sights (including Grand Central Station) which I'd like to go back and get better pictures of, as I was in a bit of a rush to get back by 10pm. I complimented a colorful girl's hair on the bus (the pink part, beneath the red bandana, beside the blonde and black patches). Brought a smile to her otherwise pensive face, so that felt good.

-Have developed a head cold...

Edit: Souvenir Count: 11 of ??
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grand Central has some really neat architecture. If you're planning on going back to that area I strongly suggest you walk down to 5th avenue and visit the New York Public Library--it's gorgeous and it has lots of old things. If you take a right out of the library and walk for a ways you'll end up in K-town and can snag some truly delicious Korean food.

Also the Metropolitan Museum of Art is worth checking out. As is walking the Brooklyn Bridge (bring a camera).

Also: visit The Strand--it's a giant bookstore and you will not regret it if you're a book lover (bring some spending money with you).


Sounds like you're having fun! Keep us updated. ^___^
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tenshi wrote:
-I walked from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Macy's on 34th Street, about 10 blocks. On my way, I was propositioned by a fellow dressed as a Buddhist monk. He offered me peace, a prayer, and a little tin badge for a "donation" as low as $50. When I explained I had no money, he quickly took back his badge. Good to know these things still happen in the Big Apple. XD

I'm surprised you didn't remind him he was meant to be transcending materialism. Wink
Never forget,
We stroll along the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
I'm surprised you didn't remind him he was meant to be transcending materialism. Wink

Somehow, I don't think he would have appreciated the irony of a tidbit of actual Buddhist philosophy. -lopsided grin- Having studied Daoism, Buddhism, and several other Eastern religions, I know a bit more about them than your average American Tourist. That is to say, my exposure is greater than "Bullet Monk" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."

Edit: To clarify for later, the friend I'd come to support in the marathon didn't leave yesterday. Their plans (a rental car) fell through, so they ended up shopping their way through the city. @__@ My friend, who is not materialistic but is very much an art nerd, does not seem to be enjoying this portion of their plan. XD

Day Three
-I got a terribly late start to the day, not leaving my hotel room until just after noon. Even so, today was meant to be the "riding around as a pure tourist and taking pictures" day, so I wasn't really pressed for time. Eight or nine hours is enough time to gather the general tourism route, whereas I've spent the other days delving down alleys and meeting people.

-Forgoing the 125 Bus, I took another "Big Taxi" into town. Much faster, a bit cheaper, and you can actually hear people converse. Such as today, where (as mentioned elsewhere), I overheard a man and woman talking politics and local sights. He spoke Italian and somewhat decent English (though not incredibly well), and she spoke English and Spanish. They would pause every so often to compare Spanish and Italian, which served pretty well, and was fascinating!
+She used Italian to explain that Romney was the New Reagan ("nuovo Reagan"), and explained her view on his policies regarding the rich and "WASPs". That is, "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants", a term I'd never heard before. According to her, all but a handful of US Presidents have been Protestants.
+They also compared costs of living and median income in their respective homes. In Manhattan, an apartment will run you $3,000/mo, and your salary will be about $800/wk (which is why most people live in Jersey, Brooklyn, etc). Apparently, wherever he was from, the cost of living was about $1,800/mo, but salary was only about $450/wk.

I have no idea why any of that is relevant or interesting, but I was fascinated enough.

-Once hitting town, I took off on foot toward Times Square (a good point of reference for the rest of the city). I stopped to ask a fellow who worked for the tour bus company (Grey Line) where the next stop was, and he gave me directions. Once I arrived, I was greeted by a man that I thought must've been either the same fellow, or his brother. Now, I am ashamed to admit that I'm not as good at identifying individual physical characteristics in non-whites as I am in whites. It's mostly exposure, and I try to learn the nuances (I do very well, I've not had this problem in many, many years), but I question myself. Such as in this case, where I decided it must've been a personal error on my part. I assumed this fellow I met at the bus stop was a different fellow, not wanting to be offensive.

It wasn't a different fellow. We had a good laugh at how confused I was, and how fast he was. ^^;

-On the tour bus, I met a fellow who introduced himself from the Dominican (Republic, I suppose? He didn't say that part). I forget his name now, unfortunately, but it started with a B. Bernard, maybe? I think so. We shared a pair of earphones on the tour bus, and chatted a bit as we swung through glass towers more tall than the eye could capture in one view. The sunlight and clear blue skies reflected off of the buildings like a diamond chandelier, and cast light like fireflies across the entire city. Everything glowed with sunlight. We both being from much smaller places, we were mutually awed.

-Bernard (We'll go with that) also wanted to know about jobs and income back in my home state. He was particularly interested in carpentry, though I explained that most of the jobs in WV are related to coal mining. The median income in WV isn't much, probably about $30,000/year ($60,000 for miners), but cost of living is also low (about $600/mo depending on where you live). It's not expensive. Either way, we agreed that any sort of mining is very dangerous, and that accidents happen every year. Tragic, but then, the US runs on 70% coal energy... Have to feed the need.

-I departed the tour after some brilliant photos, and exited near the Staten Island ferries. Now, here the power was still absolutely gone. Nothing was on, this far south, and for good reason. Here was where the Hurricane demolished the city. All of the major businesses with their two floors of tourist-ready attractions? They suffered the worst. The hurricane brought the water table up eighteen feet, and submerged the first two floors of everything for several blocks inland from the bay. Here, pump trucks and work crews wearing masks were working to clear the debris. I heard the estimate that by the end of next week, you'll never even know this happened. I am simultaneously awed and humbled by the level of determination that New Yorkers show, and the casual snark with which they laugh off such absurd situations.

I resemble that.

-I elected not to take the Staten Island Ferry to the Statue of Liberty, largely because I don't have anyone to take the pictures I want to take. I would prefer to have a picture taken of me with my arm around Lady Liberty, and then another of just the statue. Then I could crop the two, and make it look like my arm was literally around her shoulders. You know, those goofy tourist things. Razz I got decent pictures from Manhattan. >_> It's something I'd rather share with someone. And that water is cold, mate.

-After picking up the Grey Line again, we swept through the most of the damaged areas. Here the crews were in full swing, with the Army Corps of Engineers uniformed folk bustling around trucks which were, essentially, huge water vacuums. This is where they are literally sucking the water back out of the subways. They aren't offering estimates on when some of it will come back, as exposed electrical things and salt water are, as the tour guide put it, "mortal enemies". Business as normal for the towers in the area within a week, but some of the PATH and lower Manhattan subways are going to be out of commission for a while yet.

-We swept through tenements, Chinatown, and a bunch of other old landmarks. Our tour guide here was knowledgeable about finances (it was an oddly focused day for that), and explained that median income for people here was roughly $8-9,000 per year. Most people in the impoverished area live with two or three families in a one room apartment. According to the tour guide, a lot of Manhattan's issue is that there is literally no Middle Class. All those who work middle-class jobs live off-island, where cost of living is low (Jersey City, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, etc). The impoverished are packed in with the tightest population density in the world (beating out India, according to the guide), and conditions haven't changed since the early 1900's. Neither had the buildings. Fascinating, but... depressing.

-The Brooklyn Bridge separates the tenements and one-room communal living from the next area of the city, which has Trump Tower and a steakhouse with $90 steaks. Here we're a matter of blocks from the U.N. building (which didn't have their flags up, but was cool nonetheless!), from Rockefeller Center, and nearly back to Times Square. I disembarked at Rockefeller Center, got lost in the basement, watched a bit of NBC filming a live vote count (like, woah..), and then found my way up to "Top of the Rock" - the top of the Rockefeller building, nearly some 70 stories tall.

Oh. My. Word. The View...
(Insert Pictures from Top of the Rock)

-After sunset, I moseyed my way back on down to Times Square. I watched some of the election coverage, then wandered through the Hersheys' and M&M's places. Got a few goodies in each, mostly for friends, and then hit up Hard Rock Cafe New York (a personal thing, I get a key fob from every Hard Rock Cafe I go to). Then I camped out in a Starbucks for a bit to charge my phone and play counselor for a girl back home. NYC, but still me, I suppose!

-At Starbucks, I was curiously surveying these odd machines which made coffee ground "cakes" on top of a filter after they were done. Seeing my interest, the guy behind the counter began to explain it to me a bit. It was like a French Press, so delivered a bit more flavorful coffee than usual. I was interested, so I bought myself a cup. When I came back to pick it up, he hadn't made it... because he wanted to bring me around the counter and walk me through it! I mean, it's not the coolest thing you can do in NYC, but I love coffee. I love coffee a lot, and this was pretty awesome technology. The machines are dialed in to every possible blend, and are updated directly from the main offices in Seattle (like, woah).
+Chris (the fellow manning the machines) himself has been a NYC resident for ten years. He comes from a small town in Indiana which has one (blinking) stop light. We chatted about that, since NYC is massively different than where either of us grew up, and he relayed that he loved the city. He made one example that stuck with me. In a small town, you know everyone. When something new happens, you know it just because new people show up, and so the talk of the town is pretty clearly going to explain this. In NYC... you'd never know. I mean, you'll see a flyer or two, but the city ebbs and flows much unaware of unique events, unique situations. Only, it never lacks them. The city here truly feels larger than the people in it - the forest greater than the trees. For a small town kid, that's a bit weird, but awesome.

I parted ways with Chris after thanking him, and grabbed a chair in the middle of Times Square at one of these little table-and-chair deals that are set up all over the place. Here I finished my counseling session (lol), and texted back and forth with the friend I'd met up with on Day Two. She was waffling on whether or not she'd make it out to meet up again, and ended up electing not to. No big. She doesn't seem to be having as much fun as I am, but largely because she's with a group that seems intent on shopping their way through NYC.

Baffles me. I have a Macy's at home, I needn't shop at one here... >_>

-Nearing 9PM, I decided it was time to head back to the bus. Last bus leaves at 10:30, and I definitely do not want to hoof it to Jersey City! I arrive about 9:10 (walking like a New Yorker at this point, I think) after taking a bunch of random pictures of the city, just missing the 9PM bus. I do meet a woman and her son who are from Pennsylvania (jokingly, I told her she was likely the only person who would know where West Virginia was. She didn't. ;_; ). They had just moved to Jersey, and so were working their way home. We managed to find the right terminal (it changes at 10, and there were no buses between 9PM and 10:30PM), and wound our way back to Jersey.
+I saw a girl I'd seen yesterday on the bus. Yesterday she had cherry red lipstick, bright pink, blonde, and black hair. Done up in a 50's style 'do, very classy-punk. I liked the style, so I complimented her. I saw her again today, her hair straight black and done in a slightly different, though similarly themed 'do. She took the 123, not the 125, so I didn't have the chance to chat with her. Ah, well. She didn't seem particularly amenable to conversing with a guy like me, anyway. I admit, I can be intimidating. ^^;

-Ordered dinner, took a few phone calls, and plotted out my paper that I'll write overnight on Monday. Then crashed, and woke up again... and here I am.

To Chinatown! Then the airport. I may meet a friend from WVU in Times Square just before I leave. He's coming in for the James Bond 007 premier, meeting Daniel Craig and everything. I may have enough time to have coffee and greet with him, which would be cool. ^_^
. Dubbed "Usagi" by AsA .
Keeper of the Siderean Swords

"If by chance some day you're not feeling well, and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done, and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled."
Red Skelton
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's your itinerary like? Embarassed

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