Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Divine, Serendipity and Art.

January 2, all my teacher friends had to go back to work. Riza’s landlord is nosy and makes illegal complaints. The landlord doesn’t allow her to have visitors in the house when Riza’s not home. As such, I had to leave the house by 7:30 when Riza left for work. I was in the city before anything was really open.

Luckily, I could get into the Time Warner Center even though the stores themselves were still closed. I sat on a bench, reading and eating my breakfast. Then I went into Borders to trade in a book I got from two people. I got an amazing book called “Writing the Australian Crawl” and an amazing collection of poems by Wislawa Szymborska. At Best Buy, I discovered that my broken laptop’s warrantee had expired in November. Aaargh!

That afternoon, I couldn’t get a hold of Riza, but I went back to Queens anyway. Just to stay warm, I checked out all the stores in the area and, then went to a local Thai restaurant. I got nervous, so I called Jenny, and she agreed to let me stay with her for the rest of my trip. Finally, Riza called me. She’d been MIA because she dropped her cell phone and it shattered! She had to go buy a new phone, then she had to get my phone number from Laura. On top of it, when she got home, her landlord reamed her for having a guest. (The landlord’s behaviour is illegal, illegal, illegal!) Anyhoo, I headed back to her apartment, thanked her for her hospitality and hit the road.

I had the strange experience of being freezing cold and sweating at the same time as I hauled my three bags from 86th and Lex to 83rd between 1st and York. Halfway there, it got a lot harder when a wheel from my suitcase shredded. Once I made it to Jenny's place, she and I chatted for about an hour, most of which was spent admiring her cats.

The next day, I met up with Tom in Brooklyn. I needed to use his computer. Then we were supposed to go to the museum, but it was SO COLD, so we ended up staying in and watching movies instead. It was so good to see him. He had recently gotten a haircut, so he looked adorable. “When I look at pictures from last summer,” he said, “I’m amazed you never told me to cut my hair! It looked crazy.” Hee. A little bit, but I didn’t care. (See non-crazy last January above left vs. crazier last April above right.)

Friday I planned to spend all day going to museums, but I was slow to get around. That afternoon, I ended up at the Museum of Modern Art. It was the free night…big mistake. I had to stand in line in a parking lot forever, then stand in line inside for longer because they forced me to check my backpack. While I was in line, I got a call from Todd informing me that our apartment was broken into. Apparently, the guy broke our back window, ate our ice cream, and took off. Okay…. Well, if you have to get robbed, that’s about the best possible outcome.

Anyway, in the end, I spend an hour and a half in lines to get into the museum. Then I only had a hour to look at art before I had to go. On the plus side, I made it through the second floor and the sixth floor, including the amazing Seurat exhibit. The exhibit focused on his sketches, not the pointillism that made him famous with Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It was really gorgeous.

Then I met up with Tom for dinner. He got a scrumptious bucket of clams, but I got a desiccated plank of chicken. Seriously, it was like sawdust, so for the first time in my life I sent it back. My reward? A savory, juicy flank steak. Hooray for sending back overcooked food! Hooray for lovely restaurants that want to please their customers. Yay!

The next day I basically chilled out in Jenny’s apartment, reading a book. That night, I met up with Laura, Madrid, Carolina and Riza at Divine Bar. It was indeed fancy (see photo of food at left). I think the girls liked their boxes, especially Laura. Carolina had bought me a pretty necklace, and Laura had made me one. After some great eating, Carolina and Madrid hit the road and Laura, Riza and I hit the club. We spent hours on the dance floor.

Sunday I went shopping, but didn’t find anything I liked except a hostess gift for Jenny. I did, however, find a table at a restaurant I’d always wanted to try, Serendipity 3 (See photo at the very top, left). The food was delicious, especially the hot chocolate. Technically, one is supposed to order the frozen hot chocolate there, and the sundaes are legendary, but I was full and it was cold out! As it was, I gave myself a bit of a tummy ache.

The next day, I met up with Chris. We went for hour-long walk in an Inwood park. It was so pretty. We went back to his apartment to watch Sherlock Holmes and Joan of Arcadia. Madrid got home from work and heated up an amazing pizza. Then I was off to meet up with Tom again. I’m glad I got to spend so much time with him, but it was hard for me, too, because nothing has changed. We’re still not together.

Today I packed up my stuff and splurged on a cab to the airport. Part of me is so sad to leave New York and my friends, but part of me looks forward to getting back to my everyday life in Virginia.

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