Friday, February 25, 2011

I Ain't Changed, But I Know I Ain't The Same

I've been staying pretty busy lately - classes this semester aren't really much more demanding than last semester, but they seem to be absorbing more of my time anyway. Still, I have been finding time for fun, so that's what I'll catch up on here. Last week we had a couple of totally glorious days of warmer temperatures - up in the mid-sixties. I decided to go walk around (in jeans and a short sleeved shirt!) in Central Park. On the way there I passed a music video shoot. I stopped to watch for a little while, largely out of curiosity to figure out whose music video it was. I eventually gave up. Nobody standing there knew, and it became wildly boring before too long, since they were just doing establishing shots.

In Central Park the ice, piled up after a very snowy winter, was melting so quickly that small rivers were running down all the hills. I visited the once-famous (now defunct) Tavern On The Green.
This used to be THE restaurant for the Broadway big shots to come to after a show. But it went out of business. Now it's a visitor's center (overpriced Central Park t-shirt anyone?). And the famous Crystal Room is shuttered. Technically speaking, the rich and powerful could still get food there, but they're probably not interested in what's on offer.
One rarely observes the glamorous eating from food trucks, even such high quality food trucks as have moved in here.

A couple of days later I visited Momofuku Milk Bar with my friend Michelle (at her suggestion). It is excellent suggestions such as these that keep things interesting. Milk Bar is a dessert spot that serves pretty off-the wall treats - in this picture I'm enjoying an apple pie truffle (small truffle that tastes EXACTLY like apple pie). They have things like blueberry cream cookies, French toast ice cream, cinnamon bun pie, and compost cookies (which have potato chips, pretzels, various candies, and coffee in them). Definitely super delicious, and pretty darn indulgent. A nice little place to visit at the end of a hard week of class work.

Over the weekend, Michelle's friend Marissa came to visit from Toronto, and I went with them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Balcony Bar. Every Friday and Saturday evening the Met sets up tables in the second floor balcony area (near Ancient Chinese Art), brings in a string quartet and a piano to play classical music, and serves wine and hors d'oeuvres. We even got all dressed up, and thus had a super classy museum trip.
Marissa and Me in front of the Temple of Dendur

On Tuesday I went with Marissa to The Jewish Museum to see their exhibit on Harry Houdini. It was fantastic! I learned a lot about the life of Houdini, and got to see his handcuffs, milk jug, upside down water chamber, and much more. It was a great display, with tons of artifacts from Houdini's life (which were super cool), old videos of Houdini performing his tricks (which were amazing), and modern art inspired by Houdini (which I was less interested in).

This weekend is a big school work weekend for me. Even though our Spring temperatures only lasted a couple of days, and it's chilly again, they did make me optimistic about the coming change in seasons. Hopefully as the weather continues to improve I can continue having time for adventures.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Break The Lock If It Don't Fit

Since it's been a little more than a week since my last post, I feel like I really need to put something here. Unfortunately, I haven't done anything especially interesting in the past 10 days. What can I say? It's been cold, my new living situation means I don't mind staying in, I've had plenty to do for my classes, my friends are also busy, and (reiteration for emphasis) it's been cold.

Not to say I haven't been having a nice time. Yesterday my suitemate and I walked 3 miles up to a Swedish coffee shop and back, and we had delicious frothy drinks and a nice time. We even saw Meg Ryan on the street. Wednesday I made banana pudding for my friend Kim (she's from South Korea, and had never tried it before), and we had some fun hanging out. Also on Wednesday, one of my professors took everyone out for a drink at his favorite bar after class. That was also very pleasant, and I got to know some of my classmates a little better.

Today I'm (finally) seeing The King's Speech - we got $3 tickets through the building we live in. It's supposed to warm up this week, so maybe I'll feel a little more adventurous. Right now things seem to be on a pleasantly even keel.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"If You Want to Walk Out the Door, Then Let Me Hold it Open"

Wow, it's been a crazy week! So much has been going, it really feels like I'm abridging three blog posts worth of excitement into this one. So, here goes.

Here's another picture of snow, though it may be the last one I put up. First of all because there's been a lot of snow, and so it's much less exciting (this one taken last Thursday morning, after 19 inches fell the night before). Second of all because we do seem to be edging towards the other side of snow. Or maybe any break from seemingly nonstop snow makes it feel like Spring is around the corner - this was the snowiest January in New York on record. In any case, last Wednesday night - as the snow started really and truly coming down - I had a thought. And my thought was "I bet some people are canceling their tickets to The Colbert Report because of this." I went online and, sure enough, there were tickets available for the next day's show. I snapped up two. Because of the last minute notice (and the blizzard), I wasn't able to find anyone to go with me. However, I wasn't really bothered by that. I took my Kindle so I could keep reading Dracula in line, got there two hours early (securing the number 1 place), and settled in for a chilly wait.

Like Jon Stewart at The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert takes questions before filming starts. He even does so out of character. I decided that I needed to ask a question here too.
Me: "Do you know how happy people from Charleston are that you're from there? So the people of South Carolina can sometimes look at the tv with hope and pride instead of fear?"
Stephen Colbert: (laughs a little) "Are you from Charleston?"
Me: "Yes"
Stephen Colbert: "Boy, I sure do miss it there. How are things there?"
Me: "You know, the same."
Stephen Colbert: "Crazy as ever? What do you miss the most?"
Me: "Well, my family's there -"
Stephen Colbert: "Family? Psh. I miss shrimp!"

The show was really funny, and it was a great experience. Then I had a really nice weekend - Lower East Side/East Village wander around/cannoli outing with Michelle, brunch with Rachel, some slightly warmer weather (above freezing!), and good things.

But then on Monday my roommate and I had a disagreement. It's resolved now, so there's probably no need to air all the thorny details on the internet. But things went bad in a way I didn't anticipate, very quickly, and then showed no sign of improving. Luckily for me, NYU was really on the ball - Tuesday evening all my stuff was moved to my new dorm! (Largely thanks to a heavy dose of determination and the generous help of Rachel.) I'm no longer a resident of Greenwich Village, I'm a ten minute walk up the street in the East Village. So I'm now a 10-15 minute walk from my classes and the library, but I'm that much closer to lovely things like my favorite coffee shop, the grocery stores, the bank, good restaurants, etc. Plus, I now have my own room!! I'm sharing a two person suite with a thoroughly sweet, agreeable, friendly, fun to talk to student at the dental school. My 26 hours of drama were extremely stressful and unfortunate, but my situation has now improved by leaps and bounds! My new space feels more "home-y" than my old one ever did - I feel much more relaxed!

New bedroom - viewed from the door. My dresser, desk, and half the window are blocked by the door frame. The closet is immediately to the right.

View of the new shared kitchen space. The fridge is to the left.