Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New York: Day One - Beginnings

What follows over the next several days will be a brief account of our trip to New York City. It will take several entries to complete, and will include many photos--some good,some not so good. But my hope is that by the end it will at least be entertaining. Enjoy.

Late February 2006. Amelia and I need a break. Life in State College is grating on us, the stress of job-hunting is wearing us down, and life is basically throwing us curveballs. We need to relax. We need to enjoy ourselves. We need a vacation.

You guessed it. We need Tenafly, New Jersey. Because nothing says vacation like the home of Paul Anka and Don Mattingly.

So the first weekend in March--the first days of Penn State's Spring Break, we packed our bags and headed to a little hotel just a 40-minute busride outside of Manhattan. Random? Yes. But also free.

Saturday, Sunday, and Monday we hopped the bus and explored one of the largest cities in the world. We met old friends, we made new friends, and we generally had an excellent time.

Day One

After stopping at a little bakery for breakfast, where Amelia enjoyed a delicious muffin, we jumped on the 166 Express and quickly found ourselves in the heart of Times Square.

New York was basically everything you'd expect. It was my third trip there, but first trip that lasted more than 8 hours. Other than a quick trip last February to see the Gates in Central Park, it was Amelia's first trip there.

Fortunately, we were not left guideless. Before going, we'd made plans to meet with some Internet friends we know. I know, I know. Internet friends? Who does that besides desparate people or crazy people? But these are good people, and they gave us an excellent welcome. We know them through a bulletin board we joined through an old friend from growing up, and it's a lot of fun. First we met Mimi at Cafe Habana for the most delicious Cuban corn-on-the-cob ever invented. This place was great, but ridiculously crowded. You're basically sitting on top of everyone around you. Also, Amelia stole a pen.

For desert, we headed over to this place:

They serve all kinds of rice pudding there, like French Toast and Chocolate Chip (our two flavors of choice). Good stuff. Good stuff indeed. Amelia knows it from a book she read; I just knew it because of our friends. (I'm a firm believer that local guidance is the best way to learn the hip ins and outs of any city.) Plus, it was a chance to meet a few more Internet Friends and see this funky wall.

By the way, my advice is that when a wall demands your obedience, you give it what it wants.

All in all, it was a good way to begin a trip.

Coming Soon: Exploring Chinatown! An Evening at the Museum! Sleep!

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