Friday, July 10, 2009

Alabama comes to NYC

Yesterday I went to the city to see my friend Imran. I met him at Cornell last summer and I can honestly say that he is one of the funniest people that I have ever had the pleasure to meet. Unfortunately he lives in Alabama and I have an uncanny fear of the south (toothless hicks with banjos just aren't my thing) so after I left Cornell last July I never expected to see him again. Luckily I was wrong. Here's how the day unfolded:

11:00 - I breathlessly run onto a train headed towards NYC. I literally just made it in time.
11:01- I begin to read my book.
11:07 - Two hispanic women with a very loud conversation between them board the train. I didn't learn much Spanish in high school but I did learn that "puta" means bitch/whore, and these women used that word a lot. My attention was therefore ripped from the pages of my book and spent solely on trying to translate these two "putas" (if they call themselves/each other that I can too right?) . From what I understood they were talking about finding socks and eating fish? I really have no idea what they were saying but I was pleased when I picked up on a singular words like "tambien" (me too) or trabajando (working). Five years of Spanish was obviously time well spent.
11:20 - Enough Spanish for the day I went back to reading.
11:40- Look at the meadow lands! I always thought that something with the name meadow in it would include fawns, and baby rabbits frolicking about while birds carrying holly leaves swooping overhead. Like this:

Instead the Meadowlands had absolutely zero wildlife in them. And how could you expect them to when it looks like this:

I saw multiple tires just floating in the water corroded by numerous toxic wastes. Seriously people this is despicable. It kills me that I live in a state where people think that it's absolutely fine to dump their garbage on the side of the road or toss their empty McDonalds bag out the car window. And you know why people think it's ok? Because they have no one to tell them that it's not. Yes the government is beginning to pass more laws on recycling and becomming environmentally aware but until there are stricter punishments or even a slap on the wrist every time a person pollutes, things aren't going to change fast enough.
Ok thats enough about that...I've said my peace back to the trip.

11:45 - Someone sits down next to me on the train and then immediately gets up and sits next to someone else. Apparently I smell.
12:27 - The train arrives at Pen Station I get out and follow the crowd to the upper level.
12:28 - I find 7th Ave and am on my way. I command respect and I own the city look at me go.
12:29 - I went the wrong way. I learned that I don't know how to read street signs. I am lost.
12:35 - Back on track I again rule the world look at me go.
12:45 - I arrive at our meeting place M&M world. He is not here yet so I stand outside of it for 10-15 minutes looking like a creeper. Good thing that there were cute boys there also looking like creepers. We did not talk. We did however lock eyes and blink at one another which meant that I was allowed to join their creeper corner so I did.
1:00 - Imran arrives we embrace and then walk for a good two hours during which we eat at Rays pizza (so good), look at every street vender and finally buy a pashmina, search for the perfect pair of cheap flip-flops and succeed at Modells, explain to numerous people that "no we do not like comedy in fact we both detest laughing", and enjoy a drink and detoxing wheat grass shot at Jamba Juice (Incase you were wondering, wheat grass shots literally taste like grass. I do not recommend them to anyone who is not on a grass only diet and/or enjoys the taste of grass...Katie perhaps you should try one).
3:00 - We headed over to Central Park (I directed us and no we did not get lost) and stayed there for a bit. This was my first time in Central Park and I wonder why I was never taken there sooner. If I ever moved to NYC I believe that I would take up residence in the park. Probably in the tunnel where the man with the saxophone plays. I could steal some of the food given to the zoo animals and live a very happy life. (If life does not go as planned this has become my Plan B so in 5-10 years if you ever visit the park, remember me please) . We chilled on the grass for a bit but then it was time to leave.
4:30 - We leave Central Park to walk a dreaded forty-nine blocks all the way to Greenwich Village which is about three miles. We walked straight down 5th Avenue and passed all the stores I would never enter in fear that the shop keepers would see my Old Navy wardrobe, call security and have me escorted to the Gap sale isle. They were gorgeous though. We saw Louis Vuitton, Tiffany's, Yves St. Laurent, and my personal favorite Burberry. We continued our walk past St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Empire State Building. We saw a part of NYU's campus and then met my parents at Alta's ( for a six o'clock reservation on west 10th Street. Yum was it good. There were no courses and the plates were small so the waiter advised us to each order about three things and that the food came out as soon as it was finished cooking (hence no courses). The chard baby octopus was my favorite. It was a very casual style eating and it got very loud (I was literally yelling my order to the waiter) but that means that everyone enjoyed themselves. After dinner the waiter advised us to go to Magnolia's Bakery for dessert but Imran had to get back to Brooklyn so we passed on that (I vow to go back one day and try it).

Over all it was a great day. And besides the one fopaux in the beginning I directed us to and from where we needed to be and did it with style. Imran has told me today that his legs are "dead" and that he's "not used to walking at a NYC pace" that "people in Alabama don't walk fast because they never have a mission". Well we had a mission, and we got everything accomplished but unless UVM kicks me out today I don't really need to go back to the city for a while.


  1. I went to Jamba Juice once. I got something mango-y; it was delicious but it made me cough every time I drank it (weird, but true). So I'll try the grass thing next time!

    Jamie and I are going to Alabama. And Tennessee. Should we hear banjos, we will run.

  2. I had something mago-y too. No coughing though.

    As far as Alabama and Tennessee goes please be careful. My mom went to TN once and went to a jeweler to get her college ring fixed and he said to my mom "I didn't know they let women into them places"

  3. I think he misunderstood "NYC pace," because I have a feeling it was really "CarolAnn the Olympic Power Walker Pace." =P

  4. I'm just proud of your fun day. Good to know I am not the only one exploring this least, exploring places other than the scary American south...

  5. I have been meaning to tell you of your body odor CarolAnn, two years in English class was quite the challenge for me.