NY Vagabonding

I’ve been meaning to blog about my second visit to New York for a while now, but time has gotten the better of me. At the end of March, I drove down to New York with Heidi and her two friends. Heidi and I stayed with her friend Thomas in his Williamsburg apartment. It was pretty great. Gabriel and his youngest sister were in NYC that weekend, so I met up with them and then later had a little NYC Adventure of my own.

We drove down to New York on Friday after work. Since it was already pretty late, we hung out with Thomas for a bit and then all went to sleep. The next day, I woke up early (early for me) since I was going to go meet Gabriel. I am not a morning person. I don’t like the morning times and I especially don’t like the talking in the morning times. But in Brooklyn, I am a morning person. I woke up excited and ready to start the day. I walked to the subway and headed over to the Guggenheim. I ended up getting there early, so I strolled along Central Park. It rained briefly and there was some sort of race going on that I got to watch and I drank some iced coffee and I had my umbrella and it was all just very romantic.

Gabriel, his sister, and his cousin arrived and we went into the Guggenheim. After that, since we hadn’t had enough museum time, we walked over to the Met. It’s humongous and beautiful in there. It was fun strolling through various exhibits, while Gabriel’s sister snapped picture after picture. Once we were done there, we all went back to Gabriel’s hotel and hung out. His brother and his brother’s girlfriend stopped by too and it was nice to just relax and hang out and rest our museum legs.

Since Gabriel had evening plans, and Heidi was somewhere in far away in Brooklyn, I decided I’d hang in Manhattan on my own for a bit. I thought I’d find a bookstore/cafe to sit in, since it had been raining off and on the entire day. But then I remembered about The Meatball Shop. Rachael had first told me about it when they did a pop-up in Oakland that we all went to, and where I ate the best meatballs and polenta ever. After that experience, I had told myself that whenever I make it to New York, I would have to eat there. The first time I visited, I didn’t really get a chance to, but now here I was, alone in the city, hungry (I hadn’t eaten anything all day except for a museum scone), and ready to find the shop. Since I didn’t really have service in the subway, I had to keep getting off and going up to the sidewalk to see if I was still going the right way. Finally, I found myself a ten minute walk away. Since, at this point, my shoes and socks were soaked through, I decided to go for it in the rain.

I arrived a rain-soaked mess, but I arrived. The only problem was that I have never eaten alone in a restaurant, and this little place was very much a sit-down restaurant.

There was bar seating, but that was all taken. As I contemplated what I should do, I noticed a take-out sign towards the back. I had come all this way, after all, so I went in and ordered some meatballs and polenta to-go. Once I got my food, I left in search for a place to eat it. Since it was raining, I couldn’t sit outside. As I trudged about in the rain, my food getting colder by the minute, I arrived at a bus stop. It turned out that this was just the bus I needed to get back to Brooklyn, but I had just missed it, and the next one wouldn’t be coming for 45 minutes. Feeling slightly defeated, and still very hungry, I looked up, and right before my eyes was a Starbucks. I went in, ordered a hot chocolate, and sat at their bar seats and ate my meatballs and polenta. Even slightly cold, it was the best serving of meatballs and polenta I’ve ever had. And I didn’t even care that I looked like a weirdo, soaking wet and eating random food in a Starbucks. I knew the bus would be coming soon, so I finished my food and stepped outside to cross the street and wait at the bus stop. As I was crossing, I noticed that the bus had already come, and was already pulled away from the curb, ready to leave, just waiting for the light to turn green. Umbrella in one hand and hot chocolate in the other, I started running towards the bus. As luck would have it, the rain started up again, my umbrella turned inside out due to the wind, and hot chocolate is spilling all over me. I stood at the closed bus doors (in the middle of the street, mind you) and pleadingly looked up at the bus driver. He took pity on me and opened the doors to let me in. Once inside, I juggled my hot chocolate, inside-out umbrella, and Metro card. He scolded me and said “You need to close your umbrella,” but then, I think once he noticed what a complete mess I was, added “…so that it doesn’t get ruined.” I was glad for his concern.

I arrived in Brooklyn, but still had nowhere to go, since Heidi and Thomas weren’t back yet, and I didn’t have a way back into Thomas’ apartment. And that was when I came across a McDonald’s. By this point in the evening, I was soaking wet, so a McDonald’s in the middle of Brooklyn was just the place for me. I sat and relaxed and was serenaded by a homeless man who was smoking a cigarette inside. I rewarded myself with a McFlurry and waited some more. Just before my phone died, Heidi and Thomas came and picked me up. It had been quite a day.

The next day, I packed my bag and went and met Danny and his roommate for church. Then Danny and I got ($1 New York-style) pizza and sat and ate and chatted. We walked from Hell’s Kitchen to SoHo, where I met Heidi and we all headed back to Boston. And that was my NYC Adventure.

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