To A Whole New Town

Tales from an American girl living in Denmark

NYC – Part I

I was only there five days, but I really enjoyed what I saw of NYC over the New Year’s holiday. Despite the bitter cold and wind I had a great time exploring. And visiting my lovely friend, Mireille, of course.

Ironically, the morning I flew into NYC Mireille was still back in Denver. That meant I had one night without a place to sleep so I hit up Couchsurfing.org before I left and arranged to stay with a fellow adventurous soul called Zak.

Zak

Zak, on the left side of the photo

I took a redeye from Denver Friday night after work and dozed in and out of not so great sleep until Saturday morning and NYC had materialized on the other side of the foggy plane window.

After I found my way from JFK to Zak’s place in Bushwick he and I chatted while I settled in and got oriented. Later that day I headed into the city to do some walking starting with Highline Park. From there I ventured to Times Square, over to Bryant Park, and then finally to Grand Central Terminal.

That night I met back up with Zak in Soho. We walked through China town and stopped in at some of his favorite hang outs before wandering over to the East Village for a while. Eventually we made our way back toward Willburg to join some of his friends for drinks.

Travel and a minimalist approach to sleep had caught up with me by Sunday AM, so I spent some time being lazy with Zak looking through photos, having tea, and listening to some music.

We talked about cultural contrasts (Zak is from Russia), and our experiences traveling… about health care in the US compared to health care in Russia, about politics, and anything else that crossed our minds. It’s really nice to be able to share perspectives and to be offered a glimpse at life through a lens different than your own, even if only briefly.

Sunday night I made my way over to meet up with Mireille. I stood awkwardly on a corner with my rucksack for a few minutes until she came down to show me which door led to her apartment. It was right in front of my face by a clearly marked coffee shop just like she said it would be, but I must have passed it 4 times so I finally gave in and (sheepishly) called her.

We were both tired from travel so we decided to stay in and save our energy for the upcoming NYE celebrations. This decision led to Mireille introducing me to the wonders of take out Indian food. While I dug into that we put in some couch time and watched a documentary called “Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie” followed by one of my favorites, Y Tu Mama Tambien. Then we had this excellent existential conversation about work, and doing what you love, and how the variables of circumstance and privilege affect the two.

It was the kind of conversation that leaves you feeling stable and clear-headed about things that were previously boat-rocking catalysts of confusion. Mireille has a great mind in that head of hers.

Monday I explored a little of Willburg, visiting the waterfront and some of the shops in that area. The mashup of the old industrial and the new refurb take on industrial was a vision. It was freezing – bitterly cold. I hustled back to Mireille’s so that I could temporarily defrost and gather my things to go visit the brilliant people at Hugo & Marie. I’ll be adding a blog soon about my visit there.

4 IMG_4351-9 5 IMG_4352-10 DSC_993 IMG_4353-11 DSC_9956-7

Mireille had some previously scheduled plans that night so I had the evening to do whatever. I decided to go see a movie at the Independent Film Center. I’ve never seen a movie in a theatre by myself, and I’ve always felt like its something I should do for some reason. I tried to let it feel weird because I thought that it should, but it didn’t. It was fun. And the film was pretty good.

More photos on Flickr, here

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This entry was posted on 31/12/2013 by in USA and tagged .
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