Impressions and Regrets from New York


Me in my hotel window.

Day 1: Friday

  • ‘People are right. New Jersey is pretty ugly.’
  • ‘New York is grimy as hell. People should not be bagging on New Jersey.’
  • ‘I am the only one excited to be in this traffic jam right now.’
  • Poor Scotty – he had to go change into pants before he was allowed in the hotel/country club.
  • My hotel – smaller than I expected with less glitz but more character.
  • People will pay exorbitant sums for character.
  • I’m staying in a country club built for Lincoln!
  • This building was not built until the 1930s.
  • ‘Look at me studying for the GRE! I am a Serious Graduate Student, and this totally won’t be the only studying I do this weekend.’
  • Fact: 5pm – 6pm is “Lay on your horn and never, not even for a split second, get off it” time.
  • I looked Fancy as Fuck. People need to be more impressed.
  • My first taxi ride – hot and moist.
  • ‘Is that a selfie stick?’
  • ‘Should I say “as-salamu alaykum” to the drivers? What if they’re not Muslim?’
  • ‘That’s a selfie stick!’
  • ‘What are the odds that someone will just offer me a really cool job tonight? Realistically? Because my hope level is 5687% and I’m not sure I calculated that right.’
  • ‘I need to stop calling everything “Fancy.”’
  • ‘Fuck, this restaurant is Fancy.’
  • Fun fact: tater tots can totally be Fancy Food if you add Fancy Condiments.
  • Anecdote confirmed: Scotty getting his pilot’s license. Thank you, Scotty, for giving me something to talk to people about that is interesting and not about myself.
  • ‘I need to start lying and saying I’m related to the wedding party. This is getting awkward.’
  • Friends of the bride and groom – apparently all from Ivy League schools, all professional comedians, all with eidetic memories, and all with on point fashion (and they were super friendly). So envious.
  • ‘This rehearsal dinner is going significantly better than I thought it would.’
  • Times Square is significantly smaller than TV and movies make me think it is.
  • ‘Why the fuck is that guy in a diaper and squeaking rubber balls?’
  • I did not like Times Square.
  • ‘Should I be worried about getting mugged down this alley?’
  • “Let’s buy these box cookies – they’re Fancy/bought in New York!”
  • ‘I have no desire to live in New York.’
The slurry wall inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

The slurry wall inside the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

Day 2: Saturday

  • ‘Why am I awake???????????’
  • The 9/11 Memorial Museum – actually really pretty, well-made, somber, edifying, and completely worth the trip. Who knew?
  • Limo ride around New York – pretty much a waste of time. Just walk/take the subway, guys.
  • ‘When is this going to end?’
  • ‘So tired.’
  • ‘Oh, look, a selfie stick.’
  • ‘Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuungry………….’
  • We were so close to The Met – and yet too tired and hungry to go in. This. Is. A. Travesty.
  • “That’s a lot of selfie sticks.”
  • Fact: I am really great at choosing restaurants. Yay, tiny Italian eatery!
  • Additional fact: limoncello is highly alcoholic and not at all a lime-flavored soft drink. Why do you keep forgetting that????
  • ‘Surely I can get ready for a wedding in two hours.’
  • ‘I was super wrong.’
  • ‘Why did I look better at the rehearsal dinner?’
  • Wedding venue: small, chic, excellent bartenders, great outdoor patio with twinkle lights. Can I get married here/have a cool party here?
  • ‘I will get this small talk down. I’m a people person, damnit!’
  • “Hey, let’s go small talk everyone. I read a book about it this week.” (I really did.)
  • ‘Goddamnit, you will smile during this wedding no matter how irritating people can get.’
  • -forced smiling-
  • -forced smiling becomes real smiling-
  • The Wedding of Alex and Cole – gorgeous, touching, funny, perfect. So glad I got to be a part of it.
  • The food of the Wedding of Alex and Cole – fucking amazing. Fancy fried chicken and waffles, gorgeous women wearing oyster shucking services, specialty drinks that actually reminded me of the bride and groom, sudden and hysterical inclusion of the Jewish tradition of hoisting nervous grooms onto chairs, sudden and much-appreciated introduction of five different, delicious desserts at 11:30pm. Thank you, thank you, thank you for inviting me. 😀
  • ‘This is the perfect wedding. This is what I’d want my wedding to be like.’
  • “Wow, I really wish I’d seen these complementary shoe trees and flip-flops four hours ago.”
  • ‘Finally, I get to take off these heels!’
  • “Excuse me while I stay up an extra hour and a half to write this blog post.”
Proto-geometric krater love.

Proto-geometric krater love.

Day 3: Sunday

  • “Bam, I’m up! Here is the list of point-by-point things that we are going to accomplish. This is our last full day in New York, guys – it’s time to get serious!”
  • ‘Wow, what a lovely chat and brunch with all these lovely people. I’m really enjoying myself… but I really fucking want to go to the Met now.’
  • ‘No one knows how to follow a plan.’
  • ‘Why is EVERYTHING closed on Park Avenue????’
  • “… the President has been sighted.”
  • ‘Oh. That’s why.’
  • -furiously takes pictures-
  • ‘Yaaaay, we’re here!’
  • “Does everyone have a selfie stick out here?”
  • “… how much do I want to pay to get in? Why wouldn’t I pay the full price? Who the fuck goes to the Met and doesn’t pay the full price?” (That can afford it anyway; it’s $25.)
  • “Okay, we’re going to the Sargent exhibit, we’re going to the Sargent exhibit, we’re going to the Sargent ex—is that fucking Erté????”
  • (It was.)
  • The John Singer Sargent exhibit: prepare to stand in place for at least 15 minutes staring open-mouthed at each piece. The softness of the eyes but their piercing gaze is what drew me in.
  • ‘Damn, Jackson Pollock’s work is much better than I thought it’d be.’
  • Not-so-fun fact: The Met’s cafeteria food is cold, precooked, gross, and waaaaaaaaaaaay over-priced. Spend the extra $5 and go to the café or spend 10% and go outside to the single food truck making bank.
  • “Is that a proto-Geometric krater????”
  • “Sam, stand in the middle of those people-sized amphorae.”
  • “Sam, we should step back. There’s a security guard tailing us.”
  • -proceeds to gesture at 12 more pieces with fingers inches away from them-
  • “Fuck, we need to leave.”
  • “ETRUSCAN ART????”
  • -30 minutes later-
  • “Okay, fuck, we really need to leave.”
  • The Met: big, so very big so with very many cool, awesome, enlightening things. Three hours and we didn’t see a fourth of everything. Must come back.
  • One bad things about the Met: oddly crappy souvenirs.
  • “Next stop: The Morgan Museum and Library!”
  • ‘I’ve grown to appreciate honking in New York. It’s a form of communication with divers meanings and intentions. “Hey, watch out!” “Please go.” “The light has turned.” “Coming through.” “Fuck off!” “Please don’t hit me.” It’s magical.’
  • “Are you sure you want to go to the exhibit? The museum closes in 30 minutes.” “I would rather see the Alice in Wonderland exhibit for 30 minutes than not at all.”
  • Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Morgan Museum and Library: small but lovely. I very much wanted to grab the hand-written letters, journal entries, and first drafts by Lewis Carroll but, alas, they were behind glass. Thirty minutes was also sufficient for this one-room exhibit.
  • ‘Damn, motherfuckers, no need to shove, your museum doesn’t close for four minutes.’
  • “Hey, are you guys ready to go see Avenue Q?” “No, my feet hurt, I need to rest.” “… fuck.”
  • ‘I am never planning a day trip with people again.’
  • -20 frantic minutes of searching for an alternative musical later- “You guys want to just get ramen?”
  • -45 minutes of walking later- “RAMEN!!!!”
  • “This is so good. Oh, my God, I feel like I’m in an anime.”
  • -talks about Soul Eater
  • -further embarrasses self-
  • -while walking on the street- “Is that bubble tea????”
  • ‘Grass jelly is weird.’
  • ‘Okay, I wouldn’t mind living in New York — at least, for a little.’
  • -checks phone- ‘I wish I’d known where to buy theater tickets four hours ago.’
  • -at 12:30am- “Sam, I’m going to the New York Public Library tomorrow. Even if I have to literally run in and out.” “Okay.”
Either Patience or Fortitude outside the New York Public Library.

Either Patience or Fortitude outside the New York Public Library.

Day 4: Monday

  • Moonstruck Diner: yummy with excellent, much needed mochas.
  • Fun fact: lox is gross but I still ordered a deluxe bagel with cream cheese and lox because I was in fucking New York.
  • “Okay, bye, guys.” “Where are you going?” “To the library.” -takes off running (literally)-
  • The New York Public Library: I could gladly spend all day in there. Not only is it a gorgeous building, but it has great exhibits and so many things (like the map and reference rooms) that I could get lost in. Also, the souvenir shop isn’t too shabby.
  • -30 minutes later with two bags of souvenirs in tow- “I’m back, I saw the library, we can leave!”
  • ‘I wish I’d gotten to ride the subway. I love subways. :(‘
  • “Welcome to New Jersey, here’s a burning car.”
  • “That was lovely.”

Two days later:

  • “You stayed on Park Avenue? Oo la la.” ‘Oh, right. Park Avenue is Fancy.’

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