I have determined that you can go to NYC for a month and still go at a significant enough pace that you don’t see or do everything you want and end up exhausted. I’m exhausted. By what?

Yesterday, I went to the 9/11 memorial site, the Jewish Museum, and the federal-era area of lower Manhattan. It was raining when I left the subway – not seriously, more like a constant spitting rain that doesn’t warrant an umbrella but that made me mad because I didn’t wear my rain jacket. Also, it’s windy as all get out in lower Manhattan. Just a note – there was umbrella carnage on a level I haven’t seen in quite some time.

I was looking for the 9/11 memorial site, and along the way stumbled into the Wall Street Occupiers, a quite, polite group of sign holders who were concerned about getting their gear rainproofed for the day. There were about as many cops as protestors. I also cruised into Century 21, a 4 storey discount store in the neighbourhood, hoping that the rain would pass while I was in there (no such luck). I did, however, get the wind pants I’ve been looking for, as well as a pair of slippers for my poor, misbegotten feet.

I finally found the memorial and determined that you need a  pass to get into it. I wasn’t sure about the rest of my day and I knew I wanted to go to this museum in the neighbourhood, so I decided to come back to the memorial another day. I bopped over to Battery Park, which is where I stayed last year, and made my way to the museum.

It’s a great museum. I went to a high school whose catchment area was about 95% Jewish. I’m pro-Israel. I’m pro-Jewish. I can’t help it. It’s a fascinating culture, history, way of life.  And it was a really good museum that looked at the culture, the history, and the present. And New York is a very Jewish city. I think I might have mentioned that 1/5 Jews in the US can trace their history to New York’s lower east side? I spent about 2 hours at the museum, occasionally coming across teenagers on tours who were shockingly shockingly ignorant.  I understand that not everyone is going to be interested in the culture of others, but c’mon.

To the west of Battery Park is the original federal district, from when NYC was briefly the US capital. There are a bunch of really old buildings in the federal style, as well as some cobblestone streets (including one imaginatively known as “Stone Street”). It was pretty. Lunch was really expensive and bad, and I was surrounded by suit wearing Wall St types. Interestingly, Wall St is only about four short blocks long. Also, the bull statue is quite lewd, as just about everyone touches its balls, making for one very shiny spot on the bull.

It was a fair bit of walking, followed by the oh so stimulating joy of… laundry. Listen, you gotta have clean clothes. Today I set the alarm for 7am so that I could go to …. the outlet mall.

My friend Colin told me about this mall in June. He told me it was a serious experience, and that there’s a bus. A bus, I said? A bus. From the Port Authority. Boom, I said. I’m looking that shit up.

Sure enough, there’s a bus from the Port Authority to the Woodbury Commons outlet mall. In fact, three separate bus lines operate this run, and each bus that I saw today was full full full. A note on the Port Authority: uh, huge. Three stories of buses entering and leaving the different bays. It was crazy. A note on the mall: When you’re looking at a purse that’s discounted to $1,085 (at a freaking outlet mall) and you’re a PUBLIC SERVANT, you’re probably in the wrong place.

Now, Colin had warned me about this last week. He said “buy one really expensive thing, and only that thing”, or something like that. But you know what? That’s a great concept unless you’re me. When your purse is discounted by 30% and then another 30% and is still over $300, I’m thinking that it’s beautiful but what happens when I get my first salt stain on it?

So, I thwarted the style gods and bought a pair of rain boots from Crocs, a pair of hiking shoes from Merrell, and a light down jacket from Eddie Bauer. Screw you, style gods. I may be able to buy a decent car on my visa card, but that doesn’t mean I have to use all that credit room.

I’m tired. It drizzled all day. It was a lot colder outside the city than I expected. I got a chill. And you know what? I think I’ve overdone it a bit. So for the next few days I’m gonna hang out in Brooklyn. I’m going to a movie. I’m going to buy some gourmet food. I’m gonna go to a flea market. I’m going to stick relatively close to home, though. I’m gonna chill. I’m gonna nap. I’m going to sew.

I think I’ve earned it. I figure I’ve walked a few hundred kilometres in the past two weeks. I’ve taken at least 2000 stairs. I’ve been to museums and parks and attractions and neighbourhoods. I’ve shopped. I’ve walked. I’ve experienced. And now it’s time to recover before doing it all again.

Advertisements