I thought autumn was just starting, but today winter decided to get a head start and deliver some freezing rain and wind. Apparently this year’s winter in New York is predicted to be harsh with many snow storms, so I’m sure I will be drinking many more warming cappuccinos like the one I had in the picture above at De Robertis in the East Village.
Last Saturday I spent the morning learning how to turn wine and beer bottles into glasses at the Brooklyn Skillshare in Gowanus. It was a day of classes where people “shared” skills such as raw food cooking, bicycle maintenance, and screenprinting and this one focused on upcycling, basically turning discarded objects into usable things. You can see some pictures on their flickr. After that we watched the OU football game before having an amazing dinner at a Korean restaurant in the East Village. I had a tofu bibimbap served in a bowl so hot that it was sizzling even after I’d started eating. That will probably also be a winter favorite.
On Sunday I participated in in my first piece of NYC performance art as part of Art in Odd Places. I met up with a group of artists and writers at the Hudson River Park, where I got a giant letter B and walked down 14th street to Union Square. There, we spelled out the phrase “Play in Public.” It was a project by a couple of artists, one who I’d met at the Under the Bridge Festival, to use phrases from protests or rallies in Union Square in a positive way. You can see pictures on their website, including a couple of me hidden behind the at least 4-foot-tall B. I’m planning on helping them again this Sunday.
That afternoon we went to Governors Island, as it was the last day of the season that the ferry would be taking people over. While I’d technically been there before when I was very young to visit my aunt and uncle who were stationed there, I am unable to recall any memories, so the sprawling green grass and red brick buildings was a surprise after nearly two months spent in crowded, skyscraper cornered streets. Governors Island was an army base from 1783 to 1966 and then a coast guard base until 1996. The northern part of the island is now open to the public as a park, although it seemed like most of the buildings were completely empty.
We spent some time exploring the beautiful tree lined streets with sudden views of Manhattan and got a great view of the island from the top of Fort Jay, one of two historic fortifications on the island. It was the first time in New York that I really felt like I was living in New England. New York usually seems so separate from the rest of the States, as much an island culturally as it is geographically.
I ran a few laps around the track outside my apartment on Monday and am going to try to do it frequently. Unfortunately, I seem to have come down with a cold this week so haven’t ran since then. I also had a job interview on Monday and went to Etsy Labs that night to take a workshop on making skeleton softies. I’m not the best with sewing, but I think he came out very cute. And just in time for Halloween, possibly my favorite holiday. I am so excited about Halloween in New York that I’m a little afraid it won’t live up to my expectations, but I know it will be fun. I guess I should get a costume together. I’ve decided that I’m going to be Mina Harker from Dracula/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, as it just requires a somewhat Victorian dress, long red scarf, and maybe some vampire bites.
I had another job interview on Tuesday and met with a friend for coffee at El Beit in Williamsburg. The coffee there is excellent and I’m starting to realize that if I’m going to be an expert on any NYC institution, it’s going to end up being coffee. I think this is a requirement of being a writer. How many fewer novels would there be in the world without caffeine?
Yesterday I spent all day temping at a business in the Empire State Building. The work was incredibly tedious number data entry, the kind of thing where you can’t think too much, but then have to keep thinking or you’ll start confusing 2′s with 3′s. The perks were great though and I got a free lunch and dinner delivered to the building, as well as a towncar ride home. I don’t think I’d been in a car since my taxi ride from the airport and I kind of missed it. As I looked out the window before the car exited into Williamsburg, I could see the Manhattan skyline lit up with the Empire State Building in purple.