I’m getting back into my habit of doing something new every day, even if it’s just a new coffee shop or route to the library. I’ve done pretty well in this last week, hours upon hours of Olympic viewing aside. I won’t bore you with my sports analysis and color commentary, but I’ll just say that men’s figure skating was epic and I’m in love with Johnny Weir. I also had some love for Gretchen Bleiler, but then she crushed my heart minutes after claiming it. As I have no interest in ice dancing (although the ski cross earlier this evening was awesome), I’m making a much needed blog post.
I happened upon this delightful robot during my South Park Slope exploring. He’s sort of like a junkyard Lost in Space robot. Anyway, on Tuesday Elizabeth and I got coffee and croissants at Panya Bakery in the East Village, a Japanese bakery near my new office. They appear to have breakfast items for if I ever manage to get out of bed before 7 am.
On Thursday, I went to my old Williamsburg neighborhood to see Helen‘s friend Carly Sings play at Spike Hill. It was odd to be back in Williamsburg and crazy to think that I was living there just a short time ago. It seems like forever, and that I was another person, a less confident one full of anxiety about finding a job, friends, and a place for myself in NYC. I did use the homecoming as an excuse to visit the robot bagel shop, so-called by me and friends because of its awesome robot murals by R. Nicholas Kuszyk, although it’s official name is the Bedford Bagel Store. All that matters is they have the most amazing French toast bagel in the world.
More importantly, Carly Sings’ concert was lovely and her voice has a songbird quality like Alela Diane or Basia Bulat. You should definitely visit her MySpace and listen to her music, and if you happen to be in Paris you could even check out one of her concerts.
I had my first night out in South Park Slope on Friday and went with my roommate and friends to Commonwealth on 5th Avenue. It is a lot quieter in the South Slope than Wiliamsburg, but I was pleased to find that there are cool bars with good jukeboxes and cheap, but decent, beer. On Saturday I went to the Park Slope Book Sale at the United Methodist Church, where I took advantage of their buy 10 books get 1 free offer. I can’t resist used books. I picked up Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik, Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, The Namesake by Jumpa Lahiri, Dead Certainties by Simon Schema, Madame Bovary by Flaubert, Les Nourritures Terrestres by Andre Gide, The Pope’s Elephant by Silvo A. Bedini, The Birds of Heaven by Peter Mathiessen, Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather, and The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon by Tom Spanbauer. Some of these are books I’ve been meaning to read or have heard good things about, others were chosen based purely on their covers.
That night, I went to my first party in SoHo, which in addition to the cool people I knew, had excellent people watching with vapid girls with perfectly straight hair and a guy who made an outfit out of lederhosen, a leather jacket with a lollipop in the pocket, and a Star of David necklace. Who knows what part of that was or was not ironic. It was a pretty international mix and I had a good time, but had to leave fairly early to be able to wake up early for temping.
I worked from 8 to 4 today at the same hotel as last weekend, in an effort to continue to rebuild the savings I spent during my unemployed months here. On the subway in the morning, the conductor was rather chipper for 7 am and was announcing not only the stops, but the attractions you might find there. Temping was as uneventful as last weekend, and I spent all eight hours reading, only interrupted a few times to answer the phone and hand people their mail. It’s kind of a high class place, so I also got to glance up at women in fur coats with tiny, coiffed dogs. I made it through two graphic novels and a magazine before lunch, so I decided to use my break to take a walk and readjust my eyes to the non-text world. I didn’t realize how far east I was until I saw the Queensboro Bridge in the distance.
The Queensboro Bridge is also known as the 59th Street Bridge, which Simon & Garfunkel used to title their song about “feeling groovy.” Its blue and white paint job makes it look quite modern, but it was actually completed in 1909. There’s now a walking path that goes along the river, where there were lots of joggers and people walking fancy, Upper East Side dogs.
I also saw The Helmsley Medical Tower, which is the gothic looking building on the left in this picture. It seems like an interesting building, although I’m failing at finding any information about it besides apartment and medical information.
After temping, I stopped at Trader Joe’s and waited in a line that seemed about 100 people long and took the subway home. I recently started looking at pictures of the New York subway in the 1980s and 1970s. I’m fascinated by how different it is, covered in tags and graffiti with yellowish lighting (okay, that part is still kind of true). Everything, in Manhattan at least, is so clean now that it’s rare to see a tag anywhere besides the rooftops.