Tag Archives: NY

Day 22 – New York

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After a good sleep we got up and had a good bagel breakfast. Then the Kinessides (I believe that was their surname) drove us to the Lucerne Hotel on 79th and Amsterdam, where I met up with my family.

Side explanation: In New York we were to celebrate my cousin Shalom’s wedding. We were staying with my family at this hotel.

So my dad, brother, Sean, and I all went to the museum of natural history. There we saw extremely lifelike taxidermic animals. Then we went to an IMAX presentation about space narrated by Tom Hanks. Walked around an exhibit on the Big Bang, and chilled there for a while, then went around the Earth formations exhibit.

We walked back through Central Park, which was interesting to see after hearing so much about it, and went to a cafe. Sean and I left my dad and brother to go meet up with Syndey. We chilled some more, I think at her cousin’s bar or something. And then after went back to the hotel to get ready for Shabbat dinner.

Went to the service and played with my cousin Jacob during the service. Had dinner, which included some kind of strange gefilte fish that was actually salmon, a good type of soup, and some dinner that I don’t recall at all. But I believe this was the dinner when I tried to convince Jacob that raisons were evil aliens. Somehow that stuck and I he remembered it years later.

Back to the hotel briefly before getting my friend Josh’s sister Serene’s number, and Sean and I went downtown to see her art show. She was really into the electronic mystic trippy scene, and her boyfriend was DJing for an art exhibit with Alex Grey paintings and I believe maybe some Geiger ones too. We had a bit of trouble getting on the correct subway downtown but eventually got the right one down to 25th street. Walked to 10th/11th avenue, which I remember at that time of night was a bit sketchy, but we could deal with it. Entered the place and went upstairs to meet Serene and Craig. I think we were unsure that we were in the right place originally, but then felt very lucky when it actually turned out we were in the right place at the right time. We hung out for a bit and talked about things, and then left.

We decided to walk down to 42nd street to see Times Square, which was a long walk but at the end it was worth it, incredible to see all the lights and business. Then we walked allllllllll the way to 2nd avenue, which was the wrong way but we didn’t realize it until we got there. Turned North and walked through Central Park again, this time in the very late evening/early morning. We were prepared to be attacked, as we had been warned Central Park was not the place to be at that hour, but despite all the warnings nothing happened to us and we got through with almost no encounters of anyone else.

Got back to the hotel and relaxed and slept.

Day 23 – New York

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We started the day by visiting the Statue of Liberty. Took the ferry over and walked around the base only because at the time they weren’t letting people up the statue. We took pictures, and tried to take some funny perspective photos but they didn’t work out so well. Then toured Ellis Island. I don’t remember seeing a “short live play” but it was in the notes. I think I also tried looking up my great grandparents’ records but couldn’t find them.

Took the boat back and walked through Wall Street. It was closed so we couldn’t really see anything except a movie set being built. We returned to the hotel briefly before going back out just to walk around.

We went to a comic book shop and Sean picked up some things while I got the last of the Transmetropolitan series. Stopped in a Starbucks to read our bounty. Then I called another online friend I had planned to visit, Kit. I barely remember this girl, but we had a good friendship going on back then. We also were kind of flirty with each other, which made me wonder how meeting her would go – which I think happened a few years later. Anyhow, left the Starbucks and finished our comics back at the hotel.

For dinner we went out to Carnegie Deli with the family. It started downpouring rain so we took a taxi there. The sandwiches there were gigantic, and delicious. I shared a corn beef sandwish with Dad, and had a delicious Matza Ball soup (although I think it was a really condensed matza ball and not what I was used to). I was also pretty surprised to find it was a place that only accepted cash.

After dinner we went to Broadway to see Avenue Q. We had very nice seats right next to someone that looked like a mafia boss. As for the show, I was very impressed. I thought it was hilarious, and totally unlike the sappy kind of musical I was expecting. Laughed a lot and the songs were very catchy. After the show we walked back through Times Square, stopped at some tourist shops, got some CDs from Virgin Records (and my mom picked up the Avenue Q soundtrack). Then returned to the hotel.

Day 24 – New York

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So I’m not sure what we did until 3 pm that day, but I would expect we just sat around being lazy. But at that time we were to get ready for Shalom’s wedding – the first (and so far only) Orthodox Jewish wedding I’ve ever attended – so we got dressed and boarded a hired bus in front of our hotel. We rode past a lot of scenery for a long time, including the observation towers from the 1964 New York World’s Fair, which I recognized because they were in the last scene of Men in Black.

Fell asleep now and then on the way but finally got there. Got some champagne and socialized before heading to the “Tish”, which is an orthodox Jewish celebration. At this tish there was LOTS of alcohol, and people got very drunk and happy. Then we followed a parade of people out into another area where some words were said by the rabbi. Then we separated and all were seated around the hall. The ceremony proceeded, although it was quite short, and like all good Jewish weddings a wine glass was broken, everyone shouted ‘Mazel Tov!’ and the party continued. Sean and I went to have horderves. Then had more horderves. We talked to a lady and her son the “Ha’vard” graduate, who I wrote down as being annoying in my notes. Then the dinner began and along with dinner was dancing. Lots of dancing.

From this wedding I have gotten the impression that Orthodox Jewish weddings are done in excess. Excessive alcohol, excessive singing and shouting, excessive dancing, excessive food.

The food came out and my cousin Jacob sat next to me. He’s always been a fun kid and I enjoyed playing with him. I wrote in my travel outline that he “was always managing to spend energy in some creative and destructive way” which makes me think he was being a pain during dinner, but I’m sure it was fine. And then my cousin Steven came to hang out with us for a while, and he’s one of my favorite cousins. Extremely hilarious, and also extremely good with kids.

The food wasn’t perfect, but good enough, and more dancing was had. Eventually everyone got tired and drunk, so most of the party loaded the busses again. I seem to remember a large part of the party stayed behind to party through the night. On the bus back Jacob sat next to me talking about baseball for about an hour. I asked if he wanted to lay down on me since he looked sleepy and once he did it was about 10 seconds before he was totally passed out.

We finally got back and I carried him out, passed him to Steve for the two-point conversion, and went up to sleep since I was pretty exhausted.

Day 25 – New York

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After a good night’s sleep we went out to breakfast with the family. Had popovers with my mom’s cousins Lenny and Terry. Then we headed to the famous Empire State Building. At the top was the classic Manhattan view with many buildings. Stayed up for a bit and then went back down.

Sean and I went walking through New York again. At one point we encountered a Starbucks across from a Starbucks and I took a short video to commemorate this.

Later in the day the Carroll’s, from our Boston trip, had come down to New York. Jim was my dad’s good friend at Stanford. We all hung out and had dinner somewhere, and had some good funny conversations over the table. I had a French soup that was piled on with cheese.

Sean and I left again to travel around, picking up some last minute touristy goods before going back to the hotel to sleep.

Day 26 – New York

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Our time with New York was finished, so this day we packed up to leave. Had a nice walk through Central Park with the family and went to the Gugenheim Museum.

[lost memory] lots of hand pictures / took pictures of hand against ceiling //I have no memory of this at all and I don’t know what I was referring to.

Walked back through the park and left the hotel. Caught a cab to Grand Central, which we then took to the bus stations at Port Royal. It was only after that we realized we only had to walk eight blocks to the station. Then at the bus station we got a bit frustrated since we couldn’t figure out where the right bus was and were we were supposed to go, but finally got on the right direction back to Norwood to Sean’s family friends. (We had parked our car there during our stay in New York)

I often stare out the windows of busses, and on the way back I did so while admiring all the different sorts of clouds. This gave me the idea to buy an analog camera and print out photos of clouds, then draw on the photographs the images that the coulds would make.

After a trip we finally got to Norwood and luckily we made all the right turns at the right streets and got back to the house fast. We dropped our stuff off and went to find Chinese take out, which we brought back to the house. At some point I went to check my luggage for my camera and…

… wait a second. Where was my camera? Explitives were cast, and my camera was lost. I looked through everything twice, retraced my steps in my head, trying to remember the last time I used the camera. We called the bus station and reported the missing item. Then Andy (Sean’s family friend/our host) called some people and managed to find someone to allow us to visit the bus depot. We made the trip over there, and found a parking lot full of busses, which was an interesting sight to see. We found the bus that had taken us and went to the back of it where we were seated, but after some intense searching we still couldn’t find it. My best guess is that the camera had slipped out of my pockets (I think the particular shorts I was wearing were notorious for that) and someone must have picked it up.

Oh well.

Went back to the house and decided that was the end of that digital camera.

Day 41 – Boston to Niagara Falls

got up and finished getting everything in the car
farewells to the house
headed out on 90
through new york
finally got to niagara
really shitty town
got around the tolls, but had to use the map
checked stuff into the hostel
walked to the falls
really cool
lots of water falling off
water that looked like knuckles
picture with flower in front of water
walked over to the horseshoe
glad i had brought plastic to cover my camera
really misty
cave of the winds
not really a cave
stood underneath the falls
got drenched, despite wearing a raincoat
walked back to the hostel
went back out for dinner
place i wanted to go was closed
went to a chinese fast food instead
came back
talked to guy who was biking across the us
went to bed