Monday, November 12, 2007

New York minute

We wanted to do something new, something crazy, something unexpected. Like, (I asked my hubby) not pay the mortgage? Well, not THAT insane.

So last Saturday, despite the undesirable predictions of “some showers” and low 40s temperature, off we went to New York City. And- we took the bus! We parked our car in Union Station in DC and walked a couple of blocks to the Greyhound station- at 2:30 a.m. The four of us (me, David, our friends Darko and Janet), walking in the NE DC streets in an ungodly hour in freezing temperature- how’s that for a crazy start? Actually, we got a little lost at the Union Station, we didn’t know where to exit from the huge, deserted station. We were panicky because we didn’t want to miss the 3:15 bus. We didn’t miss it alright. The bus was 40 freakin’ minutes late! We didn’t know what was wrong, but the driver sort of pranced around, with his huge hat, as if announcing (as Darko said)- “look at me, look at me, I’m a bus driver!” People were cranky and impatient, and when David asked the lady at the ticket office what was taking the bus so long, the lady simply said- “It’s up to the driver’s discretion when to leave”. Whatda??!

And we wanted to slap him silly when he gaily (and ever so slothfully) took our tickets, acting like time was not wasted at all. Grrrr. We slept on the bus and then we were finally in NYC. We had breakfast at Sarabeth’s in Central Park South, where we ate a whole lotta eggs. Haha!

Our trip was kind of a short stop here and there, because we were only staying for the day. It was so cold, and gloomy. Our last two trips in NY were really cold, so David said he’s not ever coming back to NY when it’s freezing. We went to the Apple store on 5th Ave. And then at FAO Schwarz to look at toys we weren’t going to buy. We waited outside (in icebox temperature) for minutes before the store opened. We witnessed the trumpeters’ fanfare, the laying out of the red carpet, and the staff cheering on the entrance of shoppers. It was kind of cute, but David thought everything was “silly”.

NYC cab drivers are one-of-a-kind. They fly the minute you get in. And there was no time to be polite. One of our cab drivers uttered the unspeakable N word to the other driver when we nearly hit his vehicle. Had he been a celebrity, he would have apologized on TV and would have gone to rehab. But it was New York, and people were perpetually impatient and busy.

Fifth Avenue was bustling with bundled-up tourists. I guess one can entertain himself just people watching all day. Although the Christmas tree was not set up yet, we went to see it at the Rockefeller Center. The gloomy weather did not deter the people’s sprightly spirits, including us. Achy feet? Naah. Biting cold? No sweat.

Lunch at Chinatown was unbelievable. Dirt cheap and as tasty as tasty Chinese food should be. We went to the tiny corner restaurant on East Broadway. David ordered the roast pork which he liked so much, and forever regretted not getting it to go. We ordered their yang chow fried rice. It was yummy, so we ordered another one. Then, it was that good that ordered two more to go. Whoa, now THAT was liking it so much! The roast duck was also good.

New York trip over so soon? We squeezed in a little stroll in Upper West Side. We went to Zabar’s. And some shopping, too. My prized find? A burgundy cashmere shawl. And lots of other stuffs, too. The bus trip back home was quick and on time (thank God!). By 9:30 p.m., we were back in good ole’ DC.

Was it fun? You bet. Sometimes, something unpredicted is more wonderful. It gives a great big oomph.