Ahhhhhhhh. Thankfully, we’ve gotten a bit of a respite from the heat and the humidity that has been plaguing us all summer long. I realize that mid-80s with high humidity is the norm for much of the South — but I don’t live in the South. It’s not supposed to be that hot here. Last summer, it was in the 60s and 70s with loads of rain, which isn’t normal either. But of the two extremes, I’ll take the c0oler one. I am not a fan of the heat.
Right now I’m sitting here in my living room, with every single window wide open, and a cool breeze wafting through the house. Tomorrow will be heading back up to the high 80s, which means I’ll have to put the A/C back on. I love fresh air so much that I’m not really looking forward to it, but I’d rather not sweat, especially when I’m inside.
I don’t know how people do it, the folks who go straight from the heater in winter to air conditioning in the summer, and they never open their windows. There’s something so… cleansing about having the windows open, like you’re sweeping all that stale, musty air out and replacing it with fresh, sweet air.
Good thing I don’t live within smelling distance of the waste treatment plant here, though I have to driving through the miasma every time I go to Walmart. Yuck.
I spent this last weekend in New York visiting my friend Craige. She’d joked one day about starting up a eating and walking tour of NYC, and I told her I’d love to be the first to sign up — and the next thing I knew, I was on a train to the city.
Let me just tell you. Taking a train to NYC has to be the awesomest thing ever. No sitting in traffic, no cussing at other drivers, no road rage, no parking worries, no nothing. You get on the train, you sit in your seat, and you veg out for three hours. Bliss! They even have power outlets for every seat, so you can use your laptop or plug in your phone. I elected to plug in my phone since it’s such a battery drain if I do too much on it. I spent most of the ride texting my husband and reading my book.
The only dark spot to the whole weekend was getting lost in Penn Station. Our friend Jen was supposed to pick me up, as it was to be the only time she was free to see me. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I was still one level too low, so I wasted most of her break trying to describe to her where I was when I was seriously in The Wrong Place. *sigh* But she did have time to hand me three books she was done with — YAY!
I won’t waste your time by describing everything I did while I was in NYC; I’ll just give you the highlights. Besides, I basically got an insider’s tour, instead of doing all the normal touristy stuff.
So Friday night I had my very first experience with Ethopian food, right after my very first subway ride and my very first cab ride. Let me tell you, Ethiopian food is good! And it was so interesting not to use a fork with dinner, to use the injera instead to get the main dish to my mouth. I also had my very first dim sum experience on Saturday. Yum! I wish there was a dim sum restaurant around here because there is something so nifty about eating a bunch of little things, instead of ordering one big entree. I tell you what, though, we also all ordered Cokes to go with our dim sum, and it was really the perfect pairing to the salty Chinese dumplings.
Pepsi would have been better, of course, but Pepsi wasn’t available. Hmph.
After dim sum, we wandered a bit through Chinatown, and that was when I had my first celebrity sighting. At the time, all I noticed was a huge cluster of people that was clogging up the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians into the street — never a good thing in the city. It wasn’t till I was past the big clump that I looked back and saw a woman being photographed. It was then that Craige’s husband, who knows all of these things, informed us that it was Krysten Ritter. I elected not to take my own photo, figuring it wouldn’t be in the best taste, but she does look just like her photos. It helps, of course, that she was all made up because of the photoshoot. I wouldn’t recognize an incognito celebrity if s/he bit me in the ass. First off, I never ever recognize people because why would a famous person be in the same space as me?! Secondly, I am woefully ignorant of famous people. People are always asking me, “But you’ve seen [insert movie name], right??” Chances are, no. I’m not a movie watcher. I used to be, when I was in college, but I just got out of the habit. Besides, I am too cheap to want to go out to the movie theatres and spend a jillion dollars when I can wait till it comes out in the Redbox and pay $1 to rent it.
That said, I do like to go to the artsy-fartsy theatre downtown and see whatever’s playing there, but that’s a girls’ night out thing between me and my friend E.
Anyhow, speaking of famous people, we also passed Ajay Naidu, who played the Indian dude in Office Space, having lunch with his girlfriend Heather Burns in the East Village. Jeff recognized him because of his girlfriend, but since I have no idea who she is, I was more impressed by seeing him. And then I had “so you wanna be a gangsta” stuck in my head all day.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find a printer to beat up.
We continued our eating tour by stopping at Russ and Daughters to get lox for the next morning, and then it was off to Katz’s Deli, where we sat right next to where the famous scene from When Harry Met Sally was filmed. We didn’t do it intentionally; that was the first free table. Oh man, but their pastrami is to die for! I didn’t even think I liked pastrami.
On Sunday, Craige and I stayed over on her side of the river, where she managed to indulge my addiction of acquiring cheap books. We went to a church book sale, where I picked up eight more books for 50¢ a piece. Considering I’d brought three books with me (I’m an over-packer when it comes to books), I ended up taking thirteen more home.
Good thing I wasn’t flying. My suitcase was heavy.
We also visited all these nifty little stores in Jersey City, from vintage to housewares to a combination of both. And since we had walked just about five miles the day before, we stopped to get pedicures, which was heaven to my sore feet. From there, we headed to Mitsuwa, a huge Asian market with an amazing food court. We stuffed ourselves on noodles and followed it with black sesame ice cream, which was amazingly and surprisingly tasty.
We wandered around a bit, since I needed a few things (like miso soup and a new scoop for my rice cooker). It was then that I ran into one of Bergen County’s weird blue laws. Look, I get that it’s not legal in many localities to sell alcohol on Sunday, and I even understand why that is. But not to allow the sale of home appliances? That was strange. The entire aisle was blocked off with ropes so you couldn’t accidentally grab a rice cooker or an electric kettle and expect to buy it.
But now I am home and thrown right back into the mix of things, what with Kurt having duty tonight. In fact, I just now heard colors go off at 8:01pm, which means Kurt was bringing down the flag for the evening. It’s kind of neat that I can hear it from the house and know exactly what he’s doing.
So now it’s time to get those grimy kids in the bath and off to bed so I can get a little bit of quiet time to myself.