Dork-o-Rama: The Random Thoughts of a Total Goofball

Embracing the Dork Side....Because Life is Too Short to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Go big or go home...

You might call that the theme of my little jaunt to New York in June. There were lots of biggests, smallests, worsts.... which seems entirely appropriate for that city.

For starters, I stayed in the teensiest hotel room ever. No, seriously. I'm not exaggerating. I took this picture standing up against the wall... which was mere inches from the bed. And the foot of the bed was only inches away from that other wall on the right. That armoire? Is the only closet space in the room. Now, I knew from reviews on Trip Advisor (a godsend of a website, by the way) that the rooms were small, but I still laughed when I got inside.

The hotel was in an excellent location, though, even though I'd hoped to stay outside of Midtown this time (at one point in my extensive research, I had reservations at three different places), and it was the best-priced place I could find that was also really clean and felt safe. However, if I'd had a travel companion, we'd have killed each other after a couple of days here. For me, solo? It was perfect.

I got in late on a Friday afternoon, had dinner with my friend John, who's just moved to New York, and then we were off to another friend's way impressive 34th floor (I think) apartment on the west side with amazing views of downtown and the Hudson. I mean, AMAZING. He has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the river and says he and his wife hardly watch TV since they moved in. They just stare out the windows all the time. We had cocktails on the building's amazing rooftop terrace. Wouldn't you love to see these amazing views? I'd love to show them to you. I didn't take my camera. I didn't think I'd need it...

So the next day, when I got up, I thought it would be a great idea if I went first to that amazing bakery* on the Lower East Side that makes gluten-free stuff so that I'd have little breakfasty treats for my entire trip. Good thinking, right?

Except that I then toted all my goodies (including some frosted cupcakes) around with me all day long in 1000 degree heat and 999 percent humidity. Can you imagine what happens to delicate baked goods in these conditions? Yeah. I had to toss the cupcakes, as the frosting became this scary transparent and probably poisonous glaze.

After my bakery stop, instead of heading back to my hotel to drop off the goodies, I decided to go wander around in Soho, since I was nearby. Now, when I was getting ready for this trip, I searched everywhere for some cute shoes to wear while running around town. New York is a city for lots of walking, and I didn't want my feet to suffer, but I still wanted something cute. You know, those shoes that look like athletic shoes, but are more stylish? I couldn't find anything that fit the bill, and out of desperation, I bought these:

Very comfortable, yes. Also, pretty ugly. I wanted something cuter. Then I realized: hey, stupid, you're in a shopping mecca, surrounded by a million shoe stores in Soho alone! GO SHOPPING FOR SOME SHOES!! What a brilliant idea, I thought. I ended up with these:
Cuter, no? A little less dorky anyway. And I chose to wear them out of the store, even though it was so hot that my feet were swelling and these were a little more snug than my uglier shoes.

And that decision produced the largest heel blister that I have ever had in my life. It was massive. I even took pictures, but they didn't turn out well so you're spared that delightful sight.

In my cute(r) new shoes, I then headed off to the Village, my fave part of town, had lunch, shopped at the flea market, and people-watched. Loved every moment of it (except for the blister part).

That night, I saw the New York City Ballet, something I've wanted to do since I was a teenager, and I was not disappointed. Just walking into the theatre choked me up, because I attach way too much significance to silly moments like this. The theatre was gorgeous, the dancing was spectacular, and I was thrilled. (And now I'm on their mailing list, and just got the sales pitch for their winter program... which makes me want to plan another trip now....)

Sunday, John and I saw The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was fabulous, and then had dinner at this marvelous Chilean place on Restaurant Row -- a place my friend Cindy found on our trip to the big city a few years back. It's a hidden gem; the food is wonderful, the atmosphere is lovely, and they make the best mojitos I've ever had. So of course, I had to have a couple on this visit. I then had this brilliant idea that we should go find the Russian Vodka Room, since it was in the area. How can a place with a name like that NOT be fun?

It was. It really was. I started with a pomegranate martini, and then, because they have all these Russian vodkas (duh) on the menu, we started ordering some of those. Straight. In small glasses, yes (some people were drinking it out of carafes), but still. Straight. I thought I was being smart, pacing myself, sipping slowly, and drinking loads of water between vodkas - I think I had two vodkas. But after the martini and the mojitos AND the straight vodka, I was hammered.

Then, some other patrons who'd been sitting nearby started chatting with us and insisted we try some of the RVR's infused vodkas. Awesome! I wish I could tell you how many of those I had, but I don't remember. There was no pacing, either. Those just went down the hatch. Yummy.

We left after that, and walked out into a rainstorm the likes of which I haven't seen in years. The remnants of a tropical storm were passing through New York, and it was coming down in sheets (Central Park got almost 4 inches of rain that night). Umbrellas were pointless, so at one point, I put mine away, stood there in the pouring rain and laughed my ass off. And got soaked through to the skin.

Luckily, my hotel was nearby... and the laughing didn't last long. Because shortly after returning, my body punished me for what I'd just done by purging the contents of my stomach. Repeatedly. After a few rounds of this fun (and after John was nice enough to run to the Duane Reade across the street to buy me some water before - understandably - fleeing the scene), I fell asleep (or passed out, whatevs!) in my wet clothes.

When I awoke the next morning, I knew I needed to start rehydrating. But I was having a hard time sucking down the water like I usually do... because guess what? My body wasn't done punishing me.

I have never been this sick, ever, where the barfing continues into the following day. Repeatedly, even though there wasn't anything left in my system. And I suppose it's a good thing it was still pouring outside, because it made it a little less painful to lose most of a day of my vacation in a city I love because I'd had too much to drink. That SUCKED. I was finally able to get up and out of the hotel around 4 or 5 p.m., when John met me for dinner and we took a walk over to Bryant Park, where I promptly tripped and fell on some steps, because I was still woozy and weak. As we walked around to the front of the library there, thinking it would be fun to go in, we came across some red carpet action - some fashion awards show was taking place at the library. I love that you just never know what you might trip over in NYC.

The next day, feeling much more normal, I was off to Chinatown to stock up on cheap knockoff purses and pashminas, and finally got to Risotteria, home of the amazing gluten-free breadsticks, pizza, and everything else you might want. It's so wonderful to have so many things to choose from on a menu, without needing to think twice about whether it will make you ill.

Then it was off to Central Park, to wander and enjoy. I know this fountain has a name, but I don't know what it is. It's pretty.

Another random reservoir shot (I posted others in June). We'd hoped to walk around the whole thing, or at least a good portion of it, but some of the path was closed off for some reason I can't remember now.
(Oh, and because of the heel blister, I worse some cheap sandals on this day that aren't really designed for that much walking - especially not in hot, humid weather - and ended up with a massive blister on the ball of the same foot. Grrreeeeat.) It was a lovely day, and perfect for hanging out in such a beautiful place. That night, I dragged John to another eatery (in Gramercy/Murray Hill) that has a gluten-free menu -- a BBQ place, no less -- where we ended up chatting with a guy who lives in the Bay Area, but spends a week every month in New York on business. Now, that sounds like the best of both worlds to me. If I could find a way to live in both cities, I would LOVE that.

The next day was my last, so I didn't have time for much more than running up to the Upper East Side to gawk at the buildings and have breakfast at, yes, another place with a GF menu, and then wander in the park a little more before I had to run to the airport.

On the plane, as I stared out the window watching the city getting smaller and smaller, I found myself feeling really sad...and not because of the blisters, bruises, and self-poisoning. I don't think I can articulate all the reasons I love being in New York City, and why the notion of living there is so enticing, despite the high cost of living (although SF is close behind on that list). And yes, I realize that vacationing someplace is very different from living there.

But how do you think I fell in love with San Francisco way back when? It's food for thought.

See you when I get back from Hawaii. Aloooooha!

*have you seen "the devil wears prada?" you know that scene in the opening sequence when anne hathaway's character stops into a bakery for a bagel before her first trip to the magazine? that was filmed there.

At 02 September, 2007 06:33, Blogger SignGurl said...

The new shoes are absolutely adorable! I know what it is to have to give up fashion to baby sore feet on a trip. Why can't they make cute shoes comfortable?

I'm ashamed to say that I have self poisoned so many times that I'm, well, more ashamed.

You make NYC sound so awesome. I really need to go.

At 02 September, 2007 09:24, Blogger terry said...

nyc IS awesome, signgurl.

and i, too, have self-poisoned on more than one occasion... but never like this. for weeks after, the mere thought of vodka made me feel nauseous.. and i've only had it a couple of times since the trip, sparingly.

At 03 September, 2007 10:02, Blogger rebecca said...

Wow. Except for the RVR poisoning, this sounds SO dreamy. When I finally take The Loud Co to NYC, I will be asking you to provide itinerary advice. It's been a long, long, long time since I've been there.

Have you tried Munros? I bought the following sandals for a trip that would involve lots of walking. They're kinda cute and scads more comfortable than they look. Just a thought.

Have fun in Hawaii, I await hula tales.

xo, rc

At 03 September, 2007 11:20, Blogger terry said...

re, those ARE cute. i was looking for something with a little more support, though... and NOW i've found what i was seeking, and i'm taking them to hawaii!

At 03 September, 2007 18:16, Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Thank you for this post. Blisters, barfing, and wasted food has never been more entertaining.

Luckily, I refrained from drinking anything while reading it, so there was no liquid to clean off my keyboard. Yay me.

I was surprised that the word 'pashmina' didn't appear until the 20th paragraph. I was beginning to worry it wouldn't make it in at all.

Thanks for the great post!

yeharr (means 'aloha' in Pirate)

At 03 September, 2007 18:48, Blogger terry said...

pirate, now do you see what i mean about all the stupid decisions i made?

and you KNEW there'd be purses and pashminas.

thre's no telling what i'll bring home from hawaii, aside from a tan...

At 03 September, 2007 21:58, Blogger Laura said...

oh, terry!!!! this has sealed the deal. the next vacation my mom and i go on is NYC. that sound so wonderful! I love it!

At 04 September, 2007 07:21, Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I think it's so great that you did this trip solo. I don't think I'd ever have the guts.

Okay the puke/blister thing was not fun. Poor you!

At 05 September, 2007 09:15, Blogger masgblog said...

There is nothing like a nice pair of new shoes I always say...or a nice new handbag...*sigh*

At 06 September, 2007 04:58, Blogger Blondie said...

Wow! What a trip. See now, I don't have to go to NY b/c you went for me. :) And I would have gotten sick, too. I have a very weak spot for le vodka.

At 07 September, 2007 22:22, Blogger sassinak said...

oh dude what a great trip!

and i actually like both pairs...

At 09 September, 2007 23:17, Blogger Jon said...

I really need to take the time to read this post, but I saw that first pic and was like a deer caught in the head lights when I saw the bra hanging on the door. Why am I the only one that mentioned it? I wonder...

Miss you. I promise I'll do a real post soon

At 10 September, 2007 09:44, Blogger cadbury_vw said...

just checking in for word on how you are doing

At 11 September, 2007 22:50, Blogger Reg said...

Your trip sounds like so much fun! Except for the blisters and the puking but then it's not a party unless someone (hopefully not you) coughs up a lung. Your pics are awesome too. I particulary like the hanging bra action. Very classy! I think you should move to NYC. Then I could come and visit!!!!

At 12 September, 2007 19:54, Blogger terry said...

the bra... hah. i kinda forgot it was there.

that's the bra i was wearing when i got caught in the massive downpour, so it was hanging there to dry.



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