New York! May 12, 2005
I know, I'm taking my time showing you the Haul. I'll get around to it, I promise. But first I want to tell you about Monday. Yeah, Thursday's a good time for that, isn't it? Man, I've been busy lately.
So Monday we wake up, clear out the hotel room (why is there something so cool about just leaving the keycard in the room and not having to check out at the desk? Feels like a dine-and-dash might, all "let's go!" and burning rubber), get in our PT Cruiser and head north. Or we assumed it was north. Later I gave Lala my compass wristband I got in my Wendy's equivalent of a Happy Meal, and it was confirmed that yes, New York is north of Maryland, but until then it was only an assumption.
(Note on the PT Cruiser: Lala likes them. She has tried to rent one before, only to be thwarted by the gods that rule rental car agreements. When we picked up the car at the Dulles airport, her eyes widened as we got close to our spot. Yes! That's ours! The Cruiser! That moment would have been a totally great moment to nod and murmur, "Yes, I got it just for you." Instead I gave up the goods and admitted I had no idea how we ended up with it, just get in! Let's go! Burning rubber....)
We headed north, our map in hand. We ended up on the New Jersey Turnpike, which is kind of thrilling somehow. Looking into the trees, I tried to catch a glimpse of Tony Soprano-ish houses, but couldn't see much. People drove very considerately at first, at a constant rate, all polite 'n' stuff. It was unnerving. Closer to New York City, the traffic got heavier and ruder, and I relaxed. I'm used to jerks on the road, and I have to admit I can get all passive-aggressive and enjoy pissing people off by leaving large gaps and slowing when someone drives up my tailpipe. But those truck drivers! The east-coast truck drivers are something else. They're just mean. I stayed out of their way.
We drove over the Verrazano Bridge and into Brooklyn. We were driving in New York! This was awesome! We found our way to Cari's, and dumped the car in front. It was a close call, whether or not to leave my beloved spinning wheel in the car or not, but she lives in a nice neighborhood, and it was the middle of the day, and I could not see lugging that thing, small as it is, all over the West Village. So we walked up to the subway stop and trained into Manhattan. There is just something so satisfying about doing that, isn't there? It's different from BARTing into San Francisco. SF is fabulous, but it's small. You run into people you know. New York feels so big, and so fast, and so full of things that might happen. I love it.
With the subway map. I'm a map dork.
Lala was meeting up with an old friend, and I wanted to let them have some time to themselves, so we parted ways at Washington Square Park, and I set off for a little ramble. I didn't get far, walked up a bit of 6th, and then turned around and came back and settled myself down at a sidewalk Mexican restaurant. I made friends with the bartender, we bonded over Bohemia beer, and I got out my knitting.
Lala and Moira picked me up from there and we walked to another sidewalk place where I got a salad that shocked my fried-food system. Good food, good talk, good afternoon.
And then back to B-lyn for the knitting! Cari invited some of my favorite people, and I flashed back on last year when I'd done this for the first time. And this year, even better. These are my girls, yo. And even better to have My Girl next to me for it this year.
Those are Lala's flying fingers in the foreground
More flying hands
Sorry, Emily, but this one of Cheb is too cute to resist.
I love this picture of Cari!
Dogs steal yarn, you know. But not Diego.
We had a marvellous time. Anne and I had been emailing for a while, and her path crossed with Cari's, and she ended up at the house to my pleased surprise. And I'd wanted to meet both Cassie and Jackie for a while, and I already knew Iris was awesome, and y'all know that I heart my Em.
New York is all right with me. Yep. And another thing that's all right is a portable spinning wheel:
I got some interested looks, and one guard came over and we discussed Indian charkas. Okay, I only mentioned the word and he looked pleased. My kind of discussion, baybee.
Tomorrow, stash! (Don'tcha like how I'm drawing it out, much like that long draw above? Blog fodder is not to be squandered.)