Lanyard – I hope I’m right in thinking this is not a British word? Everyone was talking about these in the first couple of days, and I thought I was missing out on something cool that everyone else had. WRONG. These are the name tags we hang around our necks.
Shattered – in the US this only means something physically broken, and not ‘exhausted.’
Pre-func/pre-funk – This is the equivalent of predrinks. Pre-game is another option. The pronunciation of ‘func’ is seriously debated.
On Saturday morning, Ryan, Alyssa and I lazed around on the lawn outside the Journalism school. After that, I had a wander around campus, exploring some more of the buildings I have no place to be inside.
In the afternoon a big bunch of us got the crosstown bus and headed for the Guggenheim. There was a queue all down the block and around the next corner, as there’s a free offer going on at the moment. We went to the MET instead, and spent a happy couple of hours wandering round and getting lost (I’m feeling like a seasoned pro at the MET now – my fourth visit?). We went up to the roof at the end for the great views over downtown.
It was the longest day of the year, so by the time we left at 8pm it still felt like midday. We followed the MET with a visit to an equally significant cultural beacon: Shake Shack. There’s one in Covent Garden that I haven’t brought myself to queue up for, so this was a first. Shake Shack is a place where you’re presented with choices like, ‘Should I have triple caramel or chocolate fudge cake in my milkshake?’ and ‘Should I have four or five different kinds of cheese on my burger?’ It’s great. After that, the 12 or so of us staggered onto a bus and home.
Another sunny day called for a trip to Central Park. I walked with Carolyn, Alyssa, Gaia and Rose until we found a shady spot by Harlem Meer with a suitable wildlife parade of turtles and herons sunning themselves nearby (note: they fly/swim away if you try to touch them). We all brought books – SURPRISE – and basked on the grass. I’m finally reading The Goldfinch, which is excellent. It’s not out in paperback here yet, so much edition is the talk of the town (we’re such nerds).
Gaia and I went on an epic walk through the park, around Jackie’s Reservoir and the Great Lawn to find Melissa and Jon, who were strategically placed by a Waffle Truck.
Despite hygiene concerns (the waffle-lady dug around in her ear with her gloved hand before serving the people in front), the waffles were great, and suitably covered in chocolate.
Waffles demolished, we caught the subway to Soho, for a spot of shopping. In particular, our US friends were keen for Gaia and me to get some patriotic clothes for upcoming 4th July celebrations (note: referring to this as Independce Day brings up images of Will Smith and aliens, so should be avoided). We eventually found $5 US flag t-shirts in Old Navy. I will wear mine with a vaguely uncertain sense of irony.
I dragged the others into the Scholastic store, where we became children again. I scoped out the Geronimo Stilton display a little wistfully. Fingers crossed I can create something similar back at home…
Talk soon turned to food. I suggested Golden Unicorn, a Chinese restaurant I first went to with my parents about six years ago, where the food was great and cheap and no one spoke a word of English. I led the way to Chinatown, but the restaurant seemed to have mysteriously moved, or maybe my maps were wrong. We found it eventually, but it was closed for a private event. In desparate need of noodles, we ended up at Great NY Noodletown, which did not disappoint with steaming plates of duck, beef, rice and noodles.
We ended the weekend with drinks on our way home, while we practiced each other’s accents with mixed success. I had the world’s strongest bloody mary. I’ve just recovered feeling in my lips.