Seersuckers – I was wearing fabric shorts at the weekend. My friends, pointing at my leg area, starting talking about my seersuckers. I was unnerved. Apparently this is a term for these precise kind of shorts.
Creasing – means ‘laughing’ in British, but this is not acceptable in America. They find it quite amusing though.
Thursday 3rd July
As book workshop week came to an end, hurricane Arthur hit New York. Hot, heavy rain fell with such intensity that you were soaked through in under a minute. I’ve never seen and heard such relentless thunder and lightning. Nevertheless, we ran to the liquor store to get our supplies for the evening, along with most of the course and half of uptown Manhattan, apparently. By the time we got back (and then after a second outing, to Duane Reade for snacks) we looked half human. People were running through the streets, screaming like it was the onset of the apocalypse.
There was a much needed party on the third floor. Fun was had.
Friday 4th July
I was very excited for our 4th July weekend, but first on the agenda was sleep. Sleep. Sleeeeep. By 11:30 I was more or less up. Food was next on the list. A group of us went to Kitchenette for brunch. I got to wear my Old Navy shirt and looked about as American as possible. I ate something suitably fried, greasy and with chips. God bless America.
In the evening, Ryan, Jon and I went down to a park off Wall Street to watch the fireworks. We were just in time, and stood at the back of a large group who were taking a million pictures of themselves (for wedding, they said. Don’t care, we thought). The fireworks were
great SUPER-AWESOME and, in good New York style, high on volume and quantity.
The aftermath of the fireworks was reminiscent of the bit in horror movies where a plague descends, the city gets evacuated and everyone charges down the streets en masse. We were charged to Little Italy, where the smells of garlic and wine were too much to resist. There was a great atmosphere down there, as we queued to get into Ristorante Da Gennaro. Now look, it was very late (11:30) and I was a bit grumpy from hunger. So when a group of people cut in front of the line to steal the table we were waiting for, I might have lost my temper. I may have stormed up to their table at shouted at the waiter. I maybe (maybe) stood behind them and stared at them until it was awkward for everyone. But they did leave – hooray! The meal – when we got it – was excellent, and I definitely recommend.
Saturday 5th July
There was more catching up on sleep, yes. Eventually, I went to brunch (I don’t think I’ve ever had so much brunch in my life) with Ian, Jon, Ryan, Gaia, Rose and Carolyn, at Amigos, just down the road.
Afterwards, Gaia, Jon and I, in need of some sun and fresh air, headed to the Highline. I think they’ve added another block since my last visit, so now the whole walk is over one mile. Jon’s desperation to find a toilet kept Gaia and me very amused, though less so when we thought he might throw a tantrum in front of everyone. At the end, we reclined on the highly uncomfortable wooden benches and read for a while.
We stopped in at the Brass Monkey’s rooftop bar, which was so crowded for the football (SOCCER) that we left quickly. We wandered around Meatpacking for a while, then down to the village, succumbing to the chilled out, non-city atmosphere down there. Hungry as usual, we stopped at the White Horse Tavern for a drink and dinner – a celebrated literary spot where Jack Kerouac, Bob Dylan, and Hunter S. Thompson all spent time.
Ryan and Carolyn met us afterwards. After a jaunt to Magnolia bakery, we walked across and up Fifth Avenue to 230 Fifth, a rooftop bar. It was a perfect evening – warm but not too hot, and though we just missed the sunset, the views from the roof were pretty spectacular:
This day is hard for me to talk about. The Wimbledon final. A fifth set. Feeling confident for a Federer win. CRUSHED BROKEN AND SHATTERED. Apologies to people who encountered me that morning. Moving on.
I went for a walk to clear my head (*sob*) and then met up with a friend, Anna, at Columbus circle, before wandering through Central Park some more. I must have walked five miles. It was another glorious day, and people were out enjoying the sun in droves.
Ryan and I met up with Melissa, Jon, Carolyn, Gaia and Rose on Broadway, as they came out of their show. It was pretty frantic, as Chris O’Dowd and James Franco were just emerging from Of Mice and Men across the road. Cue lots of screaming girls.
We tried to get away from Times Square as quickly as possible, and walked to Hell’s Kitchen for dinner at Marseille.
Great end to a great weekend!