I'm back in Arizona! My last few days in NY were far too busy for me to find any time to blog, and my first two days home were far too sick for me to find energy for anything other than sleep and Dr. Who. I'd felt this sickness coming for days, and although it's annoying to be under the weather when I should be unpacking and getting back into the daily grind, I'm glad that I managed to stave it off until I left NY. I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on all the fun, and the time with my in-laws. Oh, and the delicious food. Mmmm, Exotic Mango Chicken.
On Thursday, we went into New York City. I simply love NYC. Yeah, it's crowded, and dirty, and some parts of it smell funny, but it's still an awesome city. I love window shopping. I love people watching. I love looking at all the cool old buildings, with their frescos and other architectural niftiness. I love glancing at the menus of the restaurants I pass by, knowing that I'll never, ever eat there. Oh, and I love Chinatown, which was our main destination for the day.
In all fairness, I most disclose a certain amount of hypocrisy. Chris's stepfather didn't want to go spend all day shopping with us in NYC, but he did have breakfast with us before we left. There was a TV in the diner playing news about the toy recall, so naturally our conversation turned towards China and its business practices. We complained about poor quality control, bad employee treatment, how they're driving other countries' industries under, and how our country blithely goes along with it... and then we took off to Chinatown, where we purchased cheap goods from China... *sigh* Well, ok, a lot of what I bought actually came from Japan, but I am still a freakin' hypocrite.
My problem, of course, is that I want to like China. I enjoy learning Mandarin. I love Chinese food (and while I realize it's highly Americanized, the inspiration had to come from somewhere, right?). I'm a martial arts movie junkie. Etc etc. It's hard to accept that all of these things that I enjoy come from a country whose policies and actions I can't really support.
Moral quandaries aside, I really did have a good time in the city. It was a pretty nice day, with just a little rain, so we walked the entire way from Penn Station to the store we love, Pearl River. I'm not sure exactly how far we walked, but I believe it was something like a zillion blocks. In fact, the only way I can justify all the food that I eat while I'm in NY is by pointing out how much I walk while I'm in NY! Anyway, Pearl River is the only place we shop in Chinatown, because it's the only place we need to shop. They seriously have everything there. Clothes, food, dishes, knick-knacks, musical instruments, furnishings, housewares, everything. And not just imports from China, but also a lot of stuff from Japan, and maybe a couple of other Asian countries. All of this is held in a clean, bright, well-organized store. We must have spent a couple of hours there, getting things for ourselves and presents for our friends.
All that walking and shopping built up some hearty appetites, so we made our way over to Singapore Cafe. If you read last year's NY trip report, you'll remember that we absolutely loved that place. It was just as good this year. Delicious food, food service, and incredibly fast for a sit-down dinner. If you go there, definitely get the lemonade iced tea to drink! It is delicious and refreshing.
After dinner, it was time to make our way towards the theater for the Blue Man Group show. We arrived there with over an hour to spare, so we went around the block to Barnes and Noble, where Chris and I picked up some reading material for the flight home, and I also got a cute plush dragon, made out of that soft chenille fur. We got done right in time for the show. I really enjoy Blue Man Group's music, so I kind of wish that the show had been more music and less... stuff, but it was still a lot of fun. By the time the show was done, we were all tired enough to take the subway back to Penn Station, then we took the train back to Long Island and were home somewhere close to midnight.
Well, this post is getting way too long, so let's do a quick rundown of other things I did while in NY: We saw my sister-in-law's band, The Good Luck Affair, play at a local club. I don't have the exact URL, but you can find them on Myspace. They're a rock kind of band, but Grace plays violin, cello, and sax on some songs, which changes things up a bit. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge, which was kind of cool, except I was exhausted so I kept wondering if I could close my eyes and walk on auto-pilot. We went into Little Italy and ate delicious dessert. Coincidentally, we were in Brooklyn right when the fire at the Deutsche Bank fire started, so we saw a lot of fire trucks going by. Luckily we were not anywhere near the fire itself.
In a way, I'm glad to be back home, with my kitties, and my beads at hand, and my friends nearby, and the ability to just laze around in quiet... But I also can't help but miss NY, with all of the fun things to do, the great people to do them with, and the delicious food to eat when we're done.