Welcome to 2017, everyone! Yes, it’s me. It’s almost a full month into 2017 and I haven’t posted in over two months, but … whatever.
This was the first year that I rang in the new year in New York. I live about 15 minutes away from Times Square, which means that for New Year’s Eve celebrations, I got AS FAR AWAY from home as possible. Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. I stayed in Manhattan, because late night subway traffic, especially right after the New Year, is ridiculous. But I definitely escaped to the Upper West Side. Only tourists are in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, and they clutter up the place. Roadblocks everywhere, traffic diverted, heavy police presence, and no access to certain subway stations. Total madness. Starting at 2 PM, you had to go through police checkpoints to get east of Eighth Avenue. STARTING AT 2 IN THE AFTERNOON. That meant no access to the NQRW trains for me and long lines of people on the sidewalks. ARGH.
But Upper West Side? Nice dinner, hung out at a friend’s place, then headed over to Central Park and watched fireworks. Yay. Nice and simple. And so far? 2017’s not been too horrible. There’s nothing to be happy about, but at least the world hasn’t exploded or imploded yet, so that’s good, right? The key to happiness is low expectations.
That cataclysmic event never really happened where I am. I’ve gone through hurricanes before, so I thought everyone was unnecessarily freaking out about this Hurricane Sandy thing, but I got prepared anyway. Well, where I live things are just peachy. There was some wind and rain, but no flooding or building damage, and no loss of power or water. I’ve seen pictures from elsewhere in the city and wow things look bad! But not so much in upper Manhattan.
Central Park is closed but Morningside Park was open. A few trees were down and there were branches and leaves everywhere, but otherwise not too bad. Life uptown is going on fine, lots of people out and about. Only issue is … HOW LONG ARE THE SUBWAYS GOING TO BE SHUT? Because seriously, that’s going to be a problem. Guess that means no work tomorrow!
When people think Central Park, they usually think of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Strawberry Fields, or the Boathouse. Maybe they even think of the Great Lawn or the Central Park Zoo. There’s a whole lotta of stuff in Central Park, but the point is, most rarely think of what goes on at the north end of the park.
Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot and it’s a trek away from the museums and touristy areas, but it’s really quite peaceful as a result. Originally Central Park only went up to 106th Street, but in that added space (106th to 110th) there’s Harlem Meer (seen below), with ‘meer’ being the Dutch word for ‘lake.’ So next time you visit Central Park, keep in mind that there’s a north side to explore.
Second week of school is over and I’m already behind in readings … yikes. I need to get into more of a routine. Things are going fine, I’ve finally figured out which classes I’ll be taking and which ones I’ll be auditing. And after some switcheroo with the roommates, we’ve finally got things set and we’re pretty much done buying stuff (well, done buying the necessary stuff). Amazon Prime is wonderfully addictive!
The weather’s getting pretty cool, so I’m going to try and get to Central Park as often as I can while it’s still not too cold. And I still have to check out all the museums. Although I really need to get some closed-toe shoes, because I have a feeling I won’t be able to wear my flip-flops for too much longer.
First day of school – over and done. Not too exciting. What was fun was a few days ago. I walked all around Central Park and I probably only saw a small fraction of what’s there. Somehow my experience of New York so far has not matched up to my expectations … in a good way. People here are pretty nice, there’s actually a lot of space, and streets are fairly clean. I guess after having experienced Shanghai, my expectations were lowered.
The subway system isn’t as nice as Shanghai’s, but in some ways it’s better because there weren’t any people touching me. The subways here are clean, but in a “we scrubbed this entire place down with bleach, so it ain’t getting any better than this” way rather than a “spic-and-span new” kind of clean. Still, it was fine. What was annoying was all the noise and all the jolting. Good gracious, I started getting nauseous.