Our first full day in New Jersey, Bronwyn Green, Brynn Paulin, Kris Norris, and I decided to trip into New York. I pointed out to our fearless leader that if it was going to be a long expedition, I might not be up to it. I had neither packed my tennis shoes, nor was I fully up to snuff since having major surgery a few weeks ago.
I got a hand swish and a pfft. No one had any intention of hanging out for too long. We'd see a few sites and go back to the hotel. Clearly Brynn Paulin and I have different definitions of "too long" and she has a whole lotta stamina. I wound up with four giant foot blisters, two of them the size of silver dollars on the balls of my feet, and a body throb to my incision areas. It was a nine hour walking tour.
Now, granted, Brynn and the gals did generously allow me to stop and we broke up our tour by doing super awesome things. Like ride the subway all the way to the Bronx and back because we didn't get off at the right stop (pointing out here that Bronwyn did properly use the turn styles this time).
That was a story all on it's own. Without going into too much detail, lemme just say that you never truly appreciate clean, breathable air until someone who hasn't bathed in several years takes a shit in his pants while you are holding onto the rail over him for dear life. It was like...well, unwashed, freshly shat ass. There may have been a mingling of yeastiness in there too.
We also stopped in at Jekyll and Hyde for an awesome lunch spectacle. There were only three tables of diners in the restaurant that afternoon. The other two, though not knowing each other, were from Spain. One celebrated their recent wedding. The other, um, had two matadors in full dress and hats.
No, I'm not shitting you.
As Kris put it, their hats looked like puppy dog ears from behind. We eavesdropped when the waiter came over. One of the ensembled men was a true matador. The other was his apprentice. In the words of Bronwyn Green, "Fwuh?!"
I had no idea New York had a training facility for Spanish matadors! I took a picture of them, but the room was far too dark to make them out. I'll futz with the exposure a little and see if I can post them later.
We made it to Central Park where we argued with pedicabs and carriage drivers over price. Finally we met a lovely Irish man with a top hat who took us to John and his horse, Lisa. It was fantastic and Bronwyn even got to take memorial type photos of John Lennon's apartment building, and the circle mosaic where several other crunchy granola sorts stood in a circle. There may have been chanting. I never asked her but there was definitely some weird kumbaya shit going on there. It was also on the carriage where we were stopped in the middle of a major intersection and traffic converged on us.
Thought we were all going to die.
We found Ground Zero, which was huge but utterly blocked off from view, Battery Park and the memorial globe from the Twin Towers, and onto the ferry to Staten Island. On the way back, we met Jose. He asked us to call him "Joey" (Hoe-ee) and may have been well on his way to riotously drunk. He. Was. Awesome. Plus he flirted with us and I'm totally down with that.
Joey informed us that the ferry we were on was known as the Ferry of Doom for crashing into the pier twice and being the one ferry where a girl tried to commit suicide by jumping the rail (don't worry. she hit the cold water and changed her mind). Joey told us that he would save us all if we crashed.
All. Four. Of. Us.
Kris Norris, slut extraordinaire (which I say with all love and jesting) immediately decided that as the resident Canadian, she would hop on his back and kayak him to shore. Then she decided maybe that was mean because it would leave him face down in the water while he acted as our flotation device. Kris then decided she would flip him over and ride him, stating in a confidentially teasing whisper, "It's a win-win for both of us," *wink wink*.
I'm a delicate flower (shut up) and very modest (seriously, shut up) so being the proper young thing I am (oh for the love of god!), I told him I'd hold his big toe and kick us to safety. I may have offered to braid his toe hair for him after he said he had great looking feet, but really, it was my way of thanking him.
Brynn and Bron took this to mean I have a toe fetish. Mind you, they fixated on THAT and NOT the cock riding Canadian kayaker. I'm just sayin'.
We all gave Joey our websites and blogs. Joey promised to arrive on my doorstep in a box (no, I didn't give him my address) and said that if we were ever in Manhattan again, to shout "Joey" at the top of our lungs and he'd come running.
I'm thinking that if I yelled "Hoe-ee" in Manhattan, I might get a mess of prostitutes charging us. Just my thoughts.
Who says New Yorkers aren't friendly?