Monday, May 17, 2010

Broke, but not bored -- the out-of-town visitors edition!

E and I had what was, quite possibly, our best weekend since we moved to New York this past weekend.  It helped that E was finally done with the semester and hadn't yet started his writing competition thing yet (oh law school, and your endless deadlines and projects).  Of course, it was great that the weather was breathtakingly perfect at 75 degrees and sunny all weekend long.  And, we had some of our favorite people visiting.  But we also spent almost all of the weekend out of the apartment, without going broke[r]!  Which just goes to show you, you don't have to spend a boatload of cash (even in New York City) to have a good time. 

Here's what we did:
  • Saturday morning, at almost exactly the same time, 2 of our friends, with whom E went to undergrad and who lived basically down the street from us when we lived in Boston, and E's dad arrived.  Everyone was about an hour early, thwarting my plans to pick up fresh flowers at the market and feel fancy, but luckily we had cleaned the entire apartment Friday, so it worked out alright!  We hung out at our apartment for a few minutes, getting caught up.
  • We headed into Manhattan and up to Columbia, where we stopped by the photo exhibit I curated.  Two of the panels somehow got switched out of order, which I don't really understand, but I am beyond the point of asking questions. While we were in Morningside Heights, we went to a deeeeelicious Cuban restaurant for lunch. Plantains and stuffed peppers and yellow rice, mmmmm.
  • We then headed downtown, saying goodbye to E's dad at Times Square (he had a birthday party to get to on Long Island).  We got off the subway near the World Trade Center site to see the progress on the construction there, and walked down to Battery Park, pausing outside the New York Stock Exchange in front of Federal Hall on Wall Street to bitch about the economy.  In Lower Manhattan, we went to the National Museum of the American Indian, where we saw a few interesting exhibits, marveled at the gorgeous old building, and even saw a dance demonstration by Native Americans.  Then we wandered through Battery Park to the shoreline to gawk at the Statue of Liberty from afar.
  • Next it was off to the Lower East Side!  We met a friend of our friends for french fries at Pommes Frites, and tried a bunch of gourmet dipping sauces.  Mmmm, so delicious.  The friend then took us to Grassroots Tavern, which was the diviest dive bar I've ever encountered.  We got a pitcher of beer and talked about LOST for an hour or so, and it was fantastic, overall.
  • We wandered up to Union Square, from where we took the train back out to Queens.  After an hour of resting our tired legs and watching basically every Lady Gaga music video ever made, we ventured to the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, favorite summer drinking base camp and site of my St. Patrick's Day escapades this year.  Ever since we moved to this neighborhood, we've wanted to take these friends to the much-loved beer garden, and this was the first visit they made in nice enough weather.  It didn't disappoint.  Despite long bar lines and large crowds, we managed to snag a table (and beer from friendly neighbors!) and hang out through our second winds, debating a wide range of very important and controversial topics, much to the chagrin, I'm sure, of those around us.
  • We got back to our apartment and ordered a pizza from the only pizza place still open.  Not great pizza, but not terrible, either, and once you've had a few beers, anything will do.  We went to bed with full bellies, and all woke up hangover free to watch the only Lady Gaga video we hadn't watched the night before.
  • Bagels. BAGELS.  So delicious.  I want to eat them every day but I know then that I would weigh about 800 pounds in no time.  This time I got an everything bagel with veggie cream cheese and fresh sliced tomatoes on it, and it was amazing.  E tried a breakfast sandwich on a bagel, and also loved it.  This place can do no wrong in my book.
  • After we all devoured our toasted, perfect bagels, our guests packed their bags and we all got on the train to head into Manhattan so they could catch a MetroNorth train home.  SADFACE.  We had time before they left, though, to check out an exhibit on archaeology at the South Ferry terminal at the NY Transit Museum's gallery annex at Grand Central Terminal.  It was so cool!  Tons of really old remnants of a New York City that is no more. Also, if I ever move away from NYC, I am planning to dump a lot of cash in their gift shop, first. So much cool junk!  This has definitely whet my appetite for the real NY Transit Museum in Brooklyn, which is in a decommissioned subway station and includes antique train cars to explore!
  • We got them to their train on time, and headed out to Bryant Park to enjoy some sun.  The park was suprisingly uncrowded given the perfect weather, and we got to hang out and watch babies learning to walk on grass and get a little pink on our shoulders.  Bryant Park is really beautiful, and I can't wait to catch a movie there during their free summer movie series!
After that, we headed home so E could watch the Celtics game and I could fart around on the internet.  I made roasted veggies and couscous for dinner, and we spent a lot of the night intending to watch a movie but accidentally talking until it was too late to start one, since I had to get up early to intern. 

So, overall, this weekend was the best kind of busy, full of fun exhibits and activities, and exhausting enough that I slept super soundly last night!  And the best part of the weekend?  We didn't spend a dime on activities.  Yup.  Every activity we did was completely free, we just spent money on food and booze.  Which is my favorite way to do things, duh.

1 comment:

  1. one of said visiting friendsMay 18, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Can't wait for the second edition. Also, super excited you included the Gaga videos as one of the activities.