The New York Experience

People often comment that it’s pretty impressive how Adrian and I manage to spend 99.9% (basically whenever neither of us are pooping) of our time together and can still stand each other. That’s true most of the time, but honestly, every time we get into a major city, like clockwork, we’re at each other’s throats. Maybe it’s the smell. Maybe it’s the crowds. Maybe it’s all the shiny things that we can’t afford or the endless hours on public transit. It’s probably all of the above, but it sucks. We made it through about 12 hours in New York City of hardly talking before giving up and “discussing our differences” in Central Park.

We’ve always said that a goal of this trip was to figure out where we wanted to be in the long term. I think the one conclusion that is becoming quite clear is this: No cities!

Don't go! You're doomed!
Stop! Don’t go! You’re doomed!

We’re now somewhere called Southington, CT and everything is fine. We even got woken up by a police officer at 5am and were completely unfazed. It was a good excuse to get coffee and an opportunity to get some writing done.

Despite all the drama, we did see some cool things in the city. Since this is a travel blog, I’m going to list them off like they were awesome. This is our New York Experience…

Day One: We arrived just as the sun was setting, dropped off right in front of Jeff’s house. Jeff wasn’t expecting us until the next day, but he welcomed us in and made us tea. He was an incredibly nice guy who works very hard to make sure that people visiting internationally have a positive experience in New York. We spent our entire stay in our tent, pitched in his backyard in Queens.

Day Two: Time Square and Central Park! Quintessential NYC introduction.

Day Three: Music and writing in a trendy Long Island City Cafe, followed by drinks with Adrian’s cousin, Kathryn, who we didn’t know existed until a few days previous. That evening, the three of us saw a concert in Madison Square and walked the high line as the sun went down.

Shh, ignore the awkwardness of self-timer
Shh, ignore the awkwardness of self-timer

Day Four: A morning bike ride through Queens to get vegetables at a local grocer and bagels at a local bakery. We brought them back and ate them while hanging out with Jeff. Then, after several hours of misadventure, we ended up on the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Very majestic. On Staten Island, I touched the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in my life. Before we went home for the night, we tried a street vendor pretzel and visited Strand’s Bookstore. Adrian had to drag me out of that last one.

Always thought it would be bigger
Always thought it would be bigger

Day Five: Busy museum day! We spent 3 hours each in the Museum of Natural History and the MoMa. It was Friday night, so the MoMa was free, making for some very interesting people watching.

Day Six: In the process of trying to decide what to do in the city that day, we decided just to leave. The last sight we saw of the city was Grand Central— a sight for sore eyes if there ever was one.

Thank you again to Jeff for the home, the bagels and the company! We will hopefully come see you in Oklahoma someday!

5 thoughts on “The New York Experience

  1. A great number of people like New York.
    It is the quintessential, the epitome, the absolute standard of THE CITY.

    … I can’t stand the place.

    It’s terrifying to behold:

    Last time I drove through there, with my ex-girlfriend, we somehow ended up on a random side-street in Brooklyn, and the small lawns were littered with refuse and decay and filth. It looked like something I’d seen in the pictures coming out of Iraq (‘cept for all the, you know, grass). Air conditioners, rusted bikes, garbage bags, and even a car stripped of all its components — all laid strewn across the lots like forgotten artifacts in a musty museum basement.

    Then we turned right onto Martin Luther King Blvd and were escorted down the 4 lane street by a pack of shirtless black men on small bicycles, whooping and hollering at some girls they may or may not have known walking along the other side of the street.

    TL;DR: cities are trash heaps, but full of strange and fascinating humans.

    Enjoy the East. I’ll be out in Toronto on the 1-3rd of August, if you guys are around….

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  2. Hi Allie and Adrian, your great adventures are everywhere you go. Don’t give up because of the big cities, Barbara and I go through the same ambivalence: much to see in the cities, always too much, and the real joys are on the back roads and in the small towns. Our rental car broke down very close to Southington CT, and all the rental office had for replacement was big US cars, not our preferred way to travel. I-90 in New York is the freeway which starts on the west coast heading out of Seattle. After your first July 4th, you will gravitate to the US to join future celebrations wherever, Barbara and I do. Did you get a chance to sail the Great Lakes yet? Happy trails and highways.
    Ron

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    • Oh, we’re not giving up. It took us 3 days to get out of the urban sprawl and now we’re stoked on life again. We’re on our way to sail now, just south of the Border in Burlington, VT.

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    • Hi Donald! Thanks for the comment 🙂
      We had a great time in Hampton. We didn’t end up sleeping on the beach, though. We heard back from a couchsurfing person and stayed at his place in North Hampton. Stay tuned. The next blog post will feature our Hampton story.

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