More photos up on Flickr. Still a few more to come.
We spent about 5 minutes in the city before I said to Bob: “Let’s never drive here.”
It’s hard to believe I grew up in Los Angeles and got my driver’s license about 3 seconds after I turned 16 yet, I’m a high strung driver. Sad, but true.
Based on my observation from a total of 6 days, I would describe the NYC driving system as complicit anarchy. The first 15 seconds of a red light is a suggestion only. Gridlock abounds. Pedestrians go whenever they can. If a car/cab/truck is coming through they’ll blast a warning honk. Pedestrians pause in the street to let the car/cab/truck pass through. If a car/cab/truck blocks the crosswalk, people go around. If a car/cab/truck blocks the intersection, everyone deals. The horn is used like a turn signal or brakes. No one seems mad.
I blocked the crosswalk near the office one morning and you’d think the fat man who had to walk around my car had had his birthday stolen what with the waving arms and histrionics.
Day 2 we took the D Train to Brooklyn to visit Corey at John Dewey High School where he teaches. We got on the train in Midtown at morning rush hour when 10 gajillion people were getting off and the entry and exit are the same thing so it was like swimming upstream. We had to throw ourselves into it.
John Dewey is a huge high school with 3000 students and a chain link fence surrounding it. Corey told us that they have 11 security guards onsite.
My high school was about 1200 and we had a lunch lady with a clipboard for “security.”
Corey told us we needed to be expected and we were met at the security shack by the ultimate Sopranos thug reject. We told him we were on the list and the name of the person we were meeting. “I don’t tink we have anybuddy by dat name,” he said doubtfully. Because you know what? It makes perfect sense that two completely square old farts would be trying to sneak into a Brooklyn High School. He was disappointed that we were legit.
He waved us into the office and then started a mini-brawl with a young lady who was sassing him. I could hardly contain my giggles.
Inside we met Mrs. Scapetti, an older lady who hasn’t taken any shit in the past 100 years. She issued us our passes and found someone to show us upstairs. The wide hallways had a line down the middle and all the lockers were roped off. Corey told us that their locker privileges had been revoked due to misuse and they had to carry all their books and junk.
We took a tour and met Corey’s colleagues and Bob was able to talk to the technology guy about their program. Every single person we met said we had to go to Coney Island for a Nathan’s hotdog.
So that’s what we did. As soon as the train doors opened, it smelled like fried food.
I don’t eat hot dogs. I can’t remember the last hot dog I ate. But for breakfast, I ate a hot dog, fries and a Coke. And I liked it.
We walked around Coney Island which was pretty much deserted. There were still dirty piles of snow here and there. Everything was closed. Very few people. Mostly bums and what my dad would refer to as “scum bags.” Everything looked run down. Lots of huge brick apartment buildings.
We had to use the public restrooms on the beach. I’ve seen worse but it was pretty gross. Bob’s had no TP. He had to use the guide book. He showed me where the pages were missing.
Next stop: Prospect Park and the Botanic Garden. When we got off the train, it was raining.
We’re from the PacNW. Rain doesn’t scare us.
We found the gate and paid a the combo-price for the Botanic garden and the Brooklyn Museum. The rain grew more steady. We wandered the garden alone. NY was at least two weeks behind the PAC NW in terms of blooming foliage. Nothing but sticks. The rain progressed from delightful to discouraging. We took refuge in a pagoda with 6 other visitors. We all watched a soggy heron.
Next stop: Brooklyn Museum. The Judy Chicago Dinner Party just opened and was completely fantastic. We walked through it twice. We took a good rest in the cafe and did some much needed vegetable and beer intake then headed back into town.
For dinner we found the Delta Grill – Louisiana food. The beer tasted great after a long day and our food was wonderful. This was our only night without an evening show. We walked around town and met Corey for some tea and a snack. We were still fighting West Coast time so we hit the sack early. Big day on Saturday.