Monday, February 16, 2004

¡La Lunes! (a.k.a. that to which I was "hasta")

I'm back. Safe flights all the way. General highlights follow, mostly written on the plane (yay for having a laptop!). You can follow along with the pictures here if you like.

Saturday morning was Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. The statue was cool to see, but you can't go up in it these days, so there wasn't really much to do there, leading Miriam and me to start adding to our collection of statue-mimicking photos. Ellis Island has a wonderful museum, though. Lots of really amazing stuff there to learn about immigration and the people who came to America that way. Some of the old photos and quotes from the immigrants were especially intense. I'm with Greg in giving it a huge recommendation. We spent a couple hours there but there was still a lot we could have seen.

Saturday afternoon we visited Greg, but missed Shaleece, unfortunately. In the evening was dinner and contra dancing. The dance was great, with a good band and tons of excellent dancers. For some reason, though, they insisted on keeping the lighting dim, so I was sort of having trouble with that. I'd spin around and have trouble seeing where my partner was sometimes, so I'd end up facing the wrong way. Silly. But it was definitely fun.

Sunday was mostly for Central Park, though we got going on it kind of late. Lots of good statues to play with there. And a neat castle. We missed the zoo with the gay penguins, though, because we didn't realize it was going to close as early as it did.

Also on Sunday was the visit to Strand Bookstore. That was a bit disappointing, though, since their "eight miles of books" hype had led me to imagine something more along the lines of Powell's, miles not being a unit of measurement I usually associate with books. I tried finding my usual questing books (the rare ones I look for whenever I'm in a used bookstore) but no luck. Oh well. Big bookstores are always fun anyway. I found out later that I had only been a couple blocks from the 4 of 2 clock, so I should have gone to see that. Next time.

I didn't really get through very much of my list of things to see in the short time I had, modest though the list was. I'll probably need at least a week sometime to properly get through some more of the museums, go to a show, see downtown more, and all of that. I feel like I didn't actually see much of the city. I went through a lot of it, but generally on the subway, which usually doesn't look like much of anything (though the 81st street stop is pretty cool, with lots of mosaics, as is the stop with the little "metropolitan gnome" statues). And Central Park is about as un-city-like as you can get out there, so it was a pretty skewed view of things. Even as it was, though, I felt distinctly out of place in the huge cityness of it, so this was like a little easing-into-it kind of visit. I'll do more whenever I might get out there again.

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