One thing that is very different about New York City (or so it seems to me) is how late the restaurants are open and serving food. The reason we ended up with more than one reservation for the same night was that the first reservation they made was for 11:45… at night. We managed to get a 10 pm reservation at a restaurant called the Fig and Olive, and went there instead – because 11:45 seemed kind of late to be sitting down to start the ordering process.
At the end of our meal, we realised it was just about 11:45… so we did what any food-obsessed people would do – we went to our second reservation for wine, poring over their menu, and further chatting. It wasn’t too too packed, so we didn’t feel bad about taking up a table – there were plenty of other tables that were empty. We made our way briefly into a club in the meatpacking district. The place was so packed that the only dancing we’d have been able to do would have consisted of bobbing our heads very slightly (to avoid headbutting the people standing right next to us) and trying to dodge slopped drinks.
Weaponry exhibit, the greek statues exhibit, and some of the art. I got to see some of my favourite artists’ work, including Degas’ little dancer sculpture, and some of Monet’s paintings, along with some other artists whose work I love. They had an entire room of Degas’ sketches and smaller paintings, which was amazing. I love all the dancer paintings, and how he preferred to capture the backstage scenes. He shows dancers stretching and tying their laces and generally getting ready to dance, with a natural and unplanned grace, rather than the rehearsed perfection of being on stage. Love it. He’s definitely my favourite artist.
After that, we made our way down to the south end of Manhattan, with the purpose of going out to see the Statue of Liberty. With an EPIC lack of communications skills, the two of us who had no interest in going to and getting off at either Liberty Island or Ellis Island failed to realise that the one of us who had never been to NYC before shared our lack of interest in getting off boats. She
had, in fact, not realised thatyou could get off the boat. So, when I commented that we could take the free (or at least less expensive) ferry out to Staten Island (or whatever Island that is… and stay on the boat, and head back to Manhatten), in order to take pretty bridge and pretty Statue of Liberty pics, that option was rejected. Because it seemed as though M really wanted to get out and go into the bottom area of the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t want to go to the island, despite not being there before, because you can’t go up the statue without a pass that we didn’t have… so I saw no point in going. However, we found ourselves standing in the after-purchasing-tickets lineup, in line for security clearance to get on the boat, before realising that none of us actually wanted to get off and go explore the islands. We got on the boat anyways, with the plan of just staying on the boat. Rather like my original proposition of getting on the free ferry, but a bit more expensive and with a lot more lineup… and a metal detector.
Within moments of getting on the boat, a storm of epic proportions kicked up. Fierce winds and pounding waves the likes of which have been seen in a still pond sheltered by high cliffs. The ferry-boat rocked and bobbed like a giant cork, surging from side to side and up and down with gusto. We weren’t even out of the dock area, and I was seriously beginning to be concerned. Once we were out in open water, and had gone out into the cold air to watch the Statue of Liberty get closer, I felt a bit better.
But we were soon docking again. I’m fairly sure that in-dock is the worst part of being in a boat. The ride was considerably smoother when the boat was cutting through open water – when it was at dock, it became semi-stationary and entirely controlled by the waves sloshing about against the pier. Sloshing rather like my poor poor stomach. We were on the boat for over an hour, and I had the opportunity to try a number of different stomach settling tricks. Drink some water… close eyes (don’t do that one once you’re already feeling nauseous… it only makes it worse)… stare out at the less-moveable-distant-horizon… chew on a ginger-chew (ginger is supposed ot help with motion sickness and general stomach issues… it helped a bit, but I didn’t have any more of these candies after the one)… dream of being on solid land again. When the boat docked back at Manhattan, I was out like a shot. It was a good 10 minutes before the other two made it off the boat, fighting through the crowds. I had elbow and nauseous-expression-ed people viciously out of my way. And yes, if you look green enough, people will make space for you to get as far away from them as fast as possible. I spent the time waiting for the others to fight through the masses of humanity and get off the boat watching the sketch artists (and refusing to have my giant headed portrait done) and considering whether beer nuts would help my stomach. Answer? Nope… they really didn’t help. One thing I find about motion sickness – once you are nauseous, things that would normally not make you feel awful and queasy are now immensely awful. Queasily, I sat through our next subway ride. Holding my uneasy stomach, I abandoned my beer-nuts to M and D. I rushed past strange smelling things as quickly as possible, my stomach rebelling against all interactions with the world around me.
I’ll leave our journey here – next post, we hear a choir sing while visiting hellish chocolate-heaven, encounter our second famous-person-none-of-us-recognises, and visit a tourist attraction that relates to my job.