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Super behind photo posts! I didn't take a lot of pictures in NYC, but I had a wonderful time. I was on my own a lot and was nervous about being mugged so kept my camera in its little camera sack even in situations where I should have had it out, doing its camera duties. Most of the trip was spent practicing yoga and hanging out at the Jivamukti School. It was wonderful but I didn't take any pictures of it either. Here's what I do have!

One of the most amazing things about Couchsurfing.org is that you can end up staying in a 1.5 million dollar condo in Chelsea. It was a 20 minute walk to yoga, thus, absolutely perfect for me.

My host Jen was great and had fantastic stories about life, the universe, and everything.

She had a surfer once who made her put this tomato plant with its own light and watering systems in the closet because he said it was like The Matrix for plants. Sort of true?

Views from her balcony. It was actually this dreary out the whole time I was there.

One of the side projects of this mostly-yoga trip was to meet the magnificent Igloowhite from Everything2. Mission accomplished! Hooray for internet stalking. You should read this poem and this one and really really this one but most all of them are good.

He is a busy New York person so we didn't get to hang out that much, but we had drinks at a huge and beautiful hotel bar with a glass ceiling during a storm so it sounded like the inside of a rain stick. This gentleman was eating dinner and though you can't really tell from the photo, drinking a pink martini. I don't know why I love tiny old men so much, but I do. I want to hug all of them.

Why someone would be standing on the street holding an upright vacuum cleaner and a bag full of mops and brooms and umbrellas, I couldn't tell you.

Some day my propensity to take photos of unattended dogs will get me mauled.

There was a large number of dressed dogs being walked by people who did not own them.

I was really lonely my first couple of days here and spent a lot of time trying to make friends with everyone I met. This is Rachel the bartender who recently got demoted for being drunk at work. She also had recently spilled an entire cup of boiling hot coffee on her boobs and confessed that she was bandaged up like a mummy under her shirt.

This bartender was afraid of gay men and looked like James Marsters.

My third day in the city was a turning point because I got to finally spend some time with my lovely couch host Jen and ended up meeting up with her, and Jenny G. and Al, (lost1) for dinner.

That evening brought a great change to my attitude and my luck with interacting with other humans for the rest of the trip. After dinner I made my way to a weekly NYC Couchsurfing.org meetup and made a bazillion friends and drank beer with European boys. The next evening I got to meet up with Hannelore, a girl I went to school with. She was just as wonderful and beautiful as I remembered her to be. I had a huge girl crush on her in high school.

She met me at Trader Joe's wearing sheep pajama pants for our evening out because it was just that chilly, and everyone walks everywhere in New York. After a few days of dealing with a bit of culture shock, public sheep pajamas were a sight for sore eyes. I have trouble when I try to be fancy. It just isn't my vibe.

Here's some stuff I saw while I wandered around with her and was less frightened to take pictures at night.
sheep pajamas!

My couch host Jen took me to see a production of Carmen at the Met. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever given me, and my first really positive opera experience. The other time I went to an opera it was also a gift, that time from the lovely Cinnamon, but unfortunately our seats were next to this ancient couple who were long unwashed and smelled of yeasty folds and constant "rooting and tooting" as the husband called it. He was blind and every few minutes he would ask loudly what was happening and his wife would explain it to him. It was no good.

Intermission brought balcony time. I asked this random dude to take a picture of us.

He was amused by Jen's demonstration of flexibility and decided to share his own.

We inspired a chain reaction on the smoking deck of people being flexible.

le sigh. Pretty Met.

The only really touristy things I did while in New York were go to Rockefeller Center and go to the top of 30 Rock. The square was packed with tourists, so much so that it was hard to walk at times. Bleh. Santa braved the crowds to get some ice skating time in.

Giant tree was giant. You can see the crush of people beyond.

I was buying my 30 Rock ticket when this couple got engaged next to me.
I have these and a couple more pictures that I planned on sending to them, but when I looked her up on Facebook, per her request, I was unable to even send her a message. Now when I look I can't even find her on Facebook at all. I think this is her: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/janae-tucker/19/a23/254 but I sent a message and nothing. Sad! Well, whatever.

The cop with the mustache totally dug me.

Cute children!

Top of 30 Rock, so pretty! Next time if I go I'll go at dusk time so I can see it both during the day and the night. Tips and tricks. Dude I handed my camera to would only take this if I held his Pooh bear. Suuuuuuuure.

He looked like James Franco. What's a girl to do?
P.S. IT WAS FREEZING up there.

Central Park

Empire State Building!

Teenagers napping.

Over the course of the trip I was lucky enough to hang out with some kids from the Couchsurfing meetup. This dog was being dogsat by Barry Hott. His name is Stanley, and he gets all the ladies.

You can see why.

I got much better at meeting people as my vacation progressed. Perhaps my air of desperation for human contact receded somewhat. I was talking to Ian and I said that by day 3 of the trip I had gotten exactly 2 hugs. I usually get more than 2 hugs before I leave the house in the morning (not that I leave the house in the morning anymore.) I was hug deprived.

This is Memoir. I met him on the street and we had a very interesting dinner with Jenny G, wherein he described to me how he had recently been betrayed by his prophet, who was a false prophet. He found this out when he called the school for prophets and found out that his prophet was not accredited. I asked him what he lost to this man and he said it was around 3,500 dollars. I compared it to the cost of a totaled car without the physical injuries and that seemed to make him feel better.

At first I thought he must have been confused about the prophet college, but he was not! There are even options for your prophet training.

This Jew car was filled with Orthodox men and was blasting Hanukkah music.

Taken outside a nearby restaurant where Grandpa was getting his birthday song.

Jenny G. was the best! We were friend pimped together by Scott Jorgensen. I had a lovely time with her.

We both like soup. We could talk or not talk for hours.

Blackberry prayers.

People definitely treated me like a bit of a weirdo on this trip. I am unreasonably friendly with strangers though, and that is pretty much unheard of in New York City, evidently. After the first few days I actually spent a lot of time talking with people about how it was so hard to get people to talk to me. This is Arpana. We met when I asked him if I was looking at a garbage train on the other side of the tracks. We decided that it was indeed a train that only carried garbage. He was the second person I met that day that had a guru/prophet. He was carrying a large painting wrapped in brown paper that was the signature of his guru. He found the discussion of how to talk to strangers in New York intriguing and told me that when I first spoke to him he was "weirded out" but that he liked me and that it worked out well in the end.
What was great is that after we got on the train, he turned and talked to the random person that was sitting next to us. I LIVE FOR THAT SHIT. Talk to the humans around you. Be nice to them. They will, in turn, hopefully talk to and be nice to the people around them.

It's a good question.

Another Couchsurfing friend, Vilious from Vilnius Lithuania. My first known meeting with someone from the motherland. Fun dude! He has been traveling the world for 6 months. It sounds fun in theory, but I would miss the pets and my parents and my friends too much, and life without Ian for that long would be horrible.

Just your friendly neighborhood garbage basement.

Speaking of garbage, the fact that in NYC they have no alleys so they just pile all the garbage on the sidewalks is a little unnerving.

I will round out the post with a high heeled shoe covered in tampons.

I always love going home, I do.

Next up: Cancun!



( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
Another brilliant picture post love!

Those pictures of Stanley certainly show why he gets all the ladies, I mean look at that squishy face! I'm definitely a fan of the random smoking deck flexibility shots though, if I have to pick one favorite from the set, the shot of you and Hannelore is a fabulous and flattering picture. :)
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Stanley is a chick magnet.
I like you better though.
Feb. 1st, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
Fabulous photo log!
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
Joe Mauer in Blackberryprayer1!
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:34 pm (UTC)
The fact that people read the rollover titles makes me really uncomfortable. I should name them something better!

I'm glad you like my picture posts, Sam. I do it all for you.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
xkcd them!
Feb. 2nd, 2011 03:16 am (UTC)
I'm lovin' the whole chain reaction of flexibility. You inspire fun! How fun!
Feb. 2nd, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Facebook has ruined me, in that I want to reply to all of these comments with a "like."
Feb. 2nd, 2011 05:26 am (UTC)
Facebook may cause the ruination of the world. "Our top story: Half of the planet was destroyed today when the President looked frantically for the "like" button and instead launched nuclear missiles at the former Soviet Union."
Feb. 2nd, 2011 02:36 pm (UTC)
this is wonderful
Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks, dude! Is that your naked cat?
Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:20 pm (UTC)
no, I went to a cat show. That cat wanted to climb on my head.

Feb. 2nd, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Odd. I was at that very condo in Chelsea in October. Jen is the sister of my friend Joe and we went to the same high school.
Feb. 2nd, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
Lovely! She's great fun. Did you have a good time in New York?
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )