Sunday, August 22, 2010

NY Saturday and Sunday = Perfect 10

As Emily says, "New York City is the shit! It's expensive here but it's also so cheap!"

To clarify: There's so much free amazing stuff to do here it's like a giant threw a bunch of perfect Saturdays in the air and yelled, "Scrambles!"

The other day, I got an email saying that I had been waitlisted for an event called Joyride. It was an apologetic email, like, "I'm so sorry but we've had such a large response. We really, really hope to get you on the confirmed list. Stay tuned for cancellations." I wrote back and said, "Oh, ok, well, thanks so much for the update - and yes, please let me know if I make the list."

I had no idea what it was but you know, I'm for it.

Turns out that Isaac signed us up for something he saw online (where? who knows? where does one see anything these days? no idea, it's just a constant stream).

Well, Saturday morning, Summer Streets NYC shut down Park Avenue from down below Chinatown all the way up to Central Park. Cyclists, runners and rollerbladers took over, along with 50 people with Joyride, which is an event where you show up on your bike, they hand you a curated 45-minute long track of music and you all click play at the same time and take off together, cruising up Manhattan and listening to music. Normally, I think riding with earbuds in is sheer crackers. But when you do it with a big, super-cycle friendly gang and the street is shut down, you may as well be floating.

The music was all feel-good stuff, singer-songwriter, Afrobeat, life-affirming rap, whatever - it all sounds great when skyscrapers, bridges, Grand Central and Central Park are all whizzing by.

At the end of the bike ride, a giant picnic was laid out on brightly coloured plaid blankets, complete with jars of daisies and cloth napkins. Wha-?!

And. It. Was. Free. It was the best Saturday morning ever.

We interrupted perfect Saturday for a few errands which were still pretty fun (sweet peaches in Union Square market! New organizing file folder from Staples, hmm) after which point we were back on track for further fun.

We met our friends Farha and Adam for PS1 Warm-Up, which is amazing people watching. Some of the art is meh but there is this really cool thing there called Meeting by James Turrell. I loved that but mostly just wanted to gaze out the window all evening to watch people dance.

And then we went out to Way Far Away Land (Queens) for a late-night taco truck tour that Farha had read about on a food blog but we got too hungry to wait for it to begin and ate at the first taco truck we saw, which WAS INCREDIBLE. Sopes for $1, so flavourful. The four of us wandered the streets together and felt like we were in a different country. The taco truck lady didn't speak any English. Most of the signage in the area wasn't in English. After our sopes, we stopped in at an Ecuadorian restaurant where overhead TVs set the mood. One played a bloopers reel of people getting gored by bulls, one played a Latin American child pageant, one was an ultimate fighting match. Chomp, chomp, slurp.

Then I woke up this morning and finished off my latest book, Super Sad True Love Story. Book report: There are many reasons why I liked it but the yellow fever, on the part of one of the protagonists, is TOO DISTRACTING. Having run into men like this in real life, now I have to read about them? You know - the non-Asians who fetishize Asian women for whatever weirdo sexual stereotypes they have? Oh but didn't you know? I'd love to rub your feet and feed you kimchi and will look young forever and never talk back.


Anyway, ignore the impromptu book review because the point is that yesterday, Saturday, was the most brilliantly beautiful Saturday afternoon possible, followed by a long, food-filled evening. Then, this morning, it rained monsoon-style and I lay in bed reading my book, drinking coffee. Then Isaac and I walked a few blocks to meet Emily for pizza (mmm, pizza), which means this was officially a perfect weekend.

Oh, and I popped into a vintage store? For 8 minutes? And found a perfect pair of fall boots for $30? And I was hardly trying?

I should hardly say any of this stuff for fear of jinxing it or at least look before I next turn a corner in case of falling pianos. But I just had to say it. This weekend was a pretty NY-tastic couple of days.