December 31 2016. Zana returned from the mechanic with the car all fixed. We packed our things, picked up coffee at what, at this point, had become our coffee shop, and drove to the most cliché place you could possibly choose to go for New Year’s Eve: New York.* I’ll save you having to ask: no, we did not go to Times Square.
*We actually drove to New Jersey because money’s tight and our cheapest option was to book an airbnb in a different state and take the train into the city. It just sounds a little underwhelming and unimpressive, so I’m asterisking it.
We rolled into Penn Station with two hours to go until midnight and spent ages looking for a bar. I’d love to say that the reason it took a while was something reasonable, like the fact that my birth certificate complicated the process, but in all honesty, it was because the three of us are incredibly indecisive. Securing a cheeky underage drink in New York on New Year’s Eve? Not even a little bit of a problem.
We eventually stumbled into an Irish pub, where we paid a grotesque amount for alcohol, but were rewarded with free celebration gear and (get this) free champagne. I mean, sure, we paid $10 for a pint of Amstel or whatever it was, but we get to say that we got free champagne, and that’s what I’m choosing to focus on.
It took a couple of tries for me to figure out the subway system. Our intention was to take the subway to something resembling the general vicinity of the Guggenheim, but I’m an idiot and I messed up – thankfully. The sun was out and the temperature was bearable, so Anna and I walked through Central Park. It was beautiful.
There were some decent exhibits on at the Guggenheim, but aside from the twelve blank canvases that weren’t actually blank, the one thing that’s truly stuck with me is how much the building reminds me of an anthill. I’m not wrong.
January 2 2017. Zana drove back to Ohio. Anna had to extend her stay by two days. What a nightmare. Another two days in New York. How ever did she manage?
We lugged around our backpacks for a while and eventually made our way to Brooklyn, where we were booked into a hostel for two nights. Just like in Boston, we cheated the system to save a bit of money. I’m telling you, my main skill is saving money.
Amongst other things, we visited the Museum of Sex and the New York Public Library, the former of which is most definitely worth a visit. The library is too, but I always feel weird recommending that people visit libraries, because as a frequent library-goer, I know how annoying it is to have huge crowds accumulate around you.
We also went to see musicals on Broadway. I’d booked a Wicked ticket (it was wicked in all the senses, I was in the second row) a week in advance and Anna bought a ticket to Waitress and hour before doors. We sobbed our ways through our respective musical experiences and ate questionably cheap fusion food on the way back to the hostel.
New York was amazing and I could’ve easily spent another week (month / year / lifetime) there. If I had the money. As it was, I couldn’t have sustained a longer visit.
With New York, my adventures on the East Coast came to a tearful end. I made my way to JFK at an ungodly hour of the morning and left for Seattle.