Everyday we're doing so much, the days seem endlessly long in a good way, and I could almost write the day out as a laundry list, something like this:
Grand Central Station
New York Public Library
Moma Design Store
Video Game New York
But leaves out all the flavor of the trip. Such as when we got on the subway in the morning to go to Grand Central Station a very decrepit looking woman ran off lugging a bag that seemed a bit too heavy for her, followed by a similarly decrepit man slurring "Hey! My bag!" Leaving all of us wondering who was the victim.
So let me continue in my usual fashion.
Grand Central Station is something I will associate with The Fisher King, but alas, none of the busy people hurrying through started to dance. Despite having seen many images of it I was amazed by how high the ceiling was, and entranced by the juxtaposition of the unused space above our heads and the crowd on the floor.
Also, there was an apple store when you went up a set of stairs, for the most part not closed in by any walls. As worshippers of Apple we were required to go... inside? for a few minutes, but this time did not pay for any tributes.
After that we had breakfast at nearby Pershing Square, and then went on to the New York Public Library. The space was so beautiful I was caught between envying the patrons for getting to use such a beautiful space, and feeling bad because of the number of tourists they have to put up with while trying to use their library. Downstairs there was an exhibit on Lunch that was surprisingly interested, and had a section on the automat, something that has always seemed strange and fascinating to me.
After the library we took the subway down to the East Village for some shopping. Here I can do a bit more of a list, as we hit the Moma Design Store, Purl Soho, and Uniqlo. We had fun and managed not to divest ourselves of too much money.
We headed up a bit to go to Soba Koh, a place that had been recommended by someone where I work. The Soba Noodles there are handmade and it's a bit of a splurge, but it was totally worth it to both of us. The noodles were firm and substantial, I got mine with Uni and Ikura (sea urchin and salmon eggs) and Tech Support got his with tempura soft shelled crab. I offered him some of mine but as he said, "I have what you have only I don't like any of your toppings". Oh well, I thought it was delicious.
Afterwards they gave us the water from boiling the soba to make a soup with our dipping sauce, and tea. It was a beautiful meal and since we were the last people there before they closed, we enjoyed it mostly to ourselves.
Next we went to Tokyo Toy and Video Game Store New York. On the way to the second we encountered the sound of bikes revving and bagpipes playing. Curious, we went to watch as tough men on bikes and firefighters seemed to be rehearsing in front of an Irish Pub. It wasn't until I got a text from Mom reminding me it was September 11th that I realized it was probably a memorial of some kind.
Video Game Store New York is practically a museum of video games. Thanks to Game Center CX (where a Japanese man in his mid-late thirties plays retro games of his/our childhood) I recognized many games I wouldn't have otherwise. Tech Support and I enjoyed going through our own childhoods and sharing which ones had been important to us. He picked up a few games for an antiquated system he'd recently rediscovered.
We were low on time and the bus didn't help, but we managed to make it to the Tenement Museum in time to go on the last tour of the day. It was more interesting than I expected and we got to see up close how tiny their apartments were, how dangerous and bad for health, but also learn about how people persevered in those situations despite children dying and husbands disappearing.
We still had a little time to kill before meeting Catherine for dinner, so we went to a comic book store and then met up with her early. We hadn't seen each other in forever and enjoyed catching up on the past half-dozen years. After eating sushi she lead us to a secret bar that you entered just by going through an unmarked metal gate and down some stairs. It felt awesome and sophisticated.
After that we were finally done with the day, we took the subway and then I got my first good night of sleep.