Monday, August 27, 2007

New York

Can you really make the title of the post any more interesting? No.

I arrived in New York on a hot and humid Friday afternoon. It took me almost an hour to get across to Brooklyn, to a party of town called Greenpoint. It's a Polish neighborhood as my host Mike was soon to tell me. On the subway over, though, it was cool to meet two people on their way to Hungary and another guy who works in photography and said I was going about it the right way, whatever that meant.

Mike, who I met through Wibke, arguably the glue that holds Hospitalityclub in Freiburg together, and I had a piece of pizza and then went to his place, a spacious apartment very laid back in its decorating. I got cleaned up and headed down further in Brooklyn to meet one couchsurfer for some middle eastern food. An hour later I was at Lorimer stop to meet two other couchsurfers, Lizze and Johnny Rocket. We had a drink at the Brooklyn Tea House and then went to the liquor store to buy 2 6-packs of Pabst Blue Ribbon and then took teh subway all the way down to the bottom tip of Manhattan, walked another 10-15 minutes to South Street Seaport where a live band called Camera Obsura was playing. We met a bunch of other couchsufers there, including people from 2-3 German cities including Freiburg, Belgium, the States and Canada. The music was good, the atmosphere even better and after the show we headed back up to Bedford Avenue, what Johnny Rocket called "arguably the hottest strip in thh country".

We went to Black Betty, then another bar and then the Country Club where you got a free pizza with each beer. We met more people and we got more drunk and it was basically an epic night that ended sometime after 2am and me wandering around Brooklyn trying to find my host's place. I found it sometime before 3am.

Yes, there was a hangover the next day and I was quite uninteresting for the next couchsurfer I met and went to Union Square with. I had some more middle eastern food I wasn't sure if I could keep down while it was hot and humid and I only could sweat out alcohol and grunt occasionally. Not surprisingly, she left me soon after and I went back to my host's to chill out. We watched some of the Dodgers/Mets baseball game on TV and then I had to head back into Brooklyn "south" to meet my friend, Gina. I met her at her restaurant Babbo where she's the pastry chef and we went to a wine bar around the corner from there. I drank pineapple juice. We had a really good talk, discussing the end of my relationship with what's-her-face and her impending move to Rome in January. We spent another an hour and a half there and went over to Bergen Street, a better connection for both of us to get back and had another drink at a place called Sample and then I went back to hang out and try and recharge the batteries for Sunday which I knew was going to be a long day.

I woke up Sunday sweating, and packed up after having a nice breakfast with my host and then took a bus and then an elevated train to 30Avenue in Queens. I walked the 7 blocks to my new host, a singer in a groovy country band called Modern Earl. His band played in Swamp, the bar below my house in Freiburg and I kept in touch and was stoked to have the connection. He's a super cool dude and his German wife Geli is really nice as well. I showered and then went to the Met to meet up with Carolin.

Carolin you'll remember was in a class of mine at the university a couple of semesters ago. She's a really nice person and it has been great the past month to have someone "nice" to talk to, especially because what's-her-face wasn't naturally the nicest person in the world. Carolin and I had a great time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, then walked around Midtown for awhile before going back to the host's place, cleaning up a bit and then wandering around until we found some Mexican food and then took the train out to Shea Stadium for the Dodgers/Mets game.

We missed the first inning but had good seats, great weather and the Dodgers won! It took us awhile to get back and we hung out with Chris and Geli for a bit and then went to bed around 1am. I sweated and slept and got up at 9.30am. We showered, had some coffee and then got a manicure and pedicure from a place down the street. I hadn't had one since Lima, Peru about 11 months earlier so it was definitely time. That was nice but of course strange because it's new to me and then we found a great Greek restaurant that had been recommended to us called S'Agapo which means I Love You in Greek. Great food, nice atmosphere and then we did a bit of shopping. We got her stuff back at the room and then went down by thet train stop to have a drink before she left. We had a really good conversation, mostly with me babbling and her offering objective opinions about my situtation but it was good for me. She got on a train and left.

So, my month in America ends tomorrow. What have we learned? Well, I'm certainly doing a lot better than I would have had I stayed in Freiburg for all of August. I got to visit with a lot of friends, had a photo exhibition, visit a bunch of cities I hadn't seen since the summer of 2005 and kissed a couple of girls, talked to a shitload of others, went to a strip club, drank a bunch, saw my favorite band, cried a couple of times, and ironically, I didn't take ONE picture with my good camera on this trip, can you believe that? It's been years since that's happened, probably since before I started dating Jennifer which was January 2000 so you can do the math.

This trip has been the best therapy I could have had. I am most definitely not over the relationship with what's-her-face but I don't want to be with her anymore. I am over her but not the relationship. I'm very open about what happened and that's helped the recovery process immensely. I need to have some fun for awhile, figure out what I want and more importantly, don't want from the next woman I date seriously and continue to live my life almost exactly how I've been living it.

I'm going to buy a new bed at IKEA. I'm going to buy a new comfortable desk chair, a printer and rearrange the room. I'm going to work on a synopsis, sample chapter and outline for my newest book, inspired by Gina to get me off my ass again, titled the same as this blog. The goal is to have that package done by the end of the year and it shouldn't be a problem, as long as I don't travel too much and have too much fun on the weekends and oh wait...

See you back in Germany, friends...

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