I’ve been to New York before, but I had forgotten how big it is in every dimension. I had a hard time even finding the right subway to my hostel, because Penn Station didn’t list all the possible tracks I could go to. I ended going out and then back in via the stairs to find the 1/2/3 lines instead of the A/B/C lines. In doing so, I jumped back and forth between the shiny new parts of the station and the darker, dirtier sections. It was a strange juxtaposition.
The subway swelters with the heat of people and the city even in late March. It’s like a living organism, and it is glorious to behold and feel. Currents of people flow this way and that, and there are more subway lines than you can shake a stick at. I later counted eleven connections at 42nd street alone (1, 2, 3, 7, B, D, N, Q, R, S, and W).
My hostel was in Queens. It was pretty sick, although filled with what I assumed were high school students/1st years on a NYC trip. I had a great conversation with the bartender the second night about Sci-Fi movies. He told me about The Thirteenth Floor. I told him about Arrival (he was very young).
Fun Times in Washington Square Park
I broke up my trip by spending a whole day in the city, which also allowed me to meet my Baltimore friends, A_ and B_, who were also visiting the city. While waiting for them to finish exploring the Met, I went to Washington Square Park to play some chess against the chess hustlers there and maybe find a chess streamer (no luck on the second). On my way, I accidentally found the Stonewall Inn and the Jefferson Market Library which has a lovely garden. The latter used to be a women’s prison, and when it was built in 1877, the NYT thought it was too nice for the neighbourhood calling it “a jewel in a pig’s snout”.
When I finally made it to the park, it was lovely and sunny out. I got a coffee and took in the sights before finding some chess players. There were two simultaneous protests going on. There was an Israeli protest which seemed to be about Benji’s judicial reforms, and a Handmaids one that I assume was because of Trump’s indictment.
The Handmaids were slowly walking around the main square to the sound of a drumbeat, and their path eventually crossed them with a K-pop dance crew who were trying to record a video of their moves. They just kept dancing while the Handmaids passed them by. Greatest city in the world, baby!
They were actually pretty good:
Lost one chess game and then won the second in two rounds against a fellow named Jimmy. Also I met A_ and B_ for dinner at a diner, and the food was entirely too much for us to finish. It was great.