The Big Apple, and Texas friends and family

Trip Start May 02, 2007
Trip End Jun 25, 2007

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Flag of United States  , New York
Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A lot has happened since my last post. After returning to the states from Italy/Berlin, I've spent the majority of my time in New York City with a few short trips to DC, Austin, and Houston.


Overall, I've been incredibly impressed with New York. There's never a dull moment if you don't want there to be. So many things to see and do, you could spend a lifetime here and constantly be discovering new things about the city. I really enjoy Central Park on a sunny day, and I've yet to actually see a lot of what it has to offer... including a small zoo. When the weather is nice, there are always crowds of people laying out and playing sports in the different open fields. It makes for great people watching and endless material for drawing in my sketch book.


Another great way to spend an afternoon is at the Museum of Modern Art. The city has a large amount of different museums but this one is my favorite so far. It was really cool to see many of the pieces I have been studying and admiring since high school.


Just walking around the streets of Manhattan is entertainment in itself. The seemingly endless rows of skyscrapers are quite a sight for a young guy from Texas, and there just seems to be a general feeling of high energy and excitement in the air. A friend told me one way to spot a tourist is to find someone rubbing their sore neck from looking up and side-to-side all day. I've also been going on runs through the city because with all there is to see, it's easy to forget I'm actually exercising and I tend to get in much longer runs.


On one day, I went with a friend to the South Street Seaport to hang out by the water and to see the "Bodies" exhibit. The exhibit is a collection of intricately dissected cadavers. Having done a good bit of dissection in PT school, it was especially impressive to see the detail they are able to attain with these bodies and organs. They also position the bodies in all kinds of poses like running with a football, etc. On that same day, I went to see the World Trade Center site. It was all fenced off and actually not much to see, though they had a lot of pictures and a timeline of the events as they occurred on 9/11. Quite an interesting feel to the place.


I dedicated one afternoon to visiting Chinatown and Little Italy. Chinatown was incredibly crowded, full of shops with really cheap merchandise, and smelled like fish. I was pretty unimpressed actually, but Little Italy saved the day with its quaint narrow streets lined with shops and nice restaurants... a great place for a walk, a meal, a glass of wine, and an espresso.


I have plenty of old friends in the city that have helped show me around and take me out. I've also made some wonderful new friends in the past month. I think a lot of people (myself formerly included) have the idea that people in New York aren't very friendly and open, but I've found this idea to be completely untrue. Maybe it's just been my personal experience, but people in general have been really nice and easy to meet.


The night life is both incredible and incredibly expensive. Going out more than once per week really puts a dent in my bank account, but somehow I couldn't resist doing some serious bank account denting on a weekly basis. There are bars and clubs to choose from in nearly every part of the city, but most of my favorite nights were in an area called the meat packing district.


I went back to Austin for Mother's Day and spent a few days with my Mom and friends. It was wonderful, and though I'm having many nice new experiences with this job, it was really hard to leave Austin again. If Austin had a beach with nice waves to surf, I'd probably never live anywhere else. While I was there I spent some good quality time with my Mom. She lives outside of Austin in the small town where I lived up till about 3rd grade. It was so nice to get back out to Lake Travis again. I also had a nice, though brief, reunion with close friends and my little dog Simon.


Just this past weekend, I went to Houston for my 10 year high school reunion. What a blast from the past! It was so great to see old friends and catch up with everyone. There were a lot of friends that didn't make it, but we had a pretty good showing.


I'm now back in DC for a few days, before heading to Vegas for a wedding. From there, I'll drive with friends to meet the Smiths is Aspen. I'm pretty sure I'll be in Aspen for most of July, and hopefully swing through Austin and New York again before leaving for Italy in August.

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