I Walked on Rainbows Through the City

Trip Start ??? ??, 1987
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , New York
Friday, August 15, 2008

New York City and I have a love hate relationship. On one hand I am fascinated by the multitudes of culture rich inhabitants, and on the other hand I am overwhelmed by the fast pace and undeniable smell.
I just recently made the trip up with my old friend Dan and our mutual friend from Spain, Miguel. Miguel stayed with Dan for a good part of the summer, during most of which I was in Hawaii. He had been to New York three years ago, but since it was the last day I would get to see him before he left, we figured a trip for the three of us into the city would be entertaining at the very least.
We hadn't made too many plans, meaning we hadn't made any plans aside from where we were going to eat, and this just added to the complete hilarity of the day. We started off with a nice, long train ride filled with endless reminiscing of our last meeting in Murcia, Spain. Immediately afterwards we left Pennsylvania Station to meet the unknown.... or the somewhat unknown. Dan was sure about one thing. He wanted food.
So, after a good hour of walking the boys picked up some eats, and we continued on to Broadway. We thought about getting student rush tickets to see "A Chorus Line", but because my student ID was stolen in Hawaii and the guy at the box office didn't believe my claim over the student ID number I gave him (my actual number), we could not afford regular price tickets. Instead we walked on.
Our "plan" B included cruising through Times Square, Central Park, various random streets, and a short visit to the American Museum of Natural History. I was actually really pleased with improvised plan B because I am a huge fan of the museum. We visited the mammals of Africa and North America, but because I have to observe and read everything in a museum, we only had so much time for other exhibits. To choose our last stop in the building we played rock, paper, scissors. Miguel had chosen Sea Life and I chose "advanced mammals", but Dan won rock, paper, scissors. What did he choose? Small mammals of course.
There were about 10 small mammals, mostly from North America, and they were basically the last of what we saw in the museum. Miguel and I snuck quick peeks at the larger mammals of North America before we were ushered out of the museum by Dan in order to wander the city a little more.

I can't remember a time when I walked through NYC more than I did that day. We ended up on the complete opposite side (in my eyes) of the city in order to have dinner at an excellent Ethiopian restaurant called Meskerem in between 9th and 10th ave on 47th St. After a dinner in which we ate using only our hands and the crepe-like bread provided, we started towards Penn Station. On the way we met some more Spaniards from Toledo and Madrid by singing the alcohol song (a teenage anthem sung to the óle chant). Their conversation was very amusing, but I was definitely pleased to be sitting on a new double decker, Euro style train, on my way home. When I sat down I realized that I had been walking ALL day by the side of two guys with legs infinitely longer than mine, while wearing my Rainbow flip flops. How I had survived was beyond me. Another lengthy conversation with Miguel appeased my achy feet however, and all potentially negative thoughts were forgotten..... until this morning when my feet didn't want to support me down the stairs to breakfast.

The day was long, but thanks to the cultural confusion brought upon us by bringing a full-blooded Spaniard into a bustling city, it was great fun. The mispronunciations, journeys into parts of the city I would never otherwise visit, and the lovely talks with wonderful friends made me love NYC.... at least for the day. It was definitely an experience.

My advice?

1. If you absolutely must wear sandals, wear Rainbows because they are the only ones I can guarantee will survive the wear and tear of a big city. (Don't expect money back if they do miraculously combust on an endless walk. Just saying, for legal purposes of course...)

2. If you can't stuff all of your money and your phone into your tight jean pockets, bring a bag that zips up. It is way harder to loose your stuff during the shuffle if it is zipped up to save you from yourself. Some people also complain about being robbed, but I don't like harping on that subject.

3. Go into random shops and eat cuisine you have never tried. There are too many options in New York to do the same thing every time.

4. It's okay to talk to the people handing out flyers to comedy shows and concerts. They have a sucky job, you might as well make it a little more interesting for them... unless they are sketchy. I am personally bad at ignoring them, so you should probably use your own judgement here.

5. Don't let the people you are with convince you that it's lame to take the metro. It is there for a reason. My feet would have thanked me.

Lesson learned; any place, even a sometimes obnoxiously loud and busy city, can be extremely fun if you make it that way. Cheesy as it may be, it's true. Suck it up and have fun. I did. It was a great experience, for sure.
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