Sunday, June 6, 2010

a weekend in the city

Another fantabulous weekend! Saturday I went on maybe my most favorite training walk to date. All of my previous long Saturday walks have been with my AMAZING training walk leader, Burt, and other 3Day walkers, but I got some friends interested in walking, so I wanted to take advantage. I was surprised at how nervous I was. Would they hate it? Would they think it was lame? Would it rain?! I pushed my apprehension aside, mapped out a route, and walked with my friends Lindsay and Tavia (with a guest appearance by Andrew, Jess, and Sarah Grace's little brother) from Grant's Tomb at the 122nd Street and Riverside Drive all the way down the west side of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and through Brooklyn to Prospect Park. Our route looked something like this:

Crazy! And long! And awesome! It was great to have friends with so they could finally understand what I've been doing. I loved it. And I took pictures!

Ulysses S. Grant's Tomb. Nothing like a little US History at 9am on a Saturday. But actually it was beautiful.

Somewhere on the Upper West Side...

Also somewhere on the Upper West Side...

This! OK this I need to pause and talk about. There's a new summer arty thing happening in NYC called "Key to the City." Basically, in June you can go to a booth in Times Square and pick up a key. But you don't just pick it up. There's a ceremony involved. You go with a buddy and bestow keys upon each other. It's performance art-y and Lindsay and I loved it. Now this key. This key unlocks secret rooms, bridges, cemeteries, and other random places all over the city. That's right. This one little key. It's like MAGIC. Seriously, I think this is the most innovative and brilliant idea I've heard since I read the synopsis of Spiderman: the Musical (too soon? too late? I can't tell anymore.). So on our walk, we hit our first Key to the City location here at the Trinity Church. The key unlocks a special section of the cemetery that includes Alexander Hamilton's tomb. Yup. We went from Grant's Tomb to Alexander Hamilton's Tomb. It was Tomb Day.

Now our pal Al died in 1806, but some of these graves were from the 1760s and before. That is before this country existed. Wrap your mind around THAT for a sec. Crazy.

While we were there, we popped inside Trinity Church, which was beautiful:
It was interesting inside...all three of us commented on the kind of strange juxtaposition between the sacred history and the flat screen TVs to improve viewing. The ancient stories and the microphones so people could hear them. It was weird. And there was a gift shop.

We trudged along across the brilliant Brooklyn Bridge, which I hailed in a previous post. Lindsay and Tavia both hadn't walked over it before, so that was fun and New York-y.
How sweet is WAS! At this point, we had been walking for a while. OH and I didn't even mention the weather! It was in the high 80s and MUGGY. Like. The muggiest. So we were overjoyed to see that we were on the last leg of the trip. Lindsay and Tavia dropped out as we walked down Flatbush, but I sweated it out. And, thanks to getting a liiittle lost in Prospect Park, I stumbled upon this:

In case you can't tell, that is a huge African drum circle/clump/love fest. This was in front of the Brooklyn Library and it was AMAZING. I took a video on my phone that I'll try to upload. There were instruments everywhere, you could join in, drum along, or just stand. Well you couldn't stand because you'd inevitably end up dancing. It was one of those great New York things. Like...of course there are 40 people drumming outside this library. Of course. I loved it.

So that concluded my big walk. I had delusions of walking back to a train stop closer to the bridge but, well, I didn't. And I'm OK with that.

Phew! I'm exhausted just writing about how exhausted I was!

Sunday I brunched with my friend Eugenio before he leaves to do The King and I in Oregon. Then I did some lounging, some gyming, and some observing of brilliance in the form of HBO's Angels in America. I've watched it before. I will watch it again. But it's also just so much more fun now that I live in NY. One of the first scenes was filmed literally probably 5 blocks from where we were sitting.

I'm gonna say it. I'm gonna say it for the first time maybe ever. I like this city. I do. It's good.

LOVE and revelations,

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