I feel like I’ve been going non-stop for the past few days…I’m glad to finally be sitting on the couch doing NOTHING. Saturday morning, I took the train to New Jersey to visit my family for father’s day. It was fun to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandparents. It was also nice to be in a house full of people I know for a night. Not to mention a home-cooked meal…yum.
Sunday I spent the day with my family, then took the train back to Penn station to meet Kristina, who had gotten to New York at 1 am that morning. I’m glad she’s finally here…now I have someone to explore with, and it’s good to feel like I have someone I can always call nearby. We went to the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, and it is not propaganda; it was literally the best burger I have ever had — well worth the 20 minute wait in line. From there, we walked all along the highline, which was beautiful as the sun was going down.
Yesterday, Jesse and I took the train down to Union square, and walked all the way down to Chinatown, then back up through Soho to midtown. My feet were exhausted, but it was a great day; there’s just so much to take in in Chinatown — people everywhere, fruit and food everywhere, it’s so alive. Soho was also fun to walk through. Then we went to the most incredible store I have ever seen…The Container Store. It was everything my inner OCD, organizational freak could ever imagine. Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like…a store with every kind of organizational container you could ever want or need. I can’t believe I didn’t know stores like that existed. Jesse and I parted ways for dinner, and I went to meet a few friends for Ramen…like, real Ramen, not Top Ramen. It was so good.
Finally, I had my first after-dark subway ride, which was interesting. Of course, it would happen that the first time I was ever brave enough to venture onto the train after dark, something crazy would happen. Not three stops up from midtown, a homeless guy got on and sat next to me — not a big deal. But then he started talking…I couldn’t tell if to me, or the phantom person in the seat between us…and didn’t stop for the entire ride. I couldn’t make out what he was saying, but as more and more people got off the train, I got more and more nervous. It was like this inner battle — I didn’t want to be that bitch that got up and moved just because someone odd sat next to me. There is such a stigma about homeless people, and I feel bad treating someone differently just because of it. On the flip side, is this how I’m going to get myself into difficult situations? By wielding my “everyone deserves a chance” attitude? Is a chance too much in a city with so many crazies, and when my safety is at stake? I don’t know…part of me feels like I’d rather be safe than sorry. The other feels like if I got alarmed every time someone who could be somehow construed as dangerous came near me, I’d be so busy looking over my shoulders that I would miss the entire summer going by me. So I’ve made a late night subway decision: I’ll sit in the conductor car, so that no matter who comes in, I won’t feel as vulnerable. And obviously, if I feel personally threatened, rather than just creeped out, I will M.O.V.E.