The final destination of my manic traveling spree. This was my first visit to the Big City, but most definitely not the last. By the time I got to NYC I was pretty exhausted from traveling so much. I am both spoiled by these modern times and painfully behind them. Not having a smartphone in a large, unfamiliar city kind of sucks. I could have used some navigation help.
That being said, I thought it was pretty magical there, and getting lost in questionable territory is character building. I think if I lived in an apartment on top of a market, as my good friend Nadia does, I would spend away all my money buying random things like yogurt raisins, popcorn chips, various jarred delights to eat with a spoon (jams, jellies, and apple butters), and lots and lots of chai tea lattes.
As a dog trainer I’m always very aware of people’s dogs and how they conduct themselves, and one of the biggest things I noticed while traveling around was that Denver has, by far, the worst behaved dogs. I now understand how I get so much business where I work down here. People have their dogs so well behaved on leash in all non-Denver cities! Perhaps it’s due to the fact that they have to be on it all the time in an urban environment. There was no dogs viciously barking at each other while the owners declared, “he’s really nice, he just wants to play!”, no oblivious humans being yanked down the street by some ADHD-ridden beast that thinks every person, dog, breeze, and inanimate object is the most amazing thing they have ever seen. Nadia clarified the phenomenon by explaining, “yeah, that’s because in New York, nobody will hesitate to kick your dog in the face if it doesn’t know how to act right or interrupts their day.” Fair enough.
I think I did a pretty good job of getting around. I did not, however, do a good job of taking pictures everywhere I went. I saw the Columbia campus, Morningside Heights, Harlem, Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, Soho, and on the last day, the village. The village was definitely the area I identified with most, however I don’t think my checking account would share the sentiment. In fact, by this point in my travels, it was pretty much crying. While there I had a lovely lunch at New York’s best pizza place, which was right next door to New York’s best pizza place, which was, if you can believe it, about a block away from New York’s best pizza place. It was quite the privilege. It was also a privilege to go look at puppies at the puppy store that were selling for thousands of dollars just because they were in a boutique-style shop. I know that when I’m looking at purchasing a living creature there is no price I won’t pay to make sure that when I bought it, it is lifted out of a vintage beach wood kennel whittled by blind, Nordic elves, and has been given a breed name like “Puggle” or “Morkie” or “[insert anything here, no really, anything]-doodle.” If it is at all apparent that what I am purchasing is a glorified mutt, I’m not interested. But I digress…
This trip culminated in a really comical series of events. Dear, dear, sweet Nadia gave me the worlds worst subway directions and I ended up having to switch from a train headed downtown to a train headed uptown at the suggestion of a kind stranger (which took about 5 stops to figure out). After that I became lost again and headed all the way to Jamaica Station, realized I had been given incorrect directions again, and therefore hopped back on a train downtown a for few stops, ran up to the street, walked (nay, sprinted) through little Jamaica at 10pm to get to Jamaica CENTER with a super heavy backpack on, raced up the stairs to the airtrain, ran off the airtrain taking off all metal items on the hoof, dashed through a (thankfully) abandoned airport security, and ended up at the gate about 2 seconds before it closed. My sweet reward? Twofold. One: not bursting into tears because I was so exhausted and homesick that I couldn’t fathom paying $10 more to go back to Columbia and do it all again in the morning. Two: a very old and dear friend who I haven’t seen in YEARS just happened to be on the flight with me, and we sat together and chatted the whole time. What are the chances of that?! Never mind the fact that I had taken a sleeping pill before seeing him, looking forward to the sweet bliss that would be 4 hours of sleep on an airplane. Fret not, for I did get to come back in town and end up having to cover work for someone at 3am, get to bed at 5am, and go to work at 9am. Delight.
And now for a real camera and Chinatown/Little Italy, and plenty of it.