Beautiful Island  

Thursday, August 28 : 2:23 AM : 0 comments :

Traveling with a suitcase outfitted with four multi-directional wheels is the truth. In the past, I always had this big duffel bag looking thing that had to dragged along with much effort. I knew this New York trip would require better equipment. Four wheels made dragging my silver suitcase up and down streets, into and out of trains, incredibly easy and comfortable. Lugging that sucker up six flights of narrow stairs to Mike's apartment? Different story. Overall however, the importance of good luggage has finally been highlighted to me.

Since I'd decided to go open ended for the trip, I knew I had to travel as light as possible. Weighed down by only three pairs of shorts, one jacket, a pair of jeans, and a dozen white tees, my suitcase was as slim as could be. That's discounting the suit and dress shoes I had to lug around everywhere after one night's use -- I wish I could have airmailed it home. My one pair of white Chucks started off cleaner than sin and got incredibly dirty after one night of semi-dancing at APT. Luckily I acquired multiple copies of white Chucks months ago, at the incredibly cheap price of seven dollars a set so these guys will be retired as soon as I get home.

I may have looked the same every day but I traveled in style.

Three weeks anywhere seems like it would be a long time. Truth of the matter, I usually get tired of a place after ten days or so. This time around, I wish I didn't have to leave New York so early. I got lucky with housing. A few nights at various friends' places, a week spent using my god-sister's apartment on the Upper West side, and then another week at James' friend's huge apartment on the Upper East, two blocks away from Central Park. The original idea I had was that I would have to rent a place in Brooklyn for a few weeks, just to have a place to crash and not bug people with my weird hours.

Instead, there people available at all hours of the night. The entire first week after the wedding, I don't think we missed seeing a sunrise. Dann may or may not have jeopardized his job by hanging out all night long and then stumbling into work. I feel like the other people who actually had work in the morning suffered a similar fate. I love it. One day karma will demand that I have a nine-to-five job when people come to visit, but until that day, I'll play by night and wake up at three.

The strange thing about the trip was how different it was from last year. The people and groupings were different, the length of time extended to include more low energy moments, and a definite sense of physical fatigue near the end. Fatigue from DDTs, fatigue from karaoke (three times in a week is apparently one too many), fatigue from having erratic schedules. Maybe even fatigue from just living in the New York bubble, one I'm desperate to return to actually.

We managed to accomplish a lot, I think. The Web was key to many discussions and shenanigans. Large groups will always lead to attractions and hook ups. Now it's all been documented and will be a living, breathing, growing testament to the power of alchohol. Talks of auto-fails led to diagrams of cankles and f.u.p.a.'s, all sketched out for eternity in the back pages of Leslie's Switzerland journal. The story that wouldn't die, about a certain someone peeing all over an ottoman as someone else snapped his fingers and said, "What are you doing?! What are you doing!?! Wake up!" Forget sleep walking, sleep peeing is super serious. And hilarious. Sort of.

We tried to rack up all the normal food haunts and only halfway succeeded. Cafe Habana was the first off the list. Bonchon chicken wings was a revelation. Ramen was had a few times. Falafel, kati rolls, soupy dumplings, hot dogs, peanuts, and cupcakes were consumed. Even a dinner at Pam's place of work, Tailor, came about (absinthe gummies and amazing pork belly). Late nights were reserved for K-Town and the discovery that is birthday soup. But somehow I feel like we missed out on a whole bunch of delicious foods.

I really needed this trip. To get away from San Diego, to finally check off one of the things I wanted to do this year (be in New York), and to be around the large social settings that are still a huge part of me. I needed to meet new people, reconnect with some old, and just feel inspired. It's maybe a sign that I still haven't matured much, or learned to live with myself, but I need the energy of people and a setting to fuel feeling completely alive. Or maybe that feeling is distraction, and I needed distractions.

It's all not over yet, even though the East Coast is done with for the moment. There's two or three weeks in San Francisco coming up and a big ass birthday when maybe midnight strikes, or nothing at all happens. If home is where the heart is then I feel like my heart's in New York. Which is so ironic because, damn, I used to hate New York.

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