Day 2 of my trip to New York meant making my way into Manhattan to meet up with Yasi --on her birthday!-- for some more good ol' wanderin' around.
We began by heading to High Line Park. Starting somewhere around W 12th street, this park is the transformation of an unused elevated railway into a little slice of nature reminiscent of a marsh.
We walked the existing length of it, which ended at a chain link fence sealing off the still-in-progress part two of the park. Then we made our way down the steps to ground level, fighting an onslaught of tourists who emptied out from a nearby bus.
From there we stopped for a quick bite, then on to the American Museum of Natural History. This was my idea, suggested in a casual "well if we have the time it might be cool" manner, though what I meant was "I want to see the dinosaurs now!!!" I have this ongoing fascination with paleontology and prehistoric things, leftover from the dinosaur chapter in 3rd grade science class. From what I can tell, there isn't much your average grown woman can do to make such an interest a hobby, unless it's super dorky -- dinosaur models?-- or completely impractical -- take a leave of absence from work and join an excavation in Hungary? So I'll get my kicks from museum exhibits.
And this one was awesome. Here, I took too many pictures:
This creeper is some kind of prehistoric tiny deer. Look at his stick legs.
And the ancestor of the elephant, my favorite living creature.
After the dinosaur wing we searched for 20 minutes to find the display of living reptiles, only to discover that there was an additional fee for the exhibit. Peh.
And so we retired to Yasi's apartment where we fitfully tried to get ready for her birthday party. I hated the choice of clothes I brought to change into and felt fat and sweaty from the day of walking around in the heat. So I stomped around, changing in and out of my dress like 6 times before realizing there simply wasn't enough time to lose 15 pounds and shop for an entirely different wardrobe.
Off to the party! (In a cab that made me really really car sick.)
The cool night air was just barely starting to role in as we arrived at the bar with an outdoor "beer garden," a loosely used term meaning "picnic tables out back." I was starving and thirsty by this point and plowed my way through some nachos and a beer before most of the guests even arrived.
We had a lovely evening and in addition to spending more time with Yasi, Rachael and Anne, I was also reunited with several other college friends who live in the city.
Yasi and I were simply thrilled with the green wall. I swear this pose made sense at the time.
For the after party we walked a few blocks west (east? north?) to another bar, but I was still fantastically hungry and forced Rachael to stop at a pizza place with me. Really, if I lived in New York I'd gain 30 pounds from pizza alone. There's a pizza place on every corner and they are so inviting.
After our slices, we had some Fruit Stripe gum from this pack I'd impulsively bought earlier in the day. I remembered the included temporary tattoos being more impressive. Or maybe they were just better made when we were kids?
Then after the after party, Rachael, boyfriend Joey and I took a cab back to their place. We crossed the bridge to Brooklyn --which bridge? I don't remember, and that's a shame because Joey did a terrific job explaining the various bridges and their histories-- and then we were asleep within 2 minutes of walking in their front door.
Coming up next, the exciting conclusion, Part Three: In Which I Run 9 Miles and Nearly Throw Up -OR- The Things I'll Do For Free Beer.