Sunday, March 20, 2005

Brookhaven Reloaded - Day 5

The Empire State Building stands high among the clouds as down here in the streets a flying bird seems to defy traffic.

A great place in lower Manhattan, the City hall square. Huge towers surround the squares, then the leafless trees add creepiness and loneliness, while the light posts have real fire burning inside them.

Another dedicated Manhattan day. I didn't expect it to be nice, but the City surprised me again. Again we parked in Queens and got the R-Line to Manhattan. NYC showed me a new face: I've never seen it before with a bad weather, it was raining and the wind was blowing, and it just felt so amazing. It is like a completely different place. You may not be able to walk freely but you appreciate a cup of hot chocolate, and you get into the stores and it's so crowded and alive and busy, unlike dull LA. Then we headed to the corner of Washington square and met with Michelle and AJ and had lunch in restaurant. So nice and original in design and feeling. AJ is a bright guy and we had an interesting conversation, comparing thoughtfully NYC to LA.
Then we split and we headed along Broadway - my god, what an incredible street! Reminded me of Oxford Street in London, but the people are so nice and active and hot (oh yeah!). Then we enter a starbucks for a pit stop and we were waiting in the line I met these cool people from LA who had come to perform as a high school in Carnegie Hall. We had such a fun discussion.

The part of Broadway near Washington square (where NYU lies) is becoming quickly my favorite part of the City. Young & old dynamic people, all nationalities of the world, shops one after the other, (Little) Italy and China(town) closeby, lots and lots of restaurants and bars and coffee houses. The perfect place for people of our age.

Then we continued walking, and essentially we did the rest of the trip we left over yesterday: from midtown Manhattan (1st street) down to the bay in Battery Park. We went through Ground Zero (the WTC site) and it would be unimportant if I hadn't talked to these girls from Missouri who were looking for the Trinity Church. It turned out one of them had greek parents. That was unexpected.

We walked around the bays, Wall Street, and near Brooklyn Bridge and then headed back. Canal street is very interesting: one moment you are walking in Chinatown with all the chinese stores and signs and stuff, and suddenly one block later you are in Little Italy, packed with narrow Mediterranean style Italian restaurants and people haven't seen such a drastic transition in my life. SO fast. I chatted with the "gatekeeper" in one of the buildings in financial district, telling me that this building had the very first oil reserves of the Unites States, the headquarters of Rockefeller himself.

back to sleep now. We have a long and important day tomorrow.