Brooklyn, Skylines and Stalking Liz Lemon

Eight weeks down, two to go.

What?!

Somehow, eight weeks flew by and left me with just two more weeks in New York City. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready to go home, but I’m also sad that time has gone so quickly and am determined to make the most of what remains.

I’ve failed at blogging this past week, so here’s a recap of what’s been going on in the Big Apple:

Last weekend, my dad visited! It was great to spend time and explore the city with him. Our first stop on Friday afternoon was the Museum of Modern Art. It’s not far from where I work, and admission is free after 4 pm on Fridays, so we walked over and looked around for a while after I finished work.

My dad (sporting Oregon State gear, as always) and I at the MoMA

I’m not an art connoisseur by any means, but I really liked seeing Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans in person.

Me with all the Campbell's soup you'd ever want.

We spend most of Saturday exploring Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood, which was awesome. I hadn’t really had the chance to venture into Brooklyn, so exploring it with my dad was a lot of fun. He took a walking tour of Brooklyn back in June when he helped me move in, so he was able to tell me a little bit about the area’s history. One of the area’s most impressive landmarks is the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch, which commemorates the sacrifice of soldiers and sailors in the Civil War. My dad explained that the statues on the top of the arch are facing south, as if to rub the northern victory in the Confederacy’s face. Awesome.

The arch in Park Slope. Statues of Lincoln and Grant on horseback are on the inside.

We also walked around Prospect Park, looked at some cool hipster clothing stores (I guess that was mostly just me) and explored the neighborhood, which mainly consists of old brownstone homes. These houses are beautiful and historic – I have long-term plans to live in one of them.

Brooklyn's brownstones; a far cry from the apartments of busy Manhattan.

I think I’ve picked this one as my future home…52 Berkely Place:

A pink brownstone in Park Slope. I'll take it.

My dad and I also explored Chelsea Market, took the Staten Island Ferry and went for an exhilarating run (sense sarcasm) along the Hudson River. All in all, a great weekend with my padre in the big city!

I know this post is all about what I did on the weekends and not really about what I’m doing at work; I’m still loving my internship, but there aren’t really any great pictures and the stories aren’t as exciting. Unless you count the conversation I had with the guy in the cubicle behind me about the possibility of a Liz Lemon-Jack Donaghy relationship on 30 Rock. Turns out he loves Tina Fey, too.

Friday night, some friends and I treated ourselves to ice cream from Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, a cute little place that’s under the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s an observation-deck-esque platform next to the shop that gives you an expansive, breathtaking view of the city.

Looking out at the skyline, I had a serious New York City “moment.” No, Frank Sinatra did not come back from the dead and serenade me in the moonlight, but I could see the Statue of Liberty, lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and the Empire State Building. Someone was even playing Frank’s “New York, New York” in the background. It sounds cheesy, but I took a minute to just stand there and take it all in. The city never looked better and I felt like a true New Yorker, at least for a moment.

And even though it’s not the same as being there, I took a video of the whole expanse with my camera so you could get a little taste of the view (you also get a taste of my mad zoom in – zoom out skills):

If you’re still reading this novella, you’re almost to the best part. Okay, it might not be as great as the shimmering lights of the New York City skyline, but if you’re a total nerd like me, it’s close.

Yesterday, I had the morning and afternoon free so I decided to explore the Upper West Side, a neighborhood I hadn’t really been to yet. I’m sure a lot of famous people live there, but the most famous of all is my hero, head writer of The Girlie Show and 30 Rock main character Liz Lemon. (Yes, my hero is a fictional character.)

Many 30 Rock episodes feature scenes in Liz’s apartment, and the shot shown before each apartment scene is the outside of an apartment building at 160 Riverside Drive, on the Upper West Side. As sad as it is, I actually looked up directions to the apartment on my phone while I was walking and took a little stroll past Liz’s place. I didn’t go right up to it and take pictures for fear of looking like a total lunatic, but I did grab a good shot:

I was in full-on stalker mode. Anything for a picture of Liz's apartment!

Anyway, now that I sound like a totally deranged person who stalks fictional characters, I’ll end this post. Thanks for reading about my adventures – I appreciate it more than you know!

Mannequins and Manhattan Driving

Some days throw you curveballs. Others throw you the keys to an SUV in Manhattan.

Today was one of the latter. Let me explain.

I went into work at 7:30 this morning to help Bicycling magazine prep for a segment on Good Morning America Health that was being filmed at a bike store in Chelsea, Sid’s Bikes.

The segment would feature the editor-in-chief of Bicycling magazine showcasing and discussing triathlon gear. We (and by “we” I mean myself and Bicycling’s head of PR) had to take several different props and pieces of gear to the shop. To transport it across town from Rodale to Sid’s, we took a Honda CRV Zipcar.

Three bags of gear, two naked mannequins and a partridge in a pear tree.

While waiting for the car to arrive, I stood outside the building with all of our props, guarding them until they could be loaded. This setup included a rolling table, two unclothed mannequins and a few bags stuffed with assorted triathlon necessities. If you haven’t laughed yet today, hopefully the image of me standing next to this (see left) on a New York City street will get you started.

When we arrived at Sid’s, we parked on the street but eventually needed to move the car. Guess who was handed the keys?

I wasn’t afraid of driving but I was afraid of driving in Manhattan. This wasn’t my car and this wasn’t my city so I was uncertain. Really, it wasn’t bad at all; I only had to drive around the block to a parking garage so I wasn’t in the car for long. Now, I have the privilege of saying I have driven safely in New York City.

Driving hasn’t been the only fun I’ve had. I had a great weekend exploring Greenwich Village and Coney Island, going to a great church and enjoying a lazy afternoon in Central Park with a new friend.

Central Park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Now that it’s officially summer, I plan to do a lot more of that. Spending an afternoon in Central Park is now my idea of an ideal summer afternoon; few things sound better than joining the New Yorkers who go there to play Frisbee, enjoy a picnic, read a book or get a tan. It’s a nice change of pace from driving an SUV.

A few more pictures from the last few days, since they’re worth more words than I have time to write:

nathan's coney island

At Nathan's Hot Dogs on Coney Island; notice the countdown to the 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest.

larry tate pizza

Larry Tate pizza, which you could purchase at a pizza place my suitemate and I ate at on Friday night. I gave myself bonus points for randomly remembering that Larry Tate is the boss from the TV show "Bewitched."

Yes, this sign made sense to me, too.

empire state building

Last but not least...how could you ever get tired of looking at that?