Season Two, Episode Two: I <3 NYC.

I went to NYC like almost a month ago.

I know. I suck. I am a procrastinating fool, and have kept my pictures to myself for nearly a month. In that month, however, life had been lived, tears had been shed, misunderstandings made, and Hurricane Sandy decided to be a bitch to pretty much everyone in somewhat close proximity to the East Coast. It was my first brush with a hurricane, and although it wasn’t actually a hurricane per se when it came ashore (Pfft to those guys at TWC–no one cares that it lost tropical characteristics right before landfall. That shit was a hurricane to me. I’m from Ohio. Trust me.), there was a lot of havoc that was wreaked and shit got crazy. Lake Erie was all over the place and I dealt roulette in the midst of a superstorm. Things may have been forgotten in the course of time. My bad.

But anyway, I went to NYC. And it was fantastic…well…kinda. it probably would have been fantastic if I hadn’t been all touristed out. So many tourists. I have never heard so many people speaking French in my life…and I live across the lake from Canada. Plus I’m short and navigating successfully through large crowds of tourists is particularly awful, especially when said tourists are rude–the actual New Yorkers that I came into contact with were actually pretty nice and I liked them a lot. Gold stars all around, Mayor Bloomberg 🙂

I’m probably going to get some shit for this, but NYC felt a lot like Chicago…and a lot like home. I know, I know, NYC is the greatest city in the world, how the hell can I even begin to compare it to CLE? How can I even say “meh” to the glorious glittery concrete jungle that is New York City? Well…Cleveland is actually kind of architecturally similar to the Big Apple. We used to be called the Plum or something back in the day when people didn’t really make fun of us for burning rivers or shitty sports teams. They film movies here and trick you into thinking it was actually filmed in NYC. So it kind of felt like home. And Chicago. Because of the urban chicness of it all and the vastness. I don’t know…maybe I am blind. Or jaded. Or both. I don’t know.

Don’t get me wrong though. I loved a lot of it. I loved most of it. Our hotel was in Hell’s Kitchen, and I loved the area around it. We were right down the street from the Port Authority Terminal. And Papaya Dog’s papaya juice was delicious. Cornerstone Cafe in the East Village was quaint and the penne bolognese was so good. The hot dogs at Crif Dog were amazing. I loved the random $0.99 pizza shops sprinkled throughout the city, and the seemingly hundreds of delicatessens on every block. I adored the East Village and I loved that Times Square was literally a ten minute walk from our room. The Forever 21 store at Times Square was the biggest Forever 21 I’ve ever been in and the clothes were fabulous. MoMa was breathtaking. I could have spent all day at the Met. The 9/11 memorial was beautiful and silently tragic and I recommend that every American should try to go to Ground Zero and just absorb the magnitude of horror that happened there. It’s silly but I loved the sidewalks and how the concrete literally sparkled in the sunlight–I remember reading somewhere that glass was ground up into the cement so that it would sparkle. Central Park was everything I’ve ever imagined. Uniqlo was quirky, I’m so glad they have an online store now…SoHo was eclectic. The raspberry swirl cheesecake from Junior’s was so good. I did so much walking that my calves and feet were on fire by the time Sunday morning came around–I ate so much good food that even with all the walking I did, I still gained five pounds in four days. It was great. I really enjoyed myself and the time away with my boyfriend…my only regret is that we did so much touristy stuff that we didn’t get to see the city for all the brilliant little facets that make up the entire jewel of NYC, and in that we didn’t get to truly enjoy all the time we had together. I would love to go back again and see everything that we didn’t have time to see 🙂

On to the photos!

Hahaha…I was walking through the airport terminal and I just couldn’t resist.

You may laugh, but I was completely blown away by this little contraption that was in the cab. It’s a TV/GPS/sorcerer in a box–AND you can pay your fare with a freaking credit card. Sorry. I’m from the Midwest 😛

Times Square at dusk. Loved it!

I was sitting on a bench across from the Ed Sullivan Theater when I took this picture. I didn’t really notice the guy with the flowers until later…I wonder if he was heading to a first date or the hospital to see a sick loved one or if he was bringing those flowers to his girlfriend/wife as an anniversary surprise or as an apology…or if he’d brought those flowers and had been rejected and was out walking to clear his head. Only me, haha.

My boyfriend took this in front of the Chase Fountain…I think somewhere near Rockefeller Center? I love this picture of me <;3

Love this one too…This was taken in front of a piano jazz place on Restaurant Row.

Our hotel, as seen from the outside.

Part of one of the memorial fountains at the 9/11 Memorial.

The 9/11 Survivor Tree.

A real life subway performer. Our train came before I got to hear him perform.

Central Park West. So pretty!

A Belgian waffle cart in Central Park. “No delicious waffles for me” said Lashawn not ever.

Omffffff….Dulce de leche, Belgian hot fudge, whipped cream, and powdered sugar all on one delicious little waffle. No wonder I gained five pounds.

I loved this sculpture for some reason. Maybe it’s because she was falling into a pond? Don’t know.

The NYC skyline at night from seen from Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center.

Hahahaha…I totally thought of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs when I saw this. Gummi bears!!!!

A Saturday afternoon street fair in SoHo.

A street view of Little Italy.

This guy was golfing with milk cartons. I f’ing LOVE it!

Part of the East Village. I really loved this neighborhood…if I were to hypothetically live in NYC, I think I’d live in the East Village.

Oh, Papaya Dog on 42nd…You and your delicious papaya juice. So smooth, so refreshing. How I miss you.

Season Two, Episode One: Of Changing Seasons, NYC, and How Apple Maps is the Smartphone Manifestation of Me and My Fabulous Navigational Skills

It’s September, fall is in the air and life is full of changes.  With fall comes new seasons of all our favorite shows, so I present to you…Season Two of Chasing Lala.  Enjoy.

I got the new iPhone 5 today in the mail.  I may have shrieked like a girl upon opening the box and realizing what was inside–my boyfriend had mentioned something about a possible surprise for me this week, so when my mom said that there was a package for me on the dining room table, I figured it was something of the Bret-centric variety…However, Bret does not work at Apple, so when I pulled out the sleek black box (Apple is not one to skimp on the aesthetics of a product) that was nestled inside the boring brown box it was shipped in, I had a very childish moment akin to opening a present on Christmas morning and realizing it was what you had been bugging your mom and dad and grandma and various mall Santas for all along.  So I shrieked and activated it as soon as I got a case and screen protector for it.

My first thoughts?  It’s crazy light and I love that the screen is bigger and not as harsh on my eyes.  Splendid job, technological nerd wizards at Apple.  I salute you.

I’m probably going to draw the ire of tech nerds all across the fair planet that we call Earth when I say that I really didn’t notice anything major beyond the navigation service change from Google Maps to Apple Maps, the loss of YouTube, the size of the screen and subsequently the size of the phone itself, and the weight of the phone. Still does most of the stuff that my lowly 4 did back in 2010.  It is, however, one damn fine looking phone 🙂

My new phone leads me to my next tangent (try to follow me, I know I tend to jump from topic to topic just as rapidly as I do in non-literary life).  In exactly 12 days (but who is counting?) I will be leaving on a jet plane to the beautiful, gritty, insomniatic city that is New York City.  Well…Manhattan, but when you think of NYC, you think of Manhattan, and probably Brooklyn.  And maybe Queens because of The Nanny and Kevin James (I got the theme song to The King of Queens in my head when I started typing his name, haha).  Oh my god I am sooooo excited.  Beyond excited.  I have wanted to go to New York ever since I was five, and what could be better than going with my fantastic boyfriend, whom I haven’t seen in nearly three months?

I promise to post pictures and I was thinking of doing sporadic little blogettes, if you will, throughout the day while we are there.  It’ll be sort of like Twitter but in blog form.  I did most of the planning, and there is so much I want to do:  the 9/11 memorial, Times Square (our hotel is like ten minutes from it!), Central Park, the Met, the High Line (this really cool park system built on the old high line train tracks that run through part of the city)…lots of food and shopping and just making some potentially awesome memories.  Some of my family on my dad’s side lives in NYC so it would be really nice to be able to meet up with some of them for lunch or something just to see them.

Also really hoping Apple Maps doesn’t get us lost and consequently robbed like that one episode of Sex and the City where Carrie got her Manolos stolen right off her feet.  I am really bummed that they removed Google Maps, but when in doubt there is Bret’s phone and it’s GPS, which hasn’t gotten us lost yet–I don’t know why I am so worried about navigational services when it is pretty much an unspoken fact/rule that I am not allowed to give directions.  Ask any of my friends…I suck at it.  We always get lost, which is a pretty spectacular feat seeing as I have a freaking map powered by a satellite to guide me.  I think I am just mildly anxious about getting lost or somehow separated from Bret in Manhattan and not knowing how to get back to the hotel in one piece because my phone’s GPS sucks.  Pretty ridiculous, but still.  Crazier things have happened.

Hmm…feels a bit like a cliffhanger 😉

Welcome to Season Two.