Sunday, September 9, 2007

Another Amazing Day in the Neighborhood

I finally found my way over to New Jersey yesterday to see about a job at a gym in Ridgefield that has Les Mills programs. I took a bus over (under, actually, since the route is through the Lincoln tunnel), attended a BodyPump class for the first time in three weeks, and talked to the owner about teaching there. I could not believe how accommodating they were with my schedule and offering me a job. I have a tentative Friday class that I will be teaching, and possibly a front desk job for a few hours around the time that I will be teaching. After taking class yesterday I realized how much I missed it. Les Mills is crazy addicting. It made me feel comfortable to be doing the same moves that I did at home, listening to the same format that I always have. While I am excited because of the job opportunity that this opens up, most of my excitement comes simply from knowing that the gym is a place where I feel comfortable, where I can find a refuge from the stress of school and the city when I need to get away.


After I got back from Jersey yesterday I met Pierre in the park, intending to stand in line for tickets to one of the last performances of Shakespeare in the Park for the summer season. Unfortunately we were about 5 hours to late to be getting in line, and there was no way we would have gotten tickets. Instead, we met his friend Alex and spent a good portion of the day hanging around the city with him. We went to lunch ; I was the only one who ate, which I am told is a casualty of hanging out with lightweight crew boys, and was not actually as uncomfortable as I had originally expected it to be. Somehow, they made two glasses of iced coffee last for an hour and a half, which is more or less the coolest thing ever. Trѐs bon. Then we walked from the Upper West Side restaurant on 88th to Alex's Midtown apartment on 52nd. I love walking through the city, and was glad to be with company that shared my grand affinity for walking. 35 blocks is not a bad little jaunt. The whole day seemed to be about conversation and quirkiness, which made me generally very happy. I could spend all day walking and talking around the city, and just might have to, if I did not have so much darn reading to do.


Classes have begun in full, and on my plate I have a good 300 pages of reading to do, two papers, and a French chapter to study. And then I have to find time to work out, and culturally diversify myself, and keep myself from socially alienating myself. The latter problem has worked itself out so far by the fact that everyone more or less has some sort of workload, so I can go to the library and still feel social, because other people are there, too. I love the reading rooms on the sixth floor (the rare manuscript rooms: African American, East Asian, and Islamic studies), sitting and reading by myself or with Pierre, writing notes, and feeling both accomplished and connected.


My worst problem to date has been my shoe problem. I continually get blisters on my feet from all of my shoes. I have come to realize that I walk here about tenfold what I did at home, and cheap shoes do not necessarily cut it when you go from points A to B to C to D like they do when you only go from point A to point PT. Even my running shoes are giving me problems as they wear down. My sock pokes up from the top of my shoe. I have resolved with Pierre to go shoe shopping, and am currently in the market for some funky red athletic shoes. I have decided that for once in my life I might actually need function over fashion (more like quality over quantity), so some of my cultural fund might need to be invested in footwear that will actually allow me to roam around the city enjoying the culture.


Today I will attempt to get some of my work done while absorbing the culture. I am heading downtown, hoping to end up at either MoMA or ICP to plant myself down on a bench and absorb the Iliad, the modern art, and the people sharing the space. I am also going to try to sneak around Bryant park and see if I can peep around fashion week. It will be a day of hipster watching in Midtown and anorexic-watching in Bryant Park. Plus, I will finally get some batteries for my camera and have some pictures to put up. And so begins my day…


Other recent events of interest:

  • Roaming around Union Square, trolling for samples in various food stores, ending up at Trader Joe's and getting enough food to make my own dinner in the lounge while doing my laundry
  • Buying fresh produce at the Farmer's Market in Union Square
  • Signing up for Model UN, Culinary Club, Dance Marathon, Rock Climbing Club, various advocacy groups, and a lot of other organizations that I don't even remember at the activities fair.
  • Sweating out more water than comes out of the shower in the humidity

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