It's Monday afternoon. The last Monday of my freedom in New York City. On Wednesday, my time at Columbia commences. It's only orientation, but from that time on, my time will be officially be back on a school-induced schedule. For the first time in 3 years. Odd, very odd.
With that lurking on the horizon, there are a few things to do. Hey, I haven't been completely inactive in my two weeks here:
• I'm pretty certain that my walking muscles are fully functional and that my adaptation to the heat and humidity is nearly complete. (NOTE: I've been told it's been a mild summer, so part of it has been luck.)
• The Christian Wach interview is transcribed (the worst task in journalism), but the tough part is determining what to cut. The guy really is rather interesting. A lot going on, and wasn't shy to divulge. So much nicer than having to squeeze more than five-word responses out of the interviewee.
• I'm still a dresser shy of a complete bedroom, but I'm all over the Craigslist listings. And my walls can still use some life. White does not really excite.
• I'm also yet to do any real sight-seeing. I've wandered a bit down Broadway, and along and through Central Park, but nothing with the main sights. I've been to NYC four times and I've never seen the Statue of Liberty. I figure I'm in position to finally knock that one off the list.
• Two weeks in, and I'm yet to buy beer. In bars, yes. For my apartment, no. Something about paying $12 for a six-pack just doesn't sit right, even if it is the norm. I've done quite a bit of pricing, but am yet to settle on a dealer of choice.
• Yesterday was pretty interesting. I took another walk south to get out of the apartment and see what I stumbled on. I got down to Columbus Circle (the south end of Central Park, I'm on the north end) and the area appeared quite a bit more packed than your run-of-the-mill tourist bombardment. I started seeing red, white and blue flags, face paint, and I <3 DR shirts the closer I came. Turns out it was Dominican Pride Day. There was a parade running along the south end of Central Park, and the NYPD seemed to have a sneaking suspicion that the event would get rowdy. The boys in blue started arriving by the van load. The crowd descended into the subway station and proceeded to chant, blown whistles, clog up traffic and cause enough of a raucous that the riot squad was called in to calm the uprising. Nothing really came of the gathering, but it was interesting to watch. Once the excitement appeared to be over I started making my way back to my area. I was walking along Central Park when I spotted a fairly large gathering along one of the walkways. I wandered over and Blackberry's, digital cameras and video cameras were out in full force to capture a moment of Ashton Kutcher filming a segment for "Good Morning America". It was my first celeb sighting. Rather exciting. It was enough to make my friend, Kristen, jealous. That alone validated my paparazzi moment.