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admin 24.10.2015

All of the three times I’ve been to New York City have been quick, whirlwind trips not lasting longer than a weekend, and this trip was no different. In high school I was an AFS exchange student in Denmark for a year, and while on exchange made some very fast and close friendships with other exchange students in the program from all over the world. Our friend Busi from South Africa was in the states and kicked off the reunion in New York City idea, and when three other friends joined in, I decided I had to go. I arrived at 8:00 AM on a very uncomfortable Delta red eye night flight from Seattle, with the tiniest seats, most constricted leg room, and a screaming baby and toddler two rows behind me.
Slightly delirious and ecstatic to exit the plane, I found my way to the air train to Jamaica Station.
Once refreshed, it was time to meet up with my friends, who were all arriving in early afternoon. It took about an hour to get to the Times Square Marriott where most of my friends were staying (there are two Times Square Marriott hotels, by the way, I found that out the hard way). Design interpretations aside, it was a sobering spectacle seeing the footprints of the towers and remembering the news footage from that day. We walked around the corner to the Fish Bar at 237 E 5th St, which had a nice perfect-sized table for all six of us in the corner. After several rounds of beers and lots of catching up and reminiscing, it was getting later and time to find some food.
The small-plate tapas were perfect, so those of us still semi-full from lunch could get a small bite, and those who were hungry could order a bit more. We called it a night at 11:00, so that we would have energy for some sightseeing the next day.
Keith had to go hunting for a new apartment that day, so we made breakfast together and then parted ways. We had decided we wanted to be tourists and see the Statue of Liberty, and Keith suggested taking the Staten Island ferry instead of the Statue of Liberty boat.
If you aren’t hell bent on going up in the crown or seeing the Statue of Liberty up close and personal, you can get a great view including the Manhattan skyline from the Staten Island ferry, which departs every half hour on the half hour. When we got on the Staten Island ferry, it was clear that everyone else seemed to have the same idea we did. On the ferry back to Manhattan, I was able to get a couple good shots of the passing ferry going the opposite direction from the main level front of the boat.
My friends staying in Times Square wanted to go back to their room to change before we went out to dinner, so we headed back to their hotel to charge phones, chill, and let them change clothes. Just a half block down from Sing Sing we came upon the Pyramid Club, which Keith was trying to steer us towards.

I flew back on a 2:00 PM direct flight to Seattle on Jet Blue, which is now my favorite airline. Lineposter images are clean, colorful graphic prints featuring the subways in beloved cities, including New York, London, Paris, and Berlin, as well as Washington DC, San Francisco, and Chicago.
Come meet Cayla and John in person at the Brooklyn Craft Central Holiday Market on December 17 & 18, and every day through December 24th at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market! A reunion with long lost friends, riding the Staten Island Ferry, seeing the sights, good food, drinks, and dancing. This trip was a bit spontaneous, as some long lost friends of mine planned a quick reunion in New York City where our mutual friend Keith lives. With the exception of my good friend Keith, most of us have not seen each other since we parted ways 18 years ago. I was able to stay with Keith in Brooklyn, which helped with expenses (and was a lot more fun than a hotel). The square fountains are in the footprints of the original towers, with water running down the sides and into a smaller square hole in the middle. While the trees around it could symbolize renewal and growth, the main focus is two giant black holes with water disappearing to small drain-like holes in the middle. There wasn’t much light or anywhere to sit, so we decided to move on in search of a good place to have drinks and catch up. There are lots of funky little bars and restaurants, all oozing with character and ambiance. We made our way down 2nd Ave and stumbled upon a little tapas restaurant called Bar Virage.
I took the J train from Brooklyn down to the end of the line at Broad Street to meet up with everyone else at the Staten Island ferry terminal.
The Staten Island ferry is free, and the Statue of Liberty cruise costs around $18-$21 depending on if you want to climb up to the crown or just stand on the island and look up at Lady Liberty. Getting a spot on the outdoor viewing deck on the right side of the boat to see the Statue of Liberty is at a premium. There weren’t as many people on the main level, everyone seemed to want to be on the upper decks. Finding a table for a group of 6 on a Saturday night at  7:00 without a long wait was most likely going to be a tall order, but we got lucky down the street at Sauce, an Italian restaurant where another group of 6 was just finishing up.
I had the arugula salad with a simple dressing of salt, olive oil, and lemon with some thin sheets of parmesan cheese laid flat on top, and the porcini mushroom raviolis with truffle oil and brown butter sauce (a special that night). We wandered uptown and into the karaoke bar Sing Sing on Avenue A, deciding to see what the people at the bar were singing.

Keith and I slept in a bit and then had breakfast at Little Skips, a hipster coffee shop near his apartment in Brooklyn.
I left this trip feeling like a pro at the New York City subway system, which I’m pretty happy about.
Our primary focus was hanging out with each other, but we were able to get out and experience a little of what the Big Apple has to offer.
I wasn’t the only one, so we walked a ways and ended up at the Martinique Cafe in Greeley Square. They didn’t have enough seating inside, but it was a weirdly warm night for March so we decided to eat al fresco on the sidewalk tables. When I exited the subway, I found myself right in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street.
As I was walking through Battery Park towards the Staten Island ferry terminal, I saw a gigantic line winding through the park to get tickets and another gigantic line to get on the boat.
There wasn’t much singing going on at the bar, mostly in the private karaoke rooms for rent.
Upon arrival at Jamaica Station, you buy a metro card at the machines when you exit the train. Just put in the destination, choose the public transportation option, and calculate your route from your current location.
The food was average, and the homemade chips were greasy, but it was a nice little place to hang out with a friendly bartender. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals as well, although my friend Ginger said the chicken parmesan was a little mediocre. After my friend Kevin stood at the bar for close to 8 minutes waiting for service and kept getting ignored (it wasn’t even that busy), we decided to move on. There was a very random mix of people dancing to some very eclectic 80’s new wave on the main floor, with another dance floor downstairs playing techno. The lunch menu was pretty average, with burgers, salads, pizzas, and pasta and everyone was able to find something they liked.
As it got later and more packed, the music get less eclectic and the DJ started busting out all the hits. Once you have your card with enough funds to exit the station to the subway trains ($8.75 for a new card), you can swipe it to go through the turnstile and head to the trains.

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