Friday, April 10, 2009

The city so nice, they built it twice

Since these last six months in Boston, I've gotten used to the way the city moves, the way the people interact with me and each other. Every once in a while, I see someone with a Red Sox hat and get excited, but soon forget that I'm in Boston, and it's expected. I missed my friends in New York and needed an excuse to visit them, so I did.

Three weeks ago I went to Philly to get my indie life fix and visit my friends Jess and Nina. I arrived Friday afternoon when everyone was still at work, so I walked around center city and reveled in nostalgia that the city brings. Although, I'm not a Philly girl by any means, there are memories that shaped who I am today, so sadly, I can't discredit Philly anymore than I already do. And these memories come back to me randomly when I walk around the city. One in particular, I completely forgot, until I walked by a Baskin Robbin's near the Liberty Plaza.

My sister had come to visit me at Drexel and we decided that we would see a movie one night, so we walked to Penn's campus to the theatre hoping to see A Beautiful Mind. We had time to kill, so we stopped into a Baskin Robbin's on the way for ice cream. The owner/cashier of the store was excited to hear that we were about to see that movie. I think that film really touched him and he was hoping to discuss it with someone. He seemed like a lonely guy who was hoping to make conversation with someone in general, so all three of us talked for a while about movies and why he decided to buy the store. He told us to come back after the movie so we could have a serious conversation about it. We went to the theatre only to discover that every viewing for the day was sold out. We walked back frustrated and stopped into the ice cream place to let the owner know that we weren't able to see it. He printed out blank receipt tape from the register and proceeded to write down something as he said, "Now this question has been bugging me, since I saw this film. Now don't look at the paper until you see the film. After you see it, open the paper and please, please tell me the answer or confirm that there's a flaw."

I had this treasure in the form of a grocery list-sized receipt from Baskin Robbin's. The only thing better than buying enough ice cream to handle an ice cream receipt of this length was the big mystery question on the back of it. I went back to my dorm, and passed the note around to the girls on my floor who had seen the movie. I marveled at their reaction as each person looked stumped. Discussions about my secret paper became plentiful, so I quickly retreated to my cement cell. I tried my best not to cheat myself of a good movie and conversation. I had to see that movie so I could read the question. Finally that next Friday, I saw it and opened the paper. "When did you first realize that his buddy (the blonde) was not real?" Well, I didn't find out until the very end, when they point it out, and then I saw it again, and realized that there were scenes where the room mate was interacting with other people, and he helped Crowe's character toss a very heavy desk out the window, not possible for one person. A major flaw in the film. I had my answer and went to Baskin Robbin's to confirm. In the window, in front of a closed ice cream shop in the summer, was a sign notifying patrons that the owner had died, and that the store was closing.

You build so many memories, that somehow you consider this as storage in the attic that can only be brought back by nostalgic visual cues. This story was only a flash second of my time in Philly. I broke my raw eating diet so much that I probably reverted back to an unhealthy person, but the nightly Oreos and brunch at MoGlo's was well worth it. I continued my new found crap diet when I stopped in New York for dinner with friends, where I had gnocchi with pesto and a half of a seafood sampler.

There are parts of New York that I miss so much. This sounds funny, but I love how people think there. How the best conversations are heard in a coffee shop or a restaurant or the subway, and these conversations are about random things like window shades or sponge bob and never the weather, and yet they all seem intellectual regardless of content. Boston has this taste, where two friends walk onto a subway and somehow it's an excuse to stop talking. Maybe it's the polite thing to do, but I wanted to hear the rest of your story. There's plenty that I don't miss like the constant rotation of work, gym, sleep, and how my friends who've lived in their building for 4 years, don't know their neighbors.

So, I went to visit NY this past weekend. It should have been called a fitness retreat, because that's what it was. I arrived friday afternoon, and carried my crap to my friend's office so i could check out where she works and pick up her house keys. Then I came back, dumped my stuff off at her place and took a long walk in the city and breathed in the shared air, yum. Later I went out to dinner at Cafe Havana, where I had spicy creamy corn and a margarita...the fitness part is coming. The next day, I went to the Chelsea Piers annual Climber's Cup, and climbed for 4 hours, making sure I had a hearty lunch somewhere in between. I had the sushimi special: 6 pieces of sushimi (yellowtail, salmon, and tuna), brown rice, and miso soup for 11 bucks. And it's the freshest sushi I've ever had. I came home exhausted, but got ready for the drinks and desserts party. An hour into the party, we all realized we were the only ones there, but soon after, all of our guests showed up at once and we had a great time. Sunday morning I rolled out of bed and hit the floor. I was pretty sore from the climbing comp, but that wasn't gonna stop me from participating in our semi-annual gym day. We usually begin at 9 or 10, but since our get together ended late and drunk, we settled for 11AM. The schedule was as follows:

11:15-12:00PM absolute abs class
12:00-12:30 cardio on the treadmill
12:30-1:00 Lunch
1:00-3:00 Climbing (I was happy to come back and work on the problems I couldn't get at the comp)
3:00-5:00 Swimming/hot tub

By 5:30PM, we were out of there, and ready to eat again. I wanted to continue my raw obsession, but ended up having a rib sandwich. I ate so fast, my friends didn't get to see the sandwich when the waiter gave it to me. I was hungry. I ended the night with chocolate chip cookies, and that was my weekend.

New note: I can't wait to see the movie "Where the wild things are," because it's directed by Spike Jonez and the soundtrack is written by the lead singer of the Yeah yeah yeahs and Arcade Fire.