NYC, 2000

Before I'd moved to Boston, Siobhan and I had made plans to go to NYC for Easter to visit with Carla and Krista again. After the move, the trip became even easier for me to do since the driving time dropped from 10 hours to 4.5. I have a feeling that I'll be visiting NYC a lot more now. :) We agreed to all meet up in a cafe in Manhatten at around midnight, so plans were laid accordingly.

Fri Apr 21, 2000

A woman on a local mailing list had posted looking for a ride to NYC for the weekend and I'd been trying to get in touch with her to arrange if we would car pool or not. I finally reached her after a busy day at work kept me away from the phone and she confirmed that she wouldn't be taking my ride. I packed up, did a final map check with a co-worker who'd driven the route before and headed out into rush hour traffic at around 5:30pm. And promptly got lost in the maze that passes for streets in Cambridge. *sigh* After a short scenic drive I managed to get myself turned around and onto the highway heading to the I95, then along it to the I90 toll route. It had been raining lightly all day and the fates took my trip as the sign to open up the skies and pour down rain on New England in earnest. My wipers ended up on high most of the trip, but at least they worked relatively well, only blurring the road occasionally. I turned down I84 towards Hartford CT and then onto the I91 south to the I95 at New Haven. The lightening was so bright and arcing across so much of the sky that I was occasionally blinded.

Luckily as I passed into NY state, the rain slowed down and I was able to navigate through the Bronx, recognising the turn off to Carla's house, across the Triboro bridge and onto the FDR drive with no problems. I caught the turn onto Houston and found Avenue A and the cafe very quickly. I even managed to find parking right across the street from the cafe as someone was about to pull out in front of me. I had to wait a bit for the people in the SUV to figure out that they were really leaving the space, but I had lots of time before I was to meet everyone, so I was in no rush. They finally pulled out and I scooted in, then organised myself to find a phone to call Krista's cell. I found a working phone just up St. Mark's place and left a message on her machine, though I ended up leaving the wrong time since I hadn't reset my pocket watch after the time change. I ducked into East Village books and browsed for a while for some reading material to while away the time I had to wait, then used the change to top up the parking meter (which it turned out I didn't need to do since they weren't checked after 6, but ah well, a recent parking ticket in Cambridge made me more prone to paying when I don't have to rather than the other way around). As I was crossing back over the street to go sit in the cafe, I spotted Krista walking down St. Marks and waited for her. We found a table in the window and kept an eye out for Siobhan and Carla on the street. Food was very welcome at that point, since I'd only munched on an apple since leaving work. After a while I popped into the cafe next door which was also called Odessa and found Siobhan just finishing up her food at the back booth. She'd managed to duck past us and into the other section without us spotting her, but I dragged her back into the light and got her settled with yet another cup of coffee. Carla/Sola and Jen/rufus showed up soon after and ordered more food from the by now confused waiter.

Siobhan and I were both tired from our drives, so we ended up scrapping plans to go to CBGB's to meet up with Emily/bane (she and I had managed to swap scarves over new years and were trying to get them unswapped all weekend) and Rodney who I'd met in Toronto and also seen in Detroit. Jen headed out home in Manhatten, and Krista and Carla walked to get her car and bring it to meet up with mine, and Siobhan and I went off to get hers. We arrived first and checked our maps to get a vague idea of how to get to Carla's house in the Bronx. Krista pulled up and I took Carla in my car and led the way. Unfortunately, Carla doesn't drive and I was very tired so we ended up missing the turn into the Bronx, though Siobhan managed to make it. Krista kept following us and we ended up near the Cloisters on the upper west side of the island, near where Leo lives, actually. We stopped and consulted the maps yet again, and finally managed to get ourselves turned around with Krista leading. We found the turn off to the Cross Bronx Expressway from this direction and managed to get to Carla's with no more trauma. Siobhan, however, hadn't arrived before we'd unpacked the cars and gone inside and we fretted a bit. She pulled up at last and it turned out that her zen navigation had worked about as well as ours despite us thinking she knew where she was going. :) I was toast at this point and only stayed up for a few minutes talking before crashing in the den. I put my back pack up against the door to keep the cat from coming in and setting off my allergies. It was after 4am at this point and I was out like a light.

Sat Apr 22, 2000

I woke up on my own at around noon or so and joined Krista downstairs nibbling on toast as a breakfast holdover while waiting for the others to wake up and Jen to arrive for brunch. They'd turned out to have stayed up until sunrise so, Krista and I had a good gossip session and let Sio and Carla sleep in until 1pm or so, when we sort of somewhat helped Carla's mum make more coffee and then brought two black half cups up to tempt them awake. Siobhan protested the lack of milk but a few sips were enough to get her up and downstairs with both cups to doctor them. :) We futzed around waiting for people, listening to punk covers of Andrew Lloyd Webber's music (I should include a note here to go looking for music by the band Me Too and the Gimmee Gimmee's). rufus and fx and blackZ arrived while I was washing my face and it was a nice surprise to see the last, since I hadn't known that he'd moved to NYC.

We were all supposed to go to a biker bar called Roads for brunch, but the day was advancing and we were all getting hungry, so we ended up walking to the Royal Coach diner for food. We didn't end up getting out of there until around 6pm, but it was a fun meal despite the dirty looks we occasionally garnered from the other patrons, and the traumatisation caused by an overabundance of Easter decorations. Krista broke out her Seven Dwarves umbrella for the walk back to Carla's since it was beginning to rain again. We started debating what we were doing that night, and finally settled on Mother for Click and Drag. I left a message on Rodney's machine and Carla determined that her friend Cayenne would be arriving soonish. We all send ourselves email with -$5 passes for that night and eventually got all of them printed out and passed out. I found as I was retrieving mine that Rodney had been at CBGBs last night and had taken off for Europe that morning. While waiting for Cayenne to show up we also checked out America's road side attractions for things that the van to be dubbed Handbasket would stop in to see in the course of getting a group of my friends to Seattle for Convergence 6. The church of corn was never found, though the corn palace was a close second, and car henge was put on the list as a definite stop. I'm regretting not going with them now, but only a little bit. :) We also watched a bit of TV, since there was a nature show on bats that was showing. The commentary was ripe for misinterpretation though, as a woman from York U was visiting two scientists trying to track bats to their nests. She was a ditz. Some of the comments include: "John prepares Janie for what the night will bring"; and "Just hold your hand still, I'll do all the work". It was a fun night. :) Siobhan was munching on the wasabi peas that I'd found at a store near my place, and I managed to entertain everyone when I tried one. They were much more spicy to my untutored palate than to Sio's hardened one. :)

By 10pm we were mostly ready to go and headed out to catch the train downtown. I made notes on the route since I was worried I'd get separated and not be able to find my way back, and it did turn out to be complicated: number 5 to number 2 to number 1 to the A train to Mother. Our passes were good for admission for $5 before midnight and at 10 to, Cayenne and I ducked into a deli next to Mother to get a snack. I ended up not getting anything right then since I couldn't decide with the time pressure and determined that I'd ask if I could be re-admitted after getting the cheap admission and then going out again to get food. I could, but ended up staying inside for a while before going back with Krista and Cayenne again. I claimed a bench downstairs under a TV and tucked myself into the corner to people watch. We made some new friends as they spotted us playing with Carla's squishy ball o skulls, and I met a guy from Toronto who was just up for the weekend in NYC, Cecil. There were some really amazing outfits, and some really poor uses of liquid latex. *shudder* One woman had a really great black hat with a veil, worn with a pink under bust corset topped with a pink boa for some modesty and a pvc black and white stripped skirt and stiletto's. We considered giving hints to a poor guy in drag who wasn't quite pulling off his outfit, but then his relative (twin brother?) showed up and we could see that he did have a good role model and must have just been starting out. The shrine to Camel cigarettes was determined to contain full packs in metal cases but they were returned intact since the person who checked didn't smoke. :) Drew disappeared for the evening on the dance floor and the rest of the group would occasionally wander away to explore or dance and then come back. I was happy to stay in my corner, though the wall I was leaning against was a bit cool. Jen and fx and Drew decided to leave just before us, but we ran into them as Drew stopped for a hamburger. The first two caught a cab but Drew joined us on the train for part of the way. We left Mother around 2am or so but didn't get home until 4am. We tried to call a cab from the 180th st station, but had no luck for so long that the shuttle train showed up instead. We tucked our heads down and plodded home in the rain, and then Cayenne called a cab successfully from Carla's house. We were all pretty tired by this point and headed to bed.

Sun Apr 23, 2000

The doorbell rang and woke me a little, but I went back to sleep until Carla came in to wake me around 11. I'd asked to be woken with Siobhan when Krista did that, so mumbled something and went back to sleep until breakfast was ready. Carla impressed and stuffed us all with an amazing breakfast. rufus and fx arrived after the first round and after Sio took off, Cayenne came in for the final round. Strawberries and cream, mimosas with fresh squeezed orange juice, omlettes made to order, strawberry banana muffins, raspberries and black berries that were the best I'd ever eaten. Krista took off first since she had an Easter dinner to attempt to eat at 2pm. She took Emily's scarf with her in the hopes that she could get mine in trade and bring it to Seattle. Then Siobhan took off to begin her 10 hour drive home in the hopes of being there by midnight. I stayed a while longer to let breakfast digest and to hang out with rufus and fx a bit, watching Don Quiote with Jon Lithgow, but eventually hit the road. I managed to follow Cayenne'd directions to I95 and the drive home went without a hitch. I stopped just after getting on the I90 for a bathroom break, but was able to make it home on the tank of gas I'd put in in CT on the way there. The rain only started getting heavy for the last hour, and I was home by 7:30, after leaving at 3pm.
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