The Stage: my favorite restaurant, which I was introduced to in the East Village. And it's ukrainian.
Are you ready for another exciting follow-up on yet another extremely exciting visit to Gotham? ahh, I truly love NYC.
Ok, here’s how it all went down. Woke up, ran into my old high school to talk with my german teacher about some stuff regarding my trip, then filled up my car with gas and hit the road.
Traffic was a pain, torrential downpour and bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way out 78.
Drove out I-78 into NJ, to Jersey City, and did the ‘ole routine with the PATH train into NYC. Got into Journal Square NJ at 9:20, parked my car (which will ultimately come to $13 because I just missed the 12-hour price’s cutoff!) and got into NYC at 33rd street around quarter to ten.
Now, the main purpose of my trip this time was to get to the German Embassy near the United Nations to apply for my Aufenthaltsgenehmigung (residence/work permit). I was really afraid, because the lady on the phone told me to try to get there early, because Friday’s are typically busy. And I made an extra trip to NYC for this specific reason… and on top of that, you can only apply for this permit between the hours of 9 and 11. (significance? haha joking.) So I ran and ran. I even had to take a stop at a Bank of America ATM to withdraw money for the fee, which also is only accepted in cash payment. What also was pretty ratty, the UN plaza is actually nowhere near a subway line, so I ended up taking the subway to 51st and Lexington, and had to walk the rest of the way… in torrential downpour.
So the main entrance there in the picture (I stole the pic from Google, because mine got ruined by the weather) is more for the office part of the embassy, the visa entrance was in the side alley, so I went down this alley and in this barely-marked door, said I was here to apply for my Aufenthaltsgenehmigung, they asked me some questions, gave me a number, searched me, and sent me up this elevator going directly to the Visa-floor. Here I waited about 5 minutes until being called to the window. The room was brightly lit, with a nice painting on the wall, and there were 4 windows with seats, set up almost like a maximum-security prison visitors section, glass window and a telephone. That’s how we communicated, through a telephone. I got asked a lot of questions, filled out a lot of paperwork, paid my $81 cash fee, and was on my way after a little over an hour.
Then, since I haven’t been to the UN Plaza before, I went over that way and walked around a little, and afterwards grabbed a bite to eat. Naturally (A. because it’s my all-time favorite food, and B. because it’s NYC) I went straight for a pizzeria. I found Abitino’s Pizzeria on 2nd Avenue between 39th & 40th and went in and had some awesome Sicilian pizza and some rather delicious garlic knots (for which I had to pay $.75 for sauce!). Then I just meandered around a little longer, and to be honest I can’t remember specifically what I did after that… After seeing this video, (click the link) it made me try out something new, something I really haven’t toyed around all that much with–videography. So I bummed my dad’s video camera (one of those mini ones which also takes snapshots) and tried taking my own video clips and this week I will sit down on Final Cut Pro and try to stitch it together. So I did a lot of filming, 110 video clips to be exact!
So I ended up in Times Square, and when I came out of the subway I heard this music, so I walked towards the music and that’s when I saw a plastic tent erected on “Military Island”. What was it? The kick-off event for the Ford Fiesta Movement. Yeah, I know, you’ve never heard of it, neither have I, but it was awesome. In the middle of Times Square, under this tent, in the pouring rain, open karoke was happening! And they all danced and anyone could sing, and they tossed out awesome T-shirts into the crowd. Somehow, I managed to get in the front right near the gates that held the people back! And as it turns out, Ace Young (I guess he was an American Idol Finalist?) was the host and also sang, of which I have videos!
Ace Young at the Ford Fiesta Movement in Times Square
Then I went downtown to the Lomography Store, and for those of you who don’t know, Lomography is a style of photography using cameras with plastic lenses and sometimes the cameras have fisheye lenses, or pinhole lenses, and I believe it was modeled after the Russian spy cameras… Here’s a link of an example picture. It’s something I’d like to learn a lot more about. The store is down around the NYU Campus.
A look at the Arch in Washington Square Park, in Lomo style
Then I went down further to have another looksy in Chinatown, see if I couldn’t capture some more footage of the illegal markets down there selling Coach etc xD (See my previous post if you haven’t read it yet, there’s some scoops on Chinatown in it…) But everyone I asked about the purses for my “girlfriend” all took me to the same shoppe, so I don’t know yet what’s up with that…
THE place to get fake purses (Broadway & Canal)
I then worked my way back uptown, stopping in Grand Central to take some more video for my project. After that I found myself up in Central Park, where I took a little walk until it began raining again. By this time, it was almost 5:30, and I had arranged to meet up with Jessi, a good highschool friend who now studies Fashion Design at Parson’s New School, at 6pm. So I decided to start making my way back downtown–to Union Square Park.
Jessi & The Stage
Jessi's Macaroni & Egg Cream
This is where the real fun kicked in… we met, after not seeing eachother in a year, exchanged hugs etc, then we walked back to her dorm, where I got to meet her friends and roommates etc. Then she asked if I was hungry, which I was, and she said she knew of a great place, in fact probably her favorite joint in town (in a BIG BIG town) and I said, heck, why not?! So we walked a few blocks to “The Stage” (see first picture above). This place was heaven in an Eastern European Diner. No more spending big bucks on dinner for two in Manhattan, if you’re one of those kind of people, you need to stop and come here (2nd Ave between 7th & 8th). You go into a very tiny narrow building, sit down at a long counter, and everything is prepared for you in front of you, served true Ukraine-style. My biggest recommendation would have to be their chocolate Egg Cream. I have no clue what it is actually, but Jessi suggested it and I immediately fell in love. Its somehow chocolate milk mixed with egg cream (?) and seltzer maybe? Absolutely worth it.
After this marvelous score, we walked around a little bit more, chit-chatted and simply caught up with eachother, then we went to an open house art exhibit at Parson’s, where I got to meet more of her friends, and look at freakin’ ridiculously amazing art. There was this one piece, with lights up top, and pedastals upon which light-reacting paper sat, and upon which the light shined once a button was pushed. When the light was off, the paper-sculpture was in one position. Once the light turned on and shined on the paper-sculpture, the paper reacted and curled and curved in many different ways. I wish my video camera wasn’t dead at this point, it was simply awesome!!
Jessi & Eric eating FroYo
Then we caught up with some more friends and we all went to get some FroYo (Frozen yogurt). Apparently I haven’t lived like a true New Yorker until I’ve had some, so I obviously couldn’t let that be!! Don’t ask me what the difference between FroYo and ice cream is, as I have no clue. But according to Jessi, it doesn’t leave a milky aftertaste in your mouth like ice cream! haha ok??? But this place we went to, 16 Handles, is at 153 2 Avenue (16handles.com) and it’s named that because it has just that. 16 handles featuring 16 different flavors. You pick your cup, you walk down the hallway past the machines, pick any flavors you want, then go to the toppings bar and pick whatever you want (I can’t even begin to name the vast wide variety of toppings you could choose from, there were so many exotic things that I never even heard of and will probably never hear of again! Unless that is if I go back, which I definitely will!) Then you proceed to the checkout and pay by weight. I loaded mine, and got away with only oweing $5. I really enjoyed it, thanks Jessi!
We went back to her place, chatted a little more, met some more friends, watched her do some homework, then I walked back to the PATH station at 14th Street and 6th Avenue. Despite the random outbursts of torrential liquid sunshine, it was always warm, around the 60° mark, and when the sun was out, it was beautiful. My walk to the PATH station was definitely a good one.
...saw him on my way out of the city, changing posters.
Some beautiful NYC Skyline
So all-in-all I had yet another fantastic time in New York City. I wanted to take the free water taxi over to the Brooklyn Ikea from the South Street Sea Port, but I didn’t wanna walk that far in the rain, haha. Next time! I also wanted to get my hair cut, which also didn’t happen! There’s just too many distractions in that big ‘ole city!! Keep your eyes out for my video project utilizing the footage I shot here yesterday!
Comments are always welcome, and thanks for clicking! And thanks for listening to me ramble about my visits to the Skyscraper National Park!