new york city day trips always take a lot out of me. they can be done, but at least 8 hours will be spent riding a bus to and from manhattan. you can of course sleep on the bus (which is usually the best option) but it's unfulfilling, like the sleep you get on an airplane. i woke up at 5:30 in the morning after sleeping less than an hour. i showered, i dressed, i was out the door. my original plan was to ride my bike to chinatown, but since it was raining, i had to scratch that idea and take the subway into south station. i caught the 7am bus and once i was onboard i fell asleep immediately. at the two hour rest stop i passed up on my chance to use the bathroom, a fateful decision i'd later regret.
once i arrived at the new york city chinatown, i made my way to the marco polo noodle shop, my perennial favorite. unfortunately it was still too early (11:10) and they weren't opened yet, but they let me use their bathroom anyway. instead i picked from one of several vietnamese restaurants lining baxter street (nha trang restaurant). i had the standard bowl of pho, nothing very exciting. i wandered chinatown a bit afterwards, mingling in the crowd of weekend shoppers and tourists. i picked up a box of chinese custard for the block party at john and deanna's and grabbed the subway to brooklyn. from my last visit, i still remembered where they lived and was able to find their place without problems.
when i first got the evite for the block party, i thought it meant john and deanna were throwing a private party at their place. what i didn't realize was their whole street had been blocked off and it was a neighborhood celebration, with barbecue and free beer and lots of children running around the street. there were even some miniature amusement park rides, like the manually-operated king kong caged swing or the inflatable trampoline castle. and when john told me they had a DJ, i thought it meant he was going to broadcast some music from his ipod, not that there'd be an actual DJ with ginormous speakers.
when i first moved in to my place we had annual summer block parties on my street. i always had something going on that same day and only managed to attend one for a few brief moments. after a few years however, the event organizers stopped doing it. nevertheless, there's still one neighborhood event that's survived over the years, and that's the halloween block party that attract cambridge children from all over the city.
at one point i went with john to bierfraft, a local store that specializes in beers from all different parts of the US and the world. naturally in a place that sells beers they'd also have specialty non-alcoholic beverages, and i got a bottle of root beer and ginger beer for myself. john purchased two jugs of dark beer; i tried it, and it sort of tasted like chocolate. john enjoyed the novelty of drinking from jugs and drank enough that he got a little tipsy afterwards.
deanna's brother jason showed up briefly, followed by her parents. we all saw the dog fashion show but jason left before the karaoke began. later mae and andie dropped by as well. i called klea who said she might show up but later sent me a text message apology for missing it.
the red sox yankees game was being broadcasted nationally on fox and john was able to get the game via his HD antenna. it started off as another pitching duel between chien-ming wang and red sox ace josh beckett, but in the 5th the red sox pulled ahead by a run, and then earned 3 more runs in the 6th. i didn't watch it after that but i left feeling that the red sox might be able to win it this afternoon.
although it was raining in boston, and raining on the bus ride down, the weather when i arrived in new york was clearing up. despite the intermittent sunshine, the temperature started to drop in afternoon, so that even i - hardly new englander that i am - had to run inside the house and put on my jacket.
although i could've stayed over at john and deanna's place, i figured it was better for me to try and make it home tonight so i can sleep in all of sunday morning. i was more than happy to take the train back to chinatown but john was good enough to drive me into manhattan. i got a ticket for the 9pm bus which wasn't very crowded so nobody had to share seats. once again, i fell asleep very soon afterwards, listening to my mp3 player. the bus driver drove fast but it still took 4 hours to get to boston.
the problem with taking the 9pm fung wah bus out of new york city is that by the time i arrive back in boston, the subways are already closed. fortunately i made previous plans with my father, who volunteered to come pick me up. that was the whole reason why i wanted to ride my motorcycle, because i could then ride it back home. anyway, i called my father as i was approaching the city and he brought he back to cambridge.