Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion

There was so much snow on the ground today! It was crazy. I was tempted to just stay inside my house, cozy in my blankets, but then I decided to brave the winter weather and see how Harlem looked in a white dress. I found a lot of broken umbrellas, jumped in a lot of knee-deep snow drifts, and took a picture of bird tracks on the snowy sidewalk. Then I got a text message from Alison, my North Carolinian friend. Alison had been on her way home from Iceland when her stopover in New York turned into a day-over. Being stuck in a hotel on the far side of Queens all by herself sounded terrible. I had to go rescue her!

Unfortunately I have never been to Queens, so I didn't really know where I was going. After getting off the E train, I was pretty much lost. One bus seemed to be going the wrong way, so I got on a different one. But that one didn't seem right either. So I got off the bus and walked to a nearby gas station, which led me to a man who gave me two dollars from his wallet to take a gypsy cab, which let me out about a quarter of a mile from A's hotel, and after wading through some monster snow drifts, I was there! But we didn't know what to do next. When we asked the guy at the hotel what there was to do in the area, he said, "Um.... nothing." Luckily there was a hotel shuttle to the subway, and from there we could get to the city. But first we decided to travel to Brooklyn. And now I can cross Grimaldi's off my to-do list! We ended up there and had an extremely delicious pizza. Then, despite the 20 degree weather and piles of snow, we decided to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, which was inadvertently left off my to-do list due to my obsession with food. The views were gorgeous, and it was surprisingly non-windy. When we entered Manhattan, that's when the wind began. It was great to see Alison, and I'm so glad I happened to have the day off to spend with her! Yes, it might have been nicer on a warm dry sunny day, but there was something so adventurous about traipsing around greater NYC in the biggest snowstorm of the year.

It was a good weekend, too. Sunday was so nice. Church was wonderful and inspiring. I love all of the sweet old ladies there. Sunday evening I had a delightful dinner with friends who live up the block, and after that dessert at another neighborhood friend's house. I broke my rule and ate some delicious sweets, played Ticket to Ride, and socialized with lots of lovely people--what could be more fun?

On Saturday, I went speed-dating! It was a church activity, and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out, because... well, just because. However, I was pleasantly surprised. There were a ton of people participating, from all over New York, New Jersey, and beyond. Everyone was assigned a random number and a huge double-string of chairs snaked around the gym so that a line of guys could proceed along a line of girls, each pair getting three minutes to talk before the guy had to move to the right and talk to the next girl. I was nervous at first, but soon realized that I was nowhere as nervous as all the guys that proceeded to parade along past me. They ranged from bizarre to amazing, which was no surprise, but I was surprised at how many of them I wrote down a 'yes' to. All but one were men I'd never met before, and who I'd probably never meet without this activity. I tried my best to turn on the charm, be easy-going, and not lose my voice (difficult in a gym full of hundreds of people all talking at once and non-stop for an hour and a half!). Hopefully it worked, and I received a few yeses myself. The way it works is that someone will tally all the cards and send each person an email with the people that they said yes to and who also said yes to them. Crazy! It makes me laugh just thinking about the whole thing, but I really did have a blast. It was a great activity, and I think they should do it more often here.

So that was my weekend. It was fast, fun, and very rewarding. Hopefully the month of March will be just the same!

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