Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Land of the Free

It's time to catch up on my time in America, which was in February. I know, I'm behind. Orientation ends tomorrow, and a quasi-schedule will start by next week, and hopefully soon I'll be able to emerge from my piles of blankets - it's COLD here and my heat is WEAK.

So, after I left London, I headed for New York. New York was fantastic, and went much like my time in London: catching up with old friends by night and museuming while they were at work by day. I spent a good deal of time with Nancy, and had the opportunity to meet her friends from her new job (she's working at Rockefeller University because she's brilliant). Her friends are lovely, her job has a most excellent teachers' lounge, her apartment and roommates were wonderful and Nancy as always was awesome. I miss my friends - you should all move to China. I also saw the Vagina Monologues with Dan and went sightseeing with AJ. Turns out all three of these people live literally within a stone's throw of each other. And I thought New York was big. At the end of the week I got in touch with Kelsey and Emily, friends of mine from junior high who I had lost touch with. It was so surreal to visit them and meet their friends and hear about where their lives are now. By day I visited the Met, the Whitney, the MoMA, the Museum of Natural History, and about every deli that makes bagels in the city. So, here are some pictures. I wasn't that great about taking lots of them while in NY (or America or that matter). This will be a less-picture heavy post.

I love that the Met organizes it's furniture collections with period-themed rooms.

The classic MoMA city view:

Kelsey and Emily!:

From New York I took the bus to Boston for just a day because for various reasons it made more sense to fly to DC round-trip from there than to double-bus. On the way to the bus station, my subway train stopped for about a year at each stop, severely throwing my time-planning off. Someone on the train looked at me and my bags, saw my head frantically darting from my watch to the subway clock, and asked if I was going to Port Authority, and if so was I trying to catch the 1:00 bus? He wasn't even planning on getting off at the same stop, but told me that he was worried I would miss the bus if I was carrying both bags, so he got off the train with me, insisted on carrying my duffel bag, and ran down the street with me after my bus that was pulling away from the curb. I made it and that man, wherever he is, is amazing.

My plane landed in DC during the approximate 5 hour window between snow storms when planes were actually allowed to land. All public transportation had been suspended, which I attempted to tell all the wandering lost-looking tourists by the metro. I asked if anyone wanted to split a cab downtown and only one of the shellshocked people took me up on it. So I made friends with an AP reporter. We took a cab as close as we could get to Dupont, and then mountaineered our way over the snow to our final destinations. I went to Sara's first, where I was snowed in for the next two days with her and Kyla (since, the night of my arrival, the city got about 3 or 4 more feet!). I was laughing when I read about the snow before I got to the city, but after arriving I can now attest that snowpocalypse/snowmageddon/whatever they're calling it was for real. This also resulted in some major visa drama for me. I was supposed to get my visa for China while in DC (since I could just pop into the embassy, it only takes a day), but the embassy was snowed shut the entire week! More on how I had to sneak into China in my next post on impromptu Hong Kong.

So, in DC I stayed with Sara, Kyla (who flew in all the way from Seattle because she ROCKS), Lisa and Kelsey, as well as had a chance to catch up with countless people. Turns out I know a lot of people in DC, and a lot who moved there after I moved out. I also had a chance to go to a few Smithsonians, make snowangels on the mall, have a few snowball fights, and eat a ton of various African cuisines (DC food I miss you). I left on one of the first planes allowed out of DC, so my trip was pretty much characterized by snow. I've never seen the city so creepy and shut down. Here's some photos:

Snowy White House:

Freedom Square Snow Angels:


Just looked out the window, and coincidentally, it's snowing in Shanghai right now! Rare magic!

After DC I went to Boston where I stayed with Rachael and the Glorious 44 Litchfield. I also caught up with several friends who are still in Boston and got to hear about what they've been doing. Drove by my old house which was eerie. Took care of business and bought all sorts of contraband to bring back to China with me (vanilla extract! baking soda! moisturizer!). Had a fantastic valentines day. Ate all sorts of fantastic home cooking. Oh, and freaked out over and over for inordinate amounts of time about my visa situation. So, some photos:

Fanieul Hall from the North End:

Old State House:

The 'Bury from the Air:

Whenever I get my act together I'll catch up on the blog, promise! Posts to come: Hong Kong adventuring and talking my way into China, Orientation and new kiddos, ADPi reunions at Bar 88 and Wuzhen.

No comments:

Post a Comment